If your teen loves designing and creating, they might be surprised by the amount of mathematics involved in quilting. You need a solid knowledge of shapes, measurement, patterns and area. It’s more than just how much material is needed - quilting is the fusion of mathematics and design. 

One week

7-8, 9-10

17 May 2022

Things you need

  • Cotton fabric or fabric squares
  • Wadding or batting for your quilt
  • Sewing needles and thread
  • Cutting tools (rotary cutter and/or scissors, cutting mat)
  • Ruler
  • Pins and clips
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Fabric chalk or marker
  • Basting pins or spray

The challenge

Check out this 2-minute clip, Stitching with Strategy: Math Quilts, which highlights the coming together of mathematical skill and the art of sewing.

If your teenager is keen to have a go, there are some key steps involved:

  1. Choose or design a pattern.
  2. Gather your tools and materials.
  3. Cut the patchwork.
  4. Sew the patchwork.
  5. Baste the quilt.
  6. Quilt the layers together.
  7. Bind the quilt.

You can both find out more information at We All Sew


The conversation

Here are some prompts for conversations with your teenager:


The career

This activity is useful for developing the skills used in fashion, textiles and design industries. Measurement and design skills stretch beyond fashion into the arts, landscaping, architecture, interior design, industrial design and construction.