*interesting*. Whole numbers, anyway. Once you get into sines and cosines, and pi and all that other stuff, I'm totally lost and I lose interest. What interests me about numbers is the rhythm they have. I can't explain it any better than that.

This is a MAGIC SQUARE. Go ahead, look it up.

Here's a summary:

*In recreational mathematics and combinatorial design, a magic square is a square grid filled with distinct positive integers in the range such that each cell contains a different integer and the sum of the integers in each row, column and diagonal is equal.*

So first of all, look at the numbers in the photo above. You can see the numbers 1 to 16 shown once each. Now add the numbers across in each row. Total = 34. Now add up the numbers in each column. Total = 34. Now add up the diagonals. Total = 34. Each group of four adjacent numbers also adds up to 34. Pretty cool huh?

This particular Magic Square is a Pan-diagonal Magic Square, meaning the broken diagonals still add up to 34 (2+12+15+5, for example). It was inscribed on the wall of Parshvanath temple in Khajuraho India in the 12th Century. It is known as the Chautisa Yantra since its magic sum is 34. It is also a "Most-Perfect Magic Square," but I confess I don't understand enough math to know why.

Still though I think it's pretty neat and I have the page with the numbers above tacked onto inspiration wall in my studio. I am thinking of making a small quilt that is a magic square. I'll use my free-pieced technique to make the numbers, of course, and I'll have to work out how big the squares around them will be, but it's pretty clear to me the numbers have to look consistent with each other and that the fabrics that comprise the numbers and the backgrounds can't be TOO busy.

I don't know if I will install a grid between the numbers, as one of my favorite artists, Albrecht Durer, did in this one, in his famous engraving Melencolia I, from 1514.

I like the idea of

**not**being particularly descriptive with any other information about what makes it a Magic Square. (Translation: this blog post will have everything I want to say about Magic Squares, but anybody who sees the quilt hanging somewhere won't get it unless they look at the numbers and start adding them up in their heads, or if they happen to know what a magic square is.)

Well, that's what I think NOW, who knows what will happen when (and if) I start making this. If you're a regular reader you know I put a lot of thought into my quilts, and don't start working until I have a good idea where I am going to go. I don't need a COMPLETE idea, just a direction. The Magic Square is an inspiration, but the idea doesn't have enough meat on its bones yet to compel me into the studio to start cutting up fabric.

PS, here's an interesting bit of trivia.

- A 2x2 magic square cannot be constructed.
- There is only ONE 3x3 Magic Square
- There are exactly 880 4x4 Magic Squares.
- I must be what is considered a "recreational mathematician."

## 4 comments:

Interesting!! Can't wait to see what you are going to do with the square.

I have a friend who made a Sudoku quilt with 9 different blocks in a typical Sudoku grid. Very fun too just like your Magic Square will be (when and if...). PS - I am a retired math teacher - LOL

DH has just started working through a Sudoku book (he's an engineer and math nerd). I prefer word searches and crossword puzzles (I'm a word lover). Will be fun to see what you do with the Magic Square idea . . .

I have always loved numbers and maths, and this is wonderful, I haven't seem it before so will save the link.

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