This quilt is one of several I have done using a mathematical construction known as an Apollonian Gasket. The name comes from a Greek mathematician, Apollonius of Perga, (c.262-c.190 BCE) who developed a formula for determining the radius of a fourth circle which just touches three other tangent circles. If applied to circles inside a larger circle, you get many possible patterns. Some, like this one are asymmetric, while some, like my Yin Yang Yule quilt are symmetric.

I chose Dresden plates as the circles in my Apollonian Gasket, and I used nine of them with differing numbers of segments (19, 15, 13, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4). Each was constructed by “fussy cutting” blue, white and yellow fabrics for the various Dresden Plates. I used manila folders to make stencils of each segment; this allowed me to select aesthetically pleasing patterns for the segments. (BTW I teach a Dresden Plate workshop which includes this technique). When the Plates were complete, they were fused to the large, white background circle which was then inset into the paper-pieced background of white, blue, and yellow rays. I used a double blanket stitch to anchor the Dresden plates to the background.

In quilting Blue Plate Special I continued filling the background with smaller and smaller circles which followed the Apollonian Gasket formulae.