Origami Quilt Squares at Math-on-a-Stick

I sure did not. But now I do.

I learned this particular mathy art from @RosieL52 during a math art club arranged over the summer by Siddhi Desai, Shraddha Shirude & Jenn White. She learned it from the book Extreme Origami by Kunihiro Kasahara.

To make these, you start with the pinwheel base. You can look up many, many tutorials for “origami pinwheel base” and I’ve made a quick video below (no sound). Then… just start folding. It helps if you keep your folds working in 4-fold symmetry (do the same to all 4 squares made by the pinwheel base), but I sure won’t discourage you from trying other things.

Lots of examples below that you can create through experimenting. One of the things I liked today about the kids who stopped by the Math-on-a-Stick booth was that a lot of them would immediately know what they wanted to try after they got the pinwheel base done. Mostly, you figure these out with experiments. Try folding up. Try folding down. Can you make squares? How about a kite? Fold forward. Fold backward… Everything goes, and if you mess it up, well, I bet you can get a hold of more paper. By all means, try recreating some of the images below.

Author: Ms. P

Math Teacher in Minneapolis, MN.

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