by NANCY PAGE
The Hartford Courant
GEORGETOWN CIRCLE(S), dates back to at least Ruth Finley's OLD PATCHWORK QUILTS AND THE WOMEN WHO MADE THEM, 1929. It appeared (see illustration in new window), in Nancy Cabot's Chicago Tribune column in January 26, 1933. A similar design but with more emphasis on the 'circle' created by the irregular octagon, was published in the syndicated Nancy Page quilt column illustrated left. The integration and harmonic beauty of the geometric pattern is outstanding in the tiling (see below).
The design name is a play on "circle" from the standpoint of a social mileau, often referred to in terms of political connections to Washington D.C. But the title also alludes to a multi straight-sided polygon subtly and beautifully transforming into, or at least visually suggesting, a circular form. In fact the newspaper headline for the Nancy Page variation says: "Here is a Chance to Square the Circle." The saying resonates with a teaching about leadership and politics in the Tao Te Ching (Chapter 58), which says: "Square the circle, and circle the square,
so as not to injure, not to impede." In other words, "Straight like the square that does not scrape," suggesting rounded corners or leadership open to compromise and free expression. See the complete Tao Te Ching online at an amazing website called Cafe au Soul!!
Compare with the ARROWHEADS tiling pattern for nearly perfect circles created entirely by the straight edges of various intersecting geometric forms. Additional designs at this site employing complex polygons include:
BEAUTIFUL STAR (dodecagon)
BLOCK STAR (irregular dodecagon)
JAPANESE FLOWER (irregular dodecagon)
GRANDMA'S SURPRISE (octagon)