Wednesday, October 9, 2013


“Madam in Eden, I'm Adam.” Thus the first words ever spoken were a palindrome. –Unknown

Palindromes are words that read the same backwards and forwards. There are simple ones like mom, dad and Anna. Radar and rotor get a little fancier. And my favorite of all time is racecar because it's a too-cool-for-school sort of word disguised in an every day vocabulary kind of way. There are longer single-word palindromes, mostly in other languages. But tattarrattat {the sound a drum makes} is a pretty long English one.

I asked Mr. Google what he knew about palindromes. It turns out that aibohphobia is the fear of palindromes. And, palindromes are not limited to single words. Sotades, an ancient Greek poet with a somewhat shady character, is credited to have been the first to use palindromic phrases. Like their ancient Greek counterparts, lots of the modern-day-written-in-English ones are just nonsense. But every once in a while a one of them makes sense. Mostly. Here are a couple of amusing ones.

Never odd or even.
Do geese see God?
Murder for a jar of red rum.
And for party schools — Campus Motto: bottoms up, Mac.

Palindromic numbers, sometimes called Scheherazade numbers {in reference to the storyteller in 1001 Nights} are pretty cool, too. I like to watch the odometer in the car every once in a while to see how close it is to the next Scheherazade number. Last I checked, Mr. Bug's odometer was approaching 247,742.

There are also 2D palindrome squares which read the same left to right and top to bottom and take palindromes to a whole new level of coolness.


About six weeks ago, a dear friend had a very traumatic health issue, which included a ride to the hospital in an ambulance. I wanted to do something for her, so I decided to make a quilt. I chose a simple pattern, pulled out my stash of batiks, held auditions, ordered some Pure Elements by Pat Bravo in Coffee Bean and Creme de la Creme and got to work. The Pure Elements solids are very similar to the weight and feel of the batiks and the two fabrics worked together very nicely.

And as it turns out, quilts can be palindromes too. The pattern of colors in the rows from top to bottom are Turquoise, Green, Turquoise, Blue, Purple, Purple, Blue, Turquoise, Green, Turquoise. I kind of love it.

I just finished the top this week. Even though I thought I'd picked a quilt that was going to be simple, it has 793 pieces. A few days into piecing, I realized I wasn't going get this quilt finished quickly enough to use during her recovery. So, I took my friend and her family dinner and decided to finish this quilt as a gift for her birthday. It is this coming Saturday. With a little bit of help, I think I'm going to make it. I'll keep you posted.


Paulette said...

That is gorgeous! It's the kind of quilt I could look at all day (the best kind). Love the stained glass effect of the batiks. Your friend is going to love, love, love it!

Lane said...

I love that pattern, madam eye madam. Okay, that's the only palindrome I know. Be well. And, I really do love the pattern. lane

regan said...

This quilt is lovely! She will adore it! Well done!

Shay said...

Love the Palindrome almost has a stained glass effect. Your friend will love it !

hafza said...

Oh this is beautiful. I love the pattern.

Le Anna said...

AWESOME! I am so ordering this pattern! Thanks for the link.

Jennifer Lovell said...

What a beautiful quilt. Your friend is so lucky to have you!

You just helped me discover a new something to add to my "things I love" list: Batik fabrics on quilts made by Elizabeth. So gorgeous :).

Jill said...

What?! A post about palindrome and you didn't include the song from Weird Al? For shame.
That is a really gorgeous quilt. I love the stained glass look in the fabrics!
Nice job.

Carrie P. said...

fun post and beautiful quilt for your friend.