Figuring out how to do quilt designs using Processing

Learning to code by teaching your self and having no interaction is hard, especially when your mind no longer has the agility of youth.

I find there are long periods of fog trying to make something work the way you want or figuring out why it isn’t working. I slog and slog at it and there is a profound feeling of accomplishment when you get over a barrier, but that is short-lived as sure enough along comes another one.

I have the idea that I want to do something that generates patterns like quilts that I have seen (eg the image above from @windingbobbins on Instagram), made up of geometric blocks within blocks. I’ve reached a stage of being comfortable with making interesting shapes, selecting cases and colors randomly and outputting them into a grid system that I can scale up to different sizes of display, but now that I am going for more complexity I am coming unstuck with not being able to properly understand what I am doing. So I’ve been having a look at other people’s code on open and at some of the tutorials and reference information on

I think my problem is that I always want to get complicated too quickly and I forget to start simple and build up. I also forget about tidying up my code and documenting what everything is doing. So looking at other people’s code is useful for looking at how they are laying things out.

I am thinking that I could print quilt-like designs on to fabric or offer up designs for people to use. So that started me on a dual quest of how might I code this and is anyone doing this already?

The latter of these two questions was easier to google. Of course someone has already thought of doing this:

I need therefore to be mindful of having a different take on it, not just copying and to have purpose with it.

I’m not ready to explain the code part but I thought I would post a few of the designs I have done so far. On my mind is can I determine an algorithm that produces consistently a pattern that is more appealing than just random? It seems to me that some degree of symmetry makes it more appealing than simply random, but how can that be expressed in coding terms?





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