CASTLE AND SUN
by Paul Klee (1928)
Here is a design reminiscent of the innumerable facets of a soul, compared to a diamond in St. Teresa of Avila's mystic INTERIOR CASTLE. Compare with TOWERS OF CAMELOT.
Titled (A) THOUSAND PYRAMIDS, the number is used as if to indicate a "gazillion" or any infinite number, and Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT DESIGNS (#111a) therefore includes it in her section of continuous patterns. Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM (p.429-12) positions it next to RED SHIELDS, as a square block, drafted as here (upper left) on an 8 x 8 grid, but suggesting in her illustration an infinite number of random colors for the diamonds possible.
The pattern is dated back to Ruth Finley's OLD PATCHWORK QUILTS AND THE WOMEN WHO MADE THEM, 1929. Finley comments (p. 49):
"Another one-patch capable of endless development was the THOUSAND PYRAMIDS. Color grouping was all that was needed to make the equilateral triangles quite as effective as the hexagons."
A 1928 painting by Paul Klee is the inspiration here for the color combinations, see his much beloved CASTLE AND SUN illustrated left.
In Japanese textiles, this design is called a Uroko pattern (referring to the Scales of a fish, dragon or snake), and is used by dancers in Noh drama. For more geometric quilt design color schemes at this site adapted from paintings by Paul Klee, see
CENTURY OF PROGRESS and STRAIGHT FURROW.