## Tom’s quilt brainteaser

By David Shaw, 17 October 2018

Tom’s just finished sewing a quilt! It’s made of lots of equal-sized squares of fabric sewn together. Currently, it’s 12 squares long and six squares wide.

Tom tried putting the quilt on his bed, but it’s the wrong shape. He’s decided to make it nine squares long and eight squares wide.

Tom wants to break the quilt up into two pieces and then sew them back together and get the right shape. Can you work out how he can do it?

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****Scroll down for the answer!**

## Brainteaser answer

If you spend a bit of time with this puzzle, you’ll soon discover that it won’t work if you just cut it into two rectangles. You’ll need to be a bit more creative than that – the cut needs to be a zig-zag.

One clue is that in the end quilt, you’ll need two edges of length eight. So making those edges is a good place to start.

Measure eight squares along one of the long sides, and start cutting until you get to the centre line of the quilt.

Now, starting at the opposite corner from last time, count eight squares along the other long edge and again, cut all the way to the centre line. If you join these cuts, you’ll end up with two L-shaped pieces.

Line up the two eight square sides opposite each other and put the pieces together to find your rectangle!

There is also a second solution where you make the sides of length nine at the start. In this case, you need a lot more zigs and zags. Your cut will go up two squares and then across three, over and over. See if you can work out why!

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