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A Mathematical Foundation for Foundation Paper Pieceable Quilts: web.stanford.edu/~mleake/proje, via metafilter.com/191666/Quilters

They formalize things by hypergraphs, but I prefer antimatroids (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimatr): a pattern is piecable iff you can slice off one piece at a time by guillotine cuts, eventually slicing everything. The possible slicing orders form an antimatroid, because a piece, once sliceable, remains so until it is sliced. The piecing order is the reverse of a slicing order.

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