Mawata Quilt Blocks: How do I knit with these things?

Since the Mawata Colossus post, a lot of people have asked me how it all works: how to knit with mawata, and how to make quilt-ish blocks from them. Since it’s a pretty loosey-goosey process, this series of posts will describe how I make the blocks, more as basic formulas than real, gauge-specific, tested and edited patterns.