Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tessellations 1: Triangle Patterns

#112c in BlockBase

I've been looking for an antique quilt to match every
illustration in my BlockBase pattern program.

This is keeping me busy, as there are over 4,000 pieced patterns in the program.
I started at the beginning.

Here's a simple category of patchwork design, tessellating one-patch patterns.

These single-shape, single-size patterns follow some basic geometrical rules. The screen shot above shows the extent of the  tessellating shapes I found in antique quilts.
Bresler Collection, Mint Museum
BlockBase #111a

The first designs are shapes with three sides: triangles. Quilters used them often.

Names include Joseph's Coat, Thousand Pyramids, Mowing Machine.

It seems to me that any triangle will tessellate---that is fit together with no other shapes.

Theoretical 3-sided quilt pattern.

I categorized these long triangles as #112
(Isosceles triangles)

The triangles can be quite skinny or elongated, but you may not want to be piecing these seam intersections.

See more about quilts in design #112 at this post:

And see an EQ7 Tutorial on isosceles triangles here:

Quilters rely on the regular geometry of the half-square triangle.

Two triangles make a square.

Set on the square

These are all classified as BlockBase #113

Set on point

Rotating the blocks...

Similar compositions, about 1900

Here's an option I didn't think of for BlockBase.
A half-rectangle.

And a shape I haven't ever seen in an antique quilt.
It's 3-sided so it tessellates.
You could be the first to make one.


  1. Hmm, this sounds like the beginnings of a new study series ...

  2. The scrappy triangle "set on the square" is part of the Sandra Starley Antique quilt collection.