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Sixty Degree Triangles and Quilts

Recently on Southern Cross Quilters, a member said she had bought an equilateral triangle ruler and didn’t know how to use it. One of my students left a lovely book for me to read, and inside it were several quilts based around these triangles. And on Saturday in a rerun of Simply Quilts, Alex was talking to Sara Nephew about her 60 degree triangle quilts. Serendipity?

Sixty Degree Triangle quilts were my first real obsession with patchwork.

A big pile of sixty degree triangle quilts

I went to my local patchwork shop in Brisbane in 1988 asking if there was anything that was a bit unusual that I could get my teeth into.

Quilts From a Different Angle was shown to me, I bought it and went home intrigued. Wow!

Of course I hadn’t got the ruler, so went back, bought the 6″ size triangle – the only one available at that time – and produced my first of many of these quilts.

The designs don’t work like most patchwork (made from squares and rectangles) because the triangle is one sixth of a hexagon, and is based on a circle grid, not a square. This leads to rethinking your maths for quilts, but by her second book, Sara had great explanations for calculating how to cut the different sized triangles and part hexagons.

I was hooked!

Designs of my own

Butterfly blockI designed the butterfly in The Best Things in Life are Free using these triangles in 1989, and the Reach for the Sky quilt a bit later.

I designed a couple of 3D isometric perspective quilts before Sara released her third book, called Building Block Quilts, featuring many 3D designs.

The quilts were getting blue ribbons at shows, and people wanted to know how they worked. I began to teach Sixty Degree Triangle classes all over Queensland. Some of these early design from students are quite good. None of us were very experienced in design and colour back then as patchwork was fairly newly revived in the late 1980s.

From stars to flowers to 3D, I never tire of playing with these triangle designs.

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Jan T

Former quilt artist, now a painter having a great time creating art!
For more than thirty years, I have been teaching (make that enthusing) people about making quilts, and am now retired!

And now I make art every day!

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