Triangle Madness

Well hello! I’m feeling a little shy after not posting for such a long time. Turns out I needed to disconnect for a little longer than I thought! I pondered different ways of re-entering the blogosphere, including an epic catch-up post, but my plan is to do one work-in-progress and one finished object post a week and see how that goes. As you can imagine, I have quite a stack of finished quilts to show you!

The quilt I’ll show you Friday was actually a prototype for what I’m working on now.

Triangle quilt in progress

I got a little obsessed with the idea of color gradient triangle quilts, after seeing this pin on Pinterest. Being the occasional uber-geek that I am, I had the sudden flight of fancy to write code to generate layouts for these quilts. This is handy because you can generate a whole bunch of possible layouts without physically moving around all the little triangles on a design wall!

At its most basic, my code randomly selects triangle orientations and colors, subject to the constraint that two triangles of the same color can’t touch. Here’s an example of what that looks like:

Random triangle quiltYou can also specify an ordered list of colors to be spread across the diagonal of the quilt. There’s a way to control the degree of mixing along the gradient. Here are two layouts with different degrees of mixing.

Triangle gradient quilt layoutsThe fabrics I’m using come from the Denyse Schmidt’s new Modern Solids collection, leaving out only the purples. I extracted the RGB information from this photo, and then I extracted just the hue information, discarding saturation (colorfulness) and value (brightness). This made for a pretty neat effect in the gradient, which is that the neutral colors are interspersed between the bright colors, according to their hue. So, for example, there are warm grays and cool grays in different places. This was the sequence of colors I used, after ordering by hue. There are 66 different colors.

Modern Solids color gradient

And this is the final layout I’m piecing now.
Modern Solids Gradient QuiltI also made a baby quilt version with fewer and smaller triangles, which I’ll post about later this week. In the meantime, I’m digging into these stacks.

Triangle fabrics

Finally, I just want to say it’s good to be back! There’s been a lot going on around here since I last posted, most exciting of which was this:

beach wedding

We got married on the beach in Hawaii with 25 of our closest friends and family and it was awesome. And yes, I did make that shawl. :)


  1. Congratulations on getting married. The shawl looks lovely, by the way. I would have loved to have had a wedding that small, but I have a very big family :)

    What an interesting idea you had to make a ‘layout generator’. It sounds like something I would do if I actually new how to :) I’m looking forward to seeing the completed quilt.

  2. Congratulations!

    This quilt is going to look amazing.

  3. Welcome back! I have also been out of the loop. But a I always enjoy your posts! What a great idea for generating possibilities! I don’t have the techy expertise, but maybe you could consider selling the code so people like me can try this?!? I have a plan for a HST table runner with different sizes…

  4. Congratulations! A wedding on a beach in Hawaii sounds divine. So good to see you back at it. Love that you wrote code to help with quilt layouts. Fussing with layout is one of my least favourite parts. That triangle quilt is turning into something really beautiful!

  5. Ah… You had me at code.
    That quilt is going to be gorgeous. I cannot wait to see how this comes along.

  6. Wow, I love the idea of using code to generate gradients and am impressed with you for writing one! I have all sorts of ideas now – could the code be used to make a quilt with a dark-to-light gradient? Congratulations on your marriage!

  7. Congratulations!
    That is very interesting, I wish I could do that…Maybe there is money to be made here…:) Anyways, it looks very promessing and can’t wait to see it complete. How do you like the Denyse Schmidt solids?

    • Thanks! If there is interest, I might try to figure out how to make the code available as a web service. That would be new for me but might be fun to try.

      The Denyse Schmidt solids are great. Like everything she puts out, the colors feel both modern and timeless. They are also very nice to work with – they have a substantial feeling weight but also hold a pressed edge really well.

  8. 1. Writing code for a quilt IS uber-geeky. I’m glad you said it so I didn’t have to! But the hsts are really cool and I can’t wait to see the quilt done. 2. Congratulations on getting married and that shawl is beautiful. 3. I like you even more after seeing you’re a fellow ginger!

  9. congratulations! you and your shawl look lovely.

  10. I love a bit of triangle madness, especially with so many colours involved :) Congratulations on your marriage!

  11. Congratulations!! :D Your wedding looks like it was lovely!
    I am loving the triangle quilt you’re working on. Rainbow yumminess yes! And as a programmer I totally adore that you wrote a program to do the layout for you. I’m glad you’re back and posting! :)

  12. I love that you made a program for designing quilts. Genius :) It looks great so far.

  13. What an awesome idea, if I could remember how to code I’d create one myself. Sounds like a perfect assignment for wannabe programmers.

  14. So glad to see you back! You’ve been missed :)
    Congrats on your big day and great job getting the shawl finished in time! It, and you look gorgeous!
    Love your hst progress, wish i had the brain power to generate a code for the hst quilt i’ve been working on. I work so much better with a pattern!