The Triangle Variations

Welcome to The Triangle Variations, an ongoing experiment in minimalist geometry.

A deliberate departure from my usual colors, designs and piecing techniques, this series uses an absolute minimum of “ingredients” and is as precise in its construction as my previous work has been improvisational.


I wanted to discover how minimal I could go and still achieve compositions with interest, balance and serenity.

And I wanted to try mimicking in fabric the qualities of hard-edge painting I admire—bold form, intense color, clean lines. My inspiration came from painters Jeremy Moon and Carmen Herrera, Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley and others, as well as graphic artists Walter Allner and Walter Dexel.

Look closely at the quilts and you’ll see repeating units. But unlike quilt blocks, which are usually square, these are 10″ x 15″ rectangles. This dimension let me play with directionality, allowing me to construct quilt studies from vertically-oriented units, horizontally-oriented units, as well as vertical/horizontal combinations

The number of units in each quilt also gives rise to their names.

I kept each quilt unit really minimal at the start—just two triangles, each in the same foreground color, against a grey background—eventually adding a second foreground color. The fabrics are a Marcia Derse blue (a “moody” solid with swathes of darker blue on a slightly lighter ground), Cherrywood Silver for the grey back-
ground, and Cherrywood’s Wicked green.

The quilting is deliberately restrained: precise lines of stitching that echo the triangles. That way, when variations appear in each quilt—zig-zags in variegated thread, double and triple lines of stitchery, diagonals picked out with contrasting couched cording, diamond shapes—they really stand out.

The quilts on this page are shown, from top to bottom, in the order in which they were made:
Triple Play
High Five
Six of One
Third Time Lucky
Top Ten

To learn more, click on their names or on the quilt pictures scattered throughout the home page.

If you read about Solitaire first, you’ll find out about the underlying design of the quilt units … it dates from the 13th century!