Magic Triangles

My whole family comes out for a photo session. My husband Srini and younger son Vedul patiently holding while my older son Anshul is behind the camera.

This is my first entry for the Blogger’s quilt festival hosted every year by Amy Ellis of

My dad turned 80 last year and what does a quilter give to someone who has been a huge part of her life? A quilt, of course. My dad is a true engineer who sees beauty in the laws of physics, and who sees engineering as a way of life. He has always challenged me to learn and understand the world around me. I grew up with questions like how does this toy work, or how can we fix this leaky hose, or let’s build a light for your bicycle. At work he designed test beds for aircraft engines, and at home he rebuilt and fixed an old antique car. My sister and I were his (often unwilling) assistants. We learned quickly to never mix up metric and British units, and to look at a nut/bolt and estimate what size wrench to use. It does come in handy – I can easily tell if my seam allowance is anything but a 1/4 inch 🙂

For his birthday, I felt compelled to try something new and to learn something new, which in turn changed the rest of my quilting journey. This is my very first quilt on my mid-arm machine (Block RockiT 15 from The best thing about making a quilt for my dad is that I know he will love it no matter how good or bad it turns out. He loves it because I made it.


I started with a pattern I picked up at the quilt festival last year, called Mezzanine, by Ruth Ann Berry from I changed the sizes and layout to make it bigger. The “3D” triangles are called Penrose triangles, arguably the best known impossible figure. Impossible figures are optical illusions – 2D drawings that the brain interprets as 3D but on further study, you realize such a 3D object is physically impossible. The mathematician Roger Penrose as well as the artist M. C. Escher made these intriguing concept  popular.

I gathered a number of light, medium, dark fabric from my stash and auditioned them against a grey background. The best method to audition values is to take a picture and view it in black & white. I quilted some airplanes and clouds on the top and some interlocking gears near the bottom. I also quilted every motif I knew. The ruler work was not perfect – chipped off a corner of the rulers and broke a couple of needles (very scary!), the spirals are a bit flat but over all it is not bad for a first FMQ quilt. My dad and mom say they discover new hidden figures everyday.


Fabric: Various light, medium, dark from my stash.
Background: Kona coal (and probably something else – I noticed the slightly different shades of grey only when taking the pictures)


Linking Blogger’s quilt festival and all the usual linky parties.
Main Crush Monday
Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the river
Midweek Makers
Let’s Bee Social
Needle and Thread Thursday

Can I get a whoop whoop
TGIFF hosted this week by What a Hoot
Finished or not Friday
Friday Fotofun @ PoweredByQuilting

33 thoughts on “Magic Triangles

  1. Oh the Optical Illusion of twisted triangles floating in air!!! Magical indeed. Your choice of colors is so spot-on. I love the variegated background of grays – creates more interest. I am impressed that the whole family participates in the photo shoot. The mathematician and the artist may have made these possible but you – Vasudha the quilting engineer – brought them to life. Kudos to you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Morning! What a fabulous job you did on this quilt. I just love your helpful quilt holders and photographer – you couldn’t do it without them! Thank you for the lesson on Penrose triangles – I have never heard of them before but find it very interesting. The guy I made the Plus Playtime quilt for would absolutely LOVE this quilt. He’s a big math guy. ~smile~ Roseanne


  3. This is such a perfect quilt for an engineer! (And now you’ve got me thinking about my dad – also an engineer – and whether I should be making him a quilt even though my mom is also a quilter…) I love the variety of quilting motifs and, after you mentioned it, notice the varying greys, but love that too!


  4. I’m so glad you linked up with Lorna and I found your post! We had similar fathers – and I’m pretty good at recognizing a 1/4 inch seam, too! Your first free-motion quilting is impressive! I especially like how many different patterns you used creating such an interesting background. Isn’t it amazing how the camera sees things we don’t? It doesn’t matter here as there is so much else to look at and delight in. Very well done!


  5. A beautiful as well as intriguing quilt. I know your dad loved it. I wish I had made a similar pattern for my engineer FIL before he died this year. Thank you for sharing.


  6. Love your work! I am a retired computer programmer (1977-2006) with a degree in Math. I love that there is room in quilting for those of us who enjoy the geometric quilt.


  7. Fabulous! What a fun quilt to make. I love math as well, so I understand why this particular design was important to make. Liz in Houston


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  9. This quilt is nothing short of spectacular!!! The design is so cool and you really nailed that quilting!! It’s th eicing on the cake for sure! I would say this quilt is perfect for your sweet Daddy!! Well done!


  10. I’m so glad, first of all, that you have an Instagram thingie at the bottom of your posts; I am shocked, second, that I somehow missed this post! THIS—–!!!!! It leaves me speechless and just literally sucking in my breath. It’s stupendous, truly, and yes, 80 is a most auspicious occasion, needs a quilt, and one like this, with all its symbolism, is truly meaningful and spectacular. Those triangles, wow; I could stare at them for a long while. As always, your quilting just takes it to another level, and I didn’t notice the slight difference in greys but I like the nuance there; gives it more depth. Your work is just wonderful; I’m so glad you have a blog and that we’ve met through it. 🙂


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