The name of this quilt, TriFractal, reflects the underlying mathematical (“Fractal”) design, known as a Koch curve, of which there are three (“Tri”) nested versions.

A Koch curve is constructed iteratively, starting with an equilateral triangle. Each edge is then divided into thirds and a smaller equilateral triangle is constructed on the middle section, resulting in a “Star of David” star. A second iteration again divides each straight line segment in thirds and adds a new set of triangles. A little analysis shows that each iteration increases the length of the perimeter by 4/3rds. If you do enough iterations you can make the perimeter as long as you like. In the “limit”, as mathematicians like to imagine, you have an infinite perimeter enclosing a finite area. Fortunately quilters do not go to such great lengths (pun intended); I stopped at five iterations.

This quilt was entered in the 2015 Asheville Quilt Guild Show, where it was not appreciated by the judges, perhaps because I entered it, inappropriately, in the Modern category. I was, however, accepted in the 2016 AQS show in Syracuse, NY – one of two of my quilts accepted into that show.

This original design was paper pieced and machine quilted on a home machine (Janome 7700).