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Similar Polygons and Scale Factors

Polygons with the same shape, but not necessarily the same size.

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Crazy Quilt

Similar triangles aren’t just used for measuring distances and comparing shapes. Artists and craftspeople can make geometric patterns from similar triangles. Quilters, for instance, use similar triangles to create beautiful blankets from scraps of material.

Why It Matters

You could make a quilt out of random pieces of material but you’d likely end up with something that is not so pleasant to look at. Most quilters, however, are artists who take pains taking pride in every scrap they use and every stitch they make to produce a finished product that is not only useful but also a work of art.

To achieve their desired patterns in their quilts, quilters must measure and cut their shapes precisely. Two of the shapes they commonly use are half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles—and these two types of triangles just happen to be similar triangles.

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ypwC_lBoPE

Explore More

The “Tumbling Triangles” quilt pattern is completely made up of similar triangles. Learn how to piece together one of these quilts at the link below.

http://sentimentalstitches.net/free-stuff/tumbling-triangles/

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