What’s a Tessellation Quilt?

Bedsized Tesselation Quilt

I’ve always been fascinated by tessellation quilts. According to Christine Porter, who literally wrote the book on the subject (“Tessellation Quilts”), “a tessellated pattern is one that interlocks, creating identical positive and negative spaces that can go on indefinitely. It is of particular interest to the quilter because once pieced together the design often looks like a quilting impossibility and it takes time to work out how it was done.” The quilt above is a good example, a quilt I call “Lime Pie” and which got its inspiration from the quilt on the cover of Porter’s book.

A closeup of the quilt shows how easily it is put together, however, it does look almost impossible to piece before you study it up close.

Tessellation Quilt Detail

I made this quilt mainly to see how fast I could make a very nice looking king-sized quilt, if I doubled the size of the pieces. This quilt was made in a little over a week and is one of my favorite quilts. It is for sale, however, because I have a single bed and no place to display it. Below is another closeup showing what the back looks like.

Yesterday’s post also showed a quilt with a tessellated pattern:

I’m particularly fond of patterns like this that produce almost a 3-D effect. Even though I made this quilt it is hard for me to believe it has but one flat plane.

Another common tessellation is the “hills and valleys” pattern. One example is this king-sized quilt commissioned by one of my good friends before I started my business. This one was quilted on a regular sized sewing machine using “stitch-in-the-ditch” quilting. Experiences like that made me truly thankful to get a longarm machine (see the March 18 post)

Below is a small wall hanging that features an intricate-looking tessellated pattern. Using complementary  fabrics such a simple design can appear quite complex and interesting.

And last but not least is the simplest of tessellated patterns,the rail fence – literally three strips sewn together. But by using striking materials, a bold and exciting quilt can emerge. That is, after all, why we quilters quilt, isn’t it? To transform, to excite, to create and to have fun? It is one of the main reasons I’m hooked on quilting.

The picture below shows the quilt above thrown over a sofa, displaying the backing. It also shows the little guy in my life these days, my puggle Duncan.

 

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