Lesley Coles has been fascinated by tessellation since her children were small and has developed her own style where the patterns tessellate across the quilt surface.
The word tessellation comes from the tesserae or tiles that fit together to make the mosaic floors that we associate with the Romans. Escher's intricate artwork has long fascinated me and I often wondered how you would start to create a repeating shape that interlocked to form an overall pattern.
When I decided that I wanted to work with tessellations, it was many years since my children had learnt the design technique and I could not remember the basic idea behind the cut and paste method. After much searching, a friend who was also a maths teacher, lent me a book 'Mathematics Through Art' by Anne Woodman and Eric Albany. Here were simple techniques that had excited me early on in my patchwork journey. These were the building blocks to simple tessellation! All I had to do was translate into a working method for patchwork and appliqué. The most obvious tessellation is a square, then a rectangle, and in traditional English patchwork, the hexagon and the clamshell.
To create your own tessellating units, follow these simple step by step instructions. I suggest starting with coloured paper pasted back onto white paper. As you work through the exercises, you can see how the process evolves.
Want the latest issue of Popular Patchwork or Patchwork & Quilting? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!
Got a patchwork or quilting problem? Looking for a phone number or email address to ask someone for help? Click here to find the right person