It has been our privilege for the past 15 years to live in the woods on land that backs up to a national forest. Even better, there is a waterfall just a mile above the house and we hike there often. The mountain is rocky, so there are numerous other small cataracts everywhere.
We love it, so we hike often (especially now, when we know we’ll be moving away).
Although we do see signs of other people on the trail, we have never in all this time met anyone in the woods! Recently we saw another sign of someone on the trail: Since it appeared to be fabric, I picked it up and turned it over.
And took it home and washed and dried it.Now it will be part of a quilt. I’m still thinking, but it may be an art quilt commemorating that trail.
Recently C&T sent the book shown below for my review, and included a package of Fast2Fuse in the same shipment. What’s a girl to do? I made a bowl!
Photo courtesy of C&T
Here’s how it went, in case you’d like to do the same.
The first thing I did was read the book, and this was important because the organization of the chapters is unique. Each step in the process of bowl making has its own chapter; e.g., one chapter tells how to make the outer shell, another chapter gives instruction for the inside of the bowl. There are multiple options for several types of bowls, which adds another layer of complexity and many more options.
The instructions are clear, but it’s important to have a handle on where the various types of instructions are before starting. Of course, with any project it’s important to read the instructions through first, so this is nothing new.
The author discusses options for various materials to stiffen the bowl. She discusses different fabric options as well, including special instructions so you can use directional fabric successfully.
I thought I’d better do the first one with non-directional fabric! Fast2Fuse worked great as the base for the fabrics. I hadn’t tried it before, and it made a significant improvement on my previous bowl making attempts.
The whole thing went together without difficulty in about half a day. This is the 9″ size, but the book has options for multiple sizes including an 18 inch bowl!
I enjoyed this project and, as noted above, it was easier to get right than my previous bowl-making attempts.
Here are links to information on the book and on Fast2Fuse:
Fast2Fuse heavy double-sided fusible. This comes in several sizes and in light, medium, or heavy weight. I used the heavy weight and it worked well for this project. I would choose it for structured bags in the future.
Note: The links in this post do not provide income for me; they are for your convenience only. C&T provides books and products for me to review, and I choose the ones I like best to present here.
Now that most of us have access to the internet, there’s a ton of good information out there about tessellations, so I’m not going to repeat it here. Rather, here are just a couple of examples and then some references you can use on the internet or get at a book store. With regard to the printed material, I have great luck finding used books to order online, mostly through AbeBooks.
The book I used most in learning about tessellations is Introduction to Tessellations by Dale Seymour and Jill Britton. It’s an old book, but math doesn’t change much and it should be available second hand. The take-home from this book is that tessellations are easier to design if you use graph paper of various kinds to guide your drawing. Options include regular graph paper with squares, dot paper, and triangle paper, as well as paper pre-printed with hexagons. If you check the internet, you can find places to print any of these, or there are samples in the back of the book for you to reproduce. The links above go to places that allow you to print various dot or triangle papers, but full disclosure: I haven’t tried them, since I have the book!
Another common way to make tessellations is to start with a piece of paper, cut a hunk out of it, and move the hunk to another edge. There are many variations on this, and I suggest you get some index cards and just go for it.
Here are some tessellations I have made to illustrate various possibilities.
It’s also possible to cut off a piece, move it to another location on the block, and then rotate it. At this point things become much more complex, and lead to the kind of tessellations that make almost anybody’s head spin! Luckily, there is an excellent step-by-step tutorial on how to do that at http://mathengaged.org/resources/activities/art-projects/tessellations/.
For a detailed lesson on how to make more complex tessellations (more like M. C. Escher), look at artist Juliana Kunstler’s website.
And here are a few of the many books available about tessellations:
Introduction to Tessellations by Dale Seymour and Jill Britton. This one is practical and relatively easy to understand.
Designing Tessellations by Jinny Beyer. This book goes into a lot of detail on how to make complex tessellations, but is easy to understand despite this. She has some beautiful examples of tessellated quilt patterns.
Tessellation Quilts by Christine Porter
For those in the Greensboro MQG, I hope you will design some tessellations and bring them for show-and-share in April! See you there!
Please note: As always, the links in this post are provided for your convenience only; they are not affiliate links that pay me if you click on them.
In addition to the practical way of designing tessellations presented last week by Jean Larson, there is a whole field of mathematical theory and practice related to tessellations. I loved geometry in high school, but the theoretical stuff quickly gets beyond me. Here is a summary of more practical implications.
A shape is said to tessellate if it can cover a plane without gaps, extending to infinity in all directions.
The regular polygons that will tesselate are:
Triangles. All triangles will tessellate.
Quadrilaterals (4-sided shapes) all tessellate, and all can be divided into triangles, just by drawing from corner to corner.
Hexagons (regular hexagons) will tessellate, as we know well from English paper piecing.
From there it gets complicated as to which figures will tessellate and which will not, but to go on with practical information:
It’s perfectly OK to draw lines inside your tessellating shapes, which may mean they don’t all look alike anymore. An excellent example is this pattern by Alison Glass. The design is composed entirely of equilateral triangles, all the same size, BUT she has drawn lines within some of the triangles to create secondary designs.
Illustration from AlisonGlass.com
It’s OK to use more than one shape to cover a surface, or more than one size of the same shape, as long as the whole pattern can be continued to infinity. (Who knew?) Here’s are examples, drawn in EQ8:
This tessellating design is composed of squares of 2 different sizes
This tessellating design is composed of 2 different shapes.
Many of our traditional quilt patterns are actually tessellating designs. The second example above is just a recoloring of Tumbling Blocks.
There are many, many ways to create tessellating designs, and I’ll direct you to some additional resources next week. Meanwhile, one of my favorite easy ways to create tessellating designs is something called “pattern blocks“. The link takes you to a fun site where you can develop patterns consisting of one or more shapes. This works because the angles of all the pieces are either 30, 60, 90, or 120 degrees. I just love that the site is intended for kids–it’s all I can do to wrap my head around it! And I have no idea how to tell which combinations will tessellate except to try. Here’s one I made on the site that I think will tessellate: