Monday, February 28, 2011

How a comment question launched a new direction . . .

This blog, Nacho Grandma's Quilts!!, is a "work-in-progress about works-in-progress."  One of these "works-in-progress" is my other blog, Tessellation Nation.

It has been a struggle.  I may have mentioned that since its launch on April 1, 2010, I have changed the theme several times, I have changed the content and its format several times, and January 1, 2011, I completely wiped out the preceding nine months worth of blog posts to start over.

The tagline for the blog is, "Tessellated patterns generated from a single 9-patch unit."  Yeah, none too snappy; I gotta work on that.  The content consists mainly of posts showing the different possible patterns using my design tile.  I've tagged the posts with the catalog number, the symmetry group, and the number of shapes in the tessellation.

Reduction Puzzles
I've been playing with the patterns, turning them into what I call "Reduction Puzzles."  The majority of the patterns produce tessellations with multiple shapes.  I've been combining the shapes to make a 1-shape tessellation (which is what most people think of when you mention tessellations).  It's kinda neat because a single multi-shape tessellation can generate multiple single-shape tessellations.

Anyway, over the weekend, I had a person ask me a question in a comment:  "How do I make the blocks to make a quilt from this one????

Now, I had tried in the past to write posts that showed how to make a quilt and I knew it was more trouble than it was worth.  After making the drawings and writing detailed instructions, I'd be more likely to attempt to market a pattern rather than posting it for free on my blog.

So, I did the next best thing . . .

How to transform a tessellation into a quilt . . .
I wrote a blog post, "How to transform a tessellation into a quilt . . ." to describe the process of tessellation-to-quilt without giving yardage charts, or detailed instructions for cutting, sewing, pressing, quilting, etc.

The post shows a blank pattern; then, the same pattern, colored; then, adds sashing between the 4-patch blocks (to show they're all the same); and finally, adds sashing between the patches in the block (to show they're all colored differently).

The idea is that if a quilter REALLY wants to make a quilt from the tessellation, there's enough information to do so (if they engage their brain a little).

I think it caught on because my view stats skyrocketed!!  (Of course, my view stats tend to be "up-and-down" normally, so I could be wrong, LOL!!)

Variations on top of variations . . .
Most of these tessellations will make multiple single-shape tessellations, so I can show "variations on a theme."

The question is:  "Should I present one variation at a time on a daily basis, or several variations a day several times a week??"


  1. Thank you for this interesting post and for your hard work on tessellations. (We'd vote for one variation daily)... :)

  2. You're very welcome . . .

    I'm getting ready to go on vacation this week.

    So, I'm scheduling posts to publish while I'm gone and away from computers. I'll publish a pattern and its multiple 1-shape tessellations (if any), followed by quilting layout charts for those variations three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

    One variation a day would simply take too long!!