tessellation quilt modern

tessellation quilt modern

This pattern is Tessellation by Alison Glass. It is straight forward paper piecing and a great way to use up some scraps. As suggested by the pattern, it is a good idea to use solids or tone-on-tone prints.


The pattern comes with a correction regarding a typo on the Cutting Guide. This pattern is not laid out like other quilting patterns I have seen. There is no yardage recommendation or strip piece cutting instructions, i.e. cut 20 of a certain strip. On a post linked below Alison states the pattern calls for 25 1/4 yards (STAY WITH ME FOLKS! I used mainly stash.) Also, is does not give much guidance related to how to distribute your colors. The pattern mainly outlines how to paper piece so that is nice if you are new to paper piecing. This made making the quilt a little daunting to me but I hope the suggestions below help other people overcome this obstacle.

I loved the color play on the cover quilt. I did not want to replicate it completely but liked the idea of a shape popping out of a seemingly random pattern created from beautiful jewel tones and vibrant saturated solids.


Size Change and Paper Piece Template

The listed finished size on the pattern is 48″ x 60″. This is excellent if you are not into making bigger quilts; however, it is an awkward size if you enjoy competing or usually make bed quilts. I made a promise to myself I would only make quilts larger than 65″ x 65″. It is a personal preference for what I now know is what I am happy with at the end of the making process.

I wanted to add 4 columns and 2 rows for an estimated finished size of 76″ x 84″**. I sketched this out and to add the additional inches I needed 78 more triangles.

There are 6 different triangle configurations A, B, C, D, E, and F. I evenly distributed the the 78 additional triangles by adding 13 to each configurations:

Block Letter: Original Count: New Total:
A 67 +13 80
B 16 +13 29
C 15 +13 28
D 23 +13 36
E 19 +13 32
F 10 +13 23

I rolled on down to my favorite copy shop and had them make on the template copies. I always ask for the cheapest and thinnest paper they have. You don’t want the premium thick stock! Don’t be a dummy like me and make copies of the A template! A is a solid triangle that you do not paper piece. So, like, the one template can be used over and over. I’m sure everyone will realize this but I totally paid for 80 copies of a triangle. On top of that, these are 60 degree triangles and you can buy a template. I just taped off my 60 degree triangle ruler because, as I have mentioned, I own one billion rulers. I recommend doing one or the other though to maintain your accuracy!


I used mainly stash and focused on pulling solids, prints that read as solids and linens for different textures. I did buy some extra pink fabrics because I was light on those colors. This pattern is a great way to start using solids if you are new to them.

tessellation quilt modern


You want to decide your overall look when deciding your color palette. Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness spun a top up in purple, grey and teal. Alison Glass has a post about using fabric bundles also. You can see a pattern-heavy version here, a green and gray version with pronounced star here, a sort of fire-and-ice version here, and a bunch of sew along entries and winners here.

I decided to use 4 color groupings based on what I had on hand: Blue/Gray, Green/Yellow, Pink/Purple and Turquoise/Teal. I tried to evenly distribute the color groupings:

Block Letter: Blue/Grey Green/Yellow Purple/Pink Turquoise/Teal Total:
A 20 20 20 20 80
B 7 8 7 7 29
C 7 7 7 7 28
D 9 9 9 9 36
E 8 8 8 8 32
F 5 6 6 6 23

You need at least 5 different gradients in each colorway for the pattern to truly work. I used about a yard of each color gradient. I also pulled from my scrap bin. You can totally use fat quarters also! For example, for the blue/gray colorway I used a yard each of 5 different blues and/or grays plus I used fat quarters or scraps for variety.

Cutting – For the tables made above.

Block A: I cut 6 3/4″ strips cut from yardage and then sub cut using my DIY template. You can get about 6 triangles per strip.

Block B: I cut all my squares 4″ x 4.5″ instead of the suggested way in the pattern re: 2 different sizes. This meant I cut strip cut much faster. You need this many squares of each color way:

Block Letter: Blue/Grey Green/Yellow Purple/Pink Turquoise/Teal
B 28 32 28 28

Block C: This block uses squares for the middle and then strips to fill out the rest of the shape. I used 2″ x wof  strips so the scraps would be usable later. I didn’t cut down the strips on these blocks and that actually made them harder to work with.

Block Letter: Blue/Grey Green/Yellow Purple/Pink Turquoise/Teal
C – Squares 7 7 7 7

Block D:  This time I did cut down the strips and it was much faster. You need a total of the following:

Block Letter: Blue/Grey Green/Yellow Pink/Purple Turquoise/Teal
D – strips 27 27 27 27

You will need at least 3 colors of each colorway but use as many as you have for variety!

Block E: Same again except you need to have at least 4 colors or each colorway and a total of the following:

Block Letter: Blue/Grey Green/Yellow Pink/Purple Turquoise/Teal
E – strips 32 32 32 32

Block F: Almost done! Same again except you need to have at least 5 colors or each colorway and a total of the following:

Block Letter: Blue/Grey Green/Yellow Pink/Purple Turquoise/Teal
F 30 30 30 30

If you run out or get bored with the colors you are using, I followed the pattern’s suggestion to mix the colorways a little, i.e. put a pink strip on an all blue colorway block. It really adds interest!


This made me freak out for like 2 hours if I’m being honest. I was really overwhelmed at first at all of the possibilities. I knew I did not want to bring out the star shape and decided on a jewel shape instead. BUT! The triangles are a different kind of grid for me and it was blowing my mind. After almost breaking up my relationship by trying to force B to make the layout for me (he declined), I made a big jewel shape and then randomly set out my other triangles. I then swapped out some of the triangles to make a few smaller jewel shapes in different colorways.

tessellation quilt modern

Here are some ideas for laying the blocks out to get you going:

Mix them up in a bag and pull randomly.

Start with a shape: star, diamond, jewel, hexagon, etc. and build out.

Mix your colorways separately and then lay them out in color groupings.


phoca_thumb_m_nic_big-city_8225mintI strolled into Urban Spools one day and there was a new bolt of Alexander Henry’s Big City in Mint sitting on the cutting table, seemingly waiting for me!

This project was such a bear I had not even considered at that point what to do with the back. This print totally matching the one million colors I used!

I also wanted a minimally pieced back since the top had so many big time seam intersections.


alexander henry big city



I quilted this on my domestic, as I decided I don’t feel long-arming is something I enjoy. I went with a wavy topographic echo line look with a mint thread. I really wanted the quilting to be in the background and more for texture. I love how this turned out!

alexander henry big city alexander henry big city


I used a suggestion to piece my scraps together into a giant rectangle and then use the continuous binding method to create a super random scrappy binding to mimic the insanity of all the pieces. Continuous binding is when you create one strip of binding, usually, from a fat quarter and is mind-blowingly awesome. I used this tutorial and I actually use it every time I want to create binding this way. Tricky at first but once you get how the lines match up it is magic!

Final Verdict: This is a challenging pattern but so fun to work with. I enjoyed knowing that I was creating a truly unique quilt.


**After I got my rows together is was smaller than I anticipated. It was 73″ in length pre quilting and washing. “How do triangle even work???!?!?”, I screamed. I ended up adding another row because this quilt needed to be at least 72″. Final size was 60″ x 73.5″