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Quilt 6 - 2015  'White Holes'


A few years ago I read Marilyn Doheny´s book 'Op-Art Quilts' and had been struck by how well suited this

type of art was to simple patchwork. The problem, however, was that I wanted to find a way to enhance the

3D effect and suspected that this could be achieved either by using  colour gradation between the centre and

outside of the areas I wished to stand out or by using a series of concentric lines running around those areas,

or both. Furthermore, these subtle colour gradations could either be achieved using distinct fabrics from the

same family of colours or using ombre fabrics where the colour changes steadily across a single fabric. The

concentric lines, meanwhile, could either be inherent in the fabric or part of the quilting pattern or both.  


Unfortunately, neither of these improvements could be more than partially achieved using the simple strip

piecing technique of the book so I had to find a new way altogether to do it. It was really via a process of

elimination that I alighted on the idea of using interwoven strips where the black patches are actually

continuous parallel strips of fabric and the coloured strips, which run perpendicular, are made of different

coloured patches, the joins between which are hidden behind the  black patches under which they are

interwoven. This had the additional huge benefit of ensuring that all meeting points met in exactly the

right place as they had no choice!


When I saw a collection of fabric by Ranae Merrill entitled "Radiant Ombre" I immediately knew that this

solved both my problems in one as it was both an ombre and contained darker lines throughout the fabric

at right angles to the colour gradation. I made my coloured strips not by sewing the individual pieces

together but  by fusing them onto strips of interlining, turning the edges underneath. This produced a

fairly stiff result which would have been a problem had I wished to cover the piece with delicate quilting but

this has never been my thing anyway !  As it was I had to be rather forceful with the needle in order to

complete the hand quilting, for which I sewed a few concentric lines using thread of the opposite colour

from its background to enhance the 3D effect.


Finally the quilt sandwich was held together with barely visible machine quilting using black thread on the black patches.


This quilt has won the Koala Studios Master Award for Innovative Artistry in the 2015 IQA  judged show in Houston, having previously been awarded first prize in the contemporary section of the annual Spanish national patchwork competition.


Click thumbnails to enlarge photos


You can see a brief explanation of how I made this quilt in the video below.



'The Accidental Quilter'

The Quilts Of Peter Hayward

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