Friday, May 15, 2015

Homage to V.Vasarely – an OpArt Quilt

This quilt has been on my list for a very long time.
Ever since we visited an exhibition of art of the sixties (back in High School) I am fascinated by Optical Art.

To give you a general idea, here are some examples that I found online (doubleclick for source):

Movement in squares, Bridget Riley, 1961


Biadan, Victor Vasarely, 1959


Occhio al Movimento, Alberto Biasi (Gruppo N), 1964

The artist that inspires me most is Victor Vasarely (1906 – 1997). The french-hungarian artist is considered as one of the founders of OpArt. He combined easy geometric shapes like squares, rectangles, triangles and circles to create stunning and eye dazzling optical illusions.

One of my favourites is this one.


Riu-Kiu-C, Victor Vasarely, 1960

I always thought that I would love to create a similar piece of art following his style. But somehow other projects (like lots of baby quilts for our friends) always took higher priority.

Then, last spring, our Modern Quilt Guild Bielefeld decided to take part in a quilt show and our general topic was “Solids Only”. So I had to create a quilt that is made entirely of solid fabrics. Ha! Enter Riu-Kiu-C.

I drew up a pattern using only rectangles and some triangles. Here you can see that pattern when the quilt was almost finished – with lots of handwritten additions:

OptArt Quilt Plan

As I wanted a slightly more soft contrast, I decided on a white and grey colour scheme instead of white and black. I am glad I did and I have to say, that the finished quilt is probably one of my favourites ever.

OptArt Quilt Kopie

It just turned out the way that I hoped it would.

Piecing was not easy because it had to be very exact and precise. Especially those diagonal seams were a pain. The seam ripper came out more than once…! I have a love-hate relationship with him. Can you relate?!

OptArt Detail

I debated with myself for quite a long time because I could’t make up my mind about the quilting design. I usually prefer free motion designs over straight line quilting but this time a simple outline won. I took some white aurifil and outlined every seam – but only on the white strips. The grey fabric remains unquilted. I am glad I did not venture our for a more “artistic” design. It adds a clean and simple look to this modern design.

OptArt Quilt Detail 

I initially envisioned it to be a modern wall hanging…


…but when I was looking for backing fabrics I found a perfect match in a dotted flannel.

Opt Art Backing

Flannel is quite a heavy choice as backing for a wall hanging but it is oh so soft for snuggling. The quilt ended up rather big (1,65m x 2,25m) so I guess the whole family can snuggle up under it. Now to find a new (and smaller) wall hanging for our living room (o:

Opt Art Quilt Backing

I finished the quilt with a single fold binding and zig zag stitch. Lately I prefered the single fold binding over double fold binding as it adds less bulk to the quilt. But I have no experience regarding durability. Do you know whether double fold binding will last considerably longer than single fold?!

This is my second entry for Blogger’s Quilt Festival Spring 2015. Please visit Amy and her online festival of fine quilts. There is much to be seen and to discover.

If you came over from Blogger’s Quilt Festival, please consider leaving a comment so I can see you were here and repay the visit!

Happy Quilting!


P.S. Oh, and I even finished the quilt in time for “Quilt Art Nürtingen”, the quilt show it was intended for. There’s nothing like a close finish. Even if you knew 12 months ahead what you were going to make, right?!

Foto Quilt Art Nürtingen

“Sew-euro-bee-an” – A bee quilt

May was my month in our Flickr Bee “Sew-euro-bee-an”.
Except that it was May 2013.
Well. You know how things sometimes take longer than planned, don’t you?!

I had chosen an easy “squares and triangles” block,

finished block detail

inspired by a winter coat I had bought for my eldest son.

Patchwork Winterjacke 2

The colours were entirely chosen to match our living room.
Here’s the finished quilt.

Bee Quilt

I will admit, that it was very difficult to sew those blocks together as the block sizes varied more than I had thought they would. I ironed the quilt several times but it is still crinkly.

But as I will keep it for myself, I do not mind and it only shows that the blocks were made by lovely ladies from many european countries.

Strip of ziggy blocks

They all made signature blocks that I pieced together in one long strip for the backing. It will be nice to snuggle up under my quilt and look at all those familiar names and remember how and when I met them in person and how much fun we had together.

Bee Quilt backing

I kept the quilting simple. I quilted diagonal “straight” lines, using different Aurifil threads – yellow, variagating orange, grey and variegated grey.

Thread choice wip

Those diagonal lines made it hard to wrestle the quilt while quiling though…

Under my machine

I like the texture and how it looks on the back

Bee Quilt Detail of backing

Another post-wash photo:

Bee Quilt Detail of quilting

And here is a shot of the quilt on one of our yellow chairs. I think I’ll just keep it there and enjoy the sight (o:

Quilt on the yellow chair

Thank you to all contributors! Dianne (Czech Republic), Pippa (France), Elisabeth and Helen (Switzerland), Floh and Tacha (Germany), Nicole and Linda (Netherlands), Celine and Lush (UK), Annabella (Morocco). I had so much fun with you!!!

spring 2015 BQF Button

This is one of my entries for Blogger’s Quilt Festival 2015. If you came over from Blogger’s Quilt Festival, please consider leaving a comment so I can return the favour and visit you too!

If you have never heard of Blogger’s Quilt Festival, grab a cuppa and hop over – there are many lovely quilts to discover and much talent to be seen.

Happy Quilting!

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