Creating Dimension With Fabric

Staying at home (sometimes on furlough or being laid-off) has given so many of us the opportunity to learn new things! I see lots of new resources for sewing tutorials and classes out there - are you learning any new sewing/quilting/crafting skills while physically distancing and sheltering at home?

I've been playing around with creating depth and dimension with fabrics, and wanted to try to create a quilt based on some old color theory sketches I made in my sketchbook a few years ago.

These sketches are similar to the Colossal Blocks quilt I made last year. This quilt uses different tints and shades of colored fabrics in the same hue to create the illusion of depth in the blocks.

The shading is also a little similar to this value study experiment I did last year using layers of netting over one hue of fabric to create the illusion of value and depth.

This quilt is a combination of the two techniques, using black and white netting layered over one hue of fabric to create different values, and piecing blocks to create a block pattern with depth.

I created a little "test" piece to see how these techniques would work together.

And it looked pretty good!

I pieced the top with scraps of solid colors from my stash, using both white and black netting to overlay on top of solid colors and create the illusion of highlights and shadows.

The quilting was going well until...

I discovered that parts on the back of the sewing machine were catching and ripping the netting as I was moving the quilt around and pivoting in the corners. There were several small tears and holes by the time I figured out what was going on, but the netting is so stiff that you can't really see these spots unless you really search for them. 

I covered the inside thread cutter and the back of the Dual Feed mechanism with painter's tape to keep them from ripping the netting while finishing up the quilting. This seemed to do the trick - and I bet there's a way to remove that side thread cutter, but with my BERNINA Dealer store closed due to the stay-at-home order, this information will have to wait.

Quilting went pretty smoothly through to the end. The netting actually quilts quite nicely!

The finished wall hanging fits perfectly over my desk, I love it here!

Definitely a fun experiment, and a successful one for creating depth. I love the illusion of value and dimension in the blocks!


Nice quilt. I've never sewn on netting before.
Erika Mulvenna said…
Thank you Cheryl! I started experimenting with the netting last year, it's interesting, and quilts up better than I thought. Cheers! - Erika
vic said…
Hi Erika, I have a technical question, not strictly to this project. I've been thinking of buying a Bernina 550 because I love it has the dual feed. I see your Bernina also has one, but you use your walking foot for quilting.
Why is that?
I'm interested on understanding how a walking foot compares to the dual feed.
Erika Mulvenna said…
Hi Vic, the Dual Feed used along with any of the "D" feet and the Walking foot #50 work in different ways. I can suggest reading this informative article about the difference between the two here:

I personally like the more stable, equal feeding of multiple layers when quilting offered by the Walking foot #50.

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