Transparency Block Quilt


Here's my most recent finish made from some transparency study blocks I made over the period of a few months.

This comes from an exercise in finding solid-colored fabrics that create the illusion of overlapping transparent shapes (usually created with colored paper). This is an experiment straight out of Josef Albers book, Interaction of Color, finding pieces of colored paper that look as if two hues overlap to blend into a new hue.

I wanted to create a pieced block that would help to create the illusion of intersecting shapes, I sketched out a few ideas, and fooled around until I found something that worked.

I worked by making half-blocks (pictured above) concentrating on finding a group of fabrics to create that illusion of transparency. I worked only with solid-colored fabrics I had on hand in the scrap bin, so this became a fun puzzle of what could work! Some of these pairings worked better than others, but that was part of the fun.

The other part of the puzzle was pairing up two of these half-blocks to create an interesting looking final block - one that preserved that illusion of transparency without fighting the other half visually.

And I probably spent 3 days playing around with block layouts before deciding on the final design. I thought about adding sashing to give the blocks some space, but ultimately liked the way the blocks looked right next to each other.

The quilting is simple straight lines with white thread, I think it adds a bit of interest without taking away from the color-play in the blocks, especially when viewing from a few feet away.

I'm currently enjoying this piece hanging in my studio, but I'm not sure what the final plan is for this one!

As for a transparency block, I've had a few people ask me about how exactly I made this one, so if there is enough interest, I may create a tutorial. There are already a few "transparency" quilt patterns out there although I think most of them are simple and give you the fabric requirements needed - whereas this project is more about experimenting with finding combinations that work from a bin full of various solid-colored fabrics to allow you to hone your visual perception. Or - maybe this would be better as a short workshop or class? I'll think about it!

Cheers - Erika


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