Optical Illusions

One of our most popular quilt kits is the Optical Illusions design by Erin Underwood. This quilt is created by sewing strips of colors and background together and then cutting them out with a wedge ruler. The leftovers from one set of wedges creates the second alternating wedges. So, it is super simple to sew.

When you step back from the quilt design, you not only see the checkerboard, but also swirling petals. The effect is achieved with only six colored fabrics.

 

Original Colorway

 

I decided to do a new colorway of this quilt in the ever-popular teals, purples and blues. When I finished, I wondered what had gone wrong. I had my six colors. They shaded nicely together, but I was not getting the “petal effect.”

 

Teal Quilt One

First attempt

 

I studied the two designs and realized that the brightest and lightest colors needed to be at the center of the strips. I had done that with the original quilt but not with the new one. So, I went back to the drawing board and re-shaded the fabrics and created a second version of the design. This time I could see the petals.

 

Teal Quilt Two

The final peacock version with a dark background.

 

You can see here the two sets of wedges. In each set the fabrics are arranged exactly the same. The second wedge in the set is simply turned upside down. It is amazing how different the quilt can look by just changing the order of the fabrics.

 

 

Wedge Sets

Look how different the design looks with a light background instead of a dark. Are the petals more visible on the light background or the dark? Some eyes see it one way and some the other. This is where the “optical” effect plays tricks.

 

Optical Illusions Peacock

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3 comments

  1. Marty Askins

    Thank you for explaining this, I always have had trouble when trying to make one of these quilts.

  2. Rosemary Hollars

    I’m just starting out in making quilts. some different quilts. Is it hard to make?

    Please let me know all you can about mainkg this quilt, and diffeeerent colors.
    Thank you
    Rosemary Hollars
    bluelady48043

    • This quilt is fairly easy to make. Feel free to call the shop and talk with someone from our staff about the quilt, toll free at 866-759-7373.

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