After I had the third diamond quilt underway I came across what’s called the “Escher” Quilt.
There are a lot of examples of this quilt online – I don’t know who developed the idea originally. The assembly creates the illusion of impossible interlocked elements. The quilter who’s photo I’ve shown below (whom I know only as “chiquitatarita”) posted photos of her quilt top in progress (she’d bought a kit using Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics)- here she had two columns assembled where you can see the construction clearly. I even have quite a few of those particular fabrics!
I could make this simple and enrol in a class or I could buy a kit (which includes fabric, a pattern and instructions), but I decided to try on my own to see what I can construct using a relatively simple block.
Next I came across another blogger who also described how she worked with the kit she’d bought:
First we made a chart, and laid out all the fabrics, from one to eight down, and L/M/D across. After cutting, we needed to then pair up the pieces according to the chart. Each piece has a light, a medium, and a dark bar, but they’re different depending upon their relative location in the row.http://sewinginwisconsin.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-escher-quilt-progress-made.html
This helps me figure out how to go through my fabrics and set up an 8 x 3 array as Sue describes above.
So I set out to create the basic block – it took several attempts to establish a size for the block using paper and pencil. Then I cut out bits of fabric to see if my calculations worked – they didn’t – not at first. However, I did finally manage to work out a reasonable size block which went together pretty well.
This block is one of a pair – the second one assembles in the opposite direction which lets you put the triangles together to form a connected “diamond” where the same fabric abuts to form a wide angle – you can see two in the photo below – one in brown, the second in green (I’m just working with scraps to see if I could set up a couple of blocks):
The precision issues won’t be with my cutting – I now have the dimensions I know will work. It’s my sewing that will create issues – I will have to be extremely careful to sew a “scant” 1/4″ seam. When I attach the triangle to the first trapezoid I need to stitch a partial seam – which is completed when I add the third trapezoid. Then I need to carefully press each resulting triangle so the centre triangle seams are pressed outward. Finally, I will need to press the block-joining seams open, so the assembly will lay flat. I also have to remember to create my blocks in pairs – one block having the small triangle at the left of the first trapezoid, the second having it at the right end!
Now it’s time to go through my fabrics – I want 24 – set up in eight sets of Light, Medium, and Dark. I don’t have complete colour ways sets of three but I’m sure I have enough variety in my collection of Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics to make something that will work.
Mar 29 2023:
Ina Veurink wanted more information about the size of the trapezoid elements. I just constructed one so I could answer her question.
I cut 2″ fabric strips to start, from the fabrics I was going to use for the trapezoids. Next I trimmed the angles on each side using an acrylic equilateral triangle template which I’d marked with green tape at the 5 1/4″ line:
I laid out the 4 pieces: a 2″ triangle (in the quilt all the triangles are cut from the same dark fabric), 3 trapezoids (each 2″ tall, 5 1/4″ on the long, bottom side). I partially sewed the triangle to one end of one trapezoid
(NOTE: half the finished triangle blocks begin with the small triangle on the right, half on the left – I talked about that somewhere in the posts as I went along). It’s a partial seam because to fit the final trapezoid in, you have to be able to lift that first side of the small triangle to sew that seam. Next I attached a second trapezoid, then I fit in the third trapezoid, last I finished by completing the partial seam. Pressed and trimmed.
Finished triangle size: each side should end up at 6 3/8″ (although if your sewing was more accurate than mine on this test triangle you might actually end up closer to 6 1/2″). Whatever your final triangle size, all the triangles should finish the same size.
“ILoveQuiltingForever.com” created a tutorial for the quilt from my 8 blog entries: https://ilovequiltingforever.com/free-quilt-tutorial-escher-quilt/#comment-3584. Click on each link in her tutorial in order and you should be able to figure out how to assemble the quilt rows yourself.
I ended the “Escher” series with a final comment: https://jmncreativeendeavours.ca/2022/10/20/the-escher-quilt-revisited/
This is an advanced intermediate quilt (definitely not for a beginner, even with instructions).
Another note you wouldn’t pick up if you didn’t read through the comments is this one:
Just keep in mind you need 25 fabrics – one solid for the “background” triangles and any borders you plan on adding; 24 patterned fabrics – 8 light, 8 medium, 8 dark (https://jmncreativeendeavours.ca/2021/05/08/the-escher-quilt-2/)…. You’ll likely do a lot of auditioning to build a collection of 24 fabrics. As for the background, I suggest a navy (which is what I used given the colour blend of my fabrics) but black is certainly a good option (that was the background colour in the original photo I saw). All the best with this quilt. One other thought, because trying to pull together a collection of 24 fabrics can be daunting you might consider a kit that has selected fabrics for you (these quilt kits are reasonably priced: https://www.quilt-agious.com/shop/Kits/p/Escher—Batik-x46838321.htm).