Millefiori #1

Normally I present finished pieces in this blog, but in the case of my current work in progress, the ‘La Passacaglia’ Quilt, I’ll make an exception, partly because it’s going to take me a longish time to make.

‘La Passacaglia’ is the the creation of the wonderfully talented quilter Willyne Hammerstein. Her first book, Millefiori Quilts, can be bought from many online shops. Recently, she published Millefiori Quilts 2. Her designs echo the Italian Millefiori designs (mille ‘thousand’ and fiori ‘flowers’), which are used for decorative glassware and porcellain. Millefiori designs are basically interlocking, multicoloured circles that look like a flower garden.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 16.22.36

Example of a Millefiori design.

I’ve recently become fascinated by designs that go beyond the traditional quilting block – by circular designs of interlocking circles like this one:

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 16.26.16

Indeed, I made my own to use on my recycled jeans bag:

photo 1-4

Hammerstein’s ‘La Passacaglia’ is more difficult because it has more pieces. Here’s an image of what the finished quilt can look like:

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 16.30.02

It’s a dazzling display of colour as Millefiori quilts work best (I think) if one emphasises contrast in one’s colour choices. Also, the little wheels, or rosettes, lend themselves to fussy- cutting. There is a group on Facebook that is exclusively dedicated to people making ‘La Passacaglia’, and the images uploaded there are truly inspiring. Reading the various posts on the group page has also convinced me to scale up the size of the pieces (I’m making mine approximately 40% bigger than the original pieces) as people were saying just how fiddly the stars were. And now, with my stars still being fiddly, I’m grateful. Also, scaling up meant that the larger pieces lend themselves to showing off larger patterns. My fussy-cutting isn’t at an advanced level and I hate to waste fabric, so I think I’m better off using larger pieces.

Now then, here are my first efforts: this is the first cog. I loved the kitty fabric and it just about can be fussy cut. Well done if you spot the ‘odd one out’ 🙂

Set 1 - 2

Next came the big wheel – the biggest cog in the pattern. I try to plan these things, but if I’m honest the combination of fabrics tends to emerge as I work. I plan about three rows ahead and then wait for inspiration to strike. If you’re wondering why the cog looks like someone has taken a big bite out of it – this is where the smaller cog is sewn to the larger one. And given the prevalence of animals (dachshunds and owls – have you spotted the pair holding wings?), I think this is going to be an animal-themed quilt.

Set 1 - 3

And this is what the first three cogs look like together:

Set 1 - 4

Yup, it’s going to be a colourfest all right. I’m working on a different project at the moment – one with a deadline (it’s a babyquilt and the child probably won’t wait for me), I’ve laid La Passacaglia to one side for the moment. I’m already looking forward to returning to it, though









About alycevr

Academic, translator & maker of things
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One Response to Millefiori #1

  1. Pingback: Millefiori #2 | Alyce macht Sachen

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