Friday, April 6, 2018

New Quilt: The Triangles Re-visited (Tesseract #2)

A couple weeks ago I blogged about one of my newer quilts, Tesseract #1 (aka the Triangles).  In case you don't remember, it was a dimensional piece sculpted on window screen.

Tesseract #1, Shannon Conley, c. 2018

I loved the way it turned out, but the dimensional nature means that I can't show it in a lot of places.  So I thought I'd take a picture of it, get it printed very large at Spoonflower, and then quilt it.  My goal was to see how dimensional I could get it to look while still being completely flat.  I juiced up the colors a little bit for a couple of reasons.  First was that I wasn't sure whether the printing process would dull them (although I've always had good luck with Spoonflower before).  The second was because I wanted the colors to be more vibrant, closer to what the original triangles were before I had to cover them with tulle to facilitate quilting.  Incidentally, I have discovered something which has more recently been confirmed by others (including Susan Carlson), and that my assumption that light colored tulle would be the most inconspicuous is not always true.  As it happens, I probably would have been better with a medium or dark tulle, rather than the beige I used which just had the sad effect of neutralizing/graying out all my colors.  

So here is the flat 2D version.  I got the picture printed on cotton sateen, quilted it, and then finished the edge with a couched yarn.  It's very very flat!  Almost startlingly flat.  In fact, because there's no binding or facing, it's even more flat than my normal quilts.  It's sort of optical illusion-y, because to me it looks quite dimensional.  Perhaps that's because I know what the original looked like, but I still think it's cool.  

Tesseract #2, Shannon Conley, 2018

I like that in some places you can see the original quilting stitches under the new quilting stitches.  Like a mirror-mirror-mirror hall.

I had this one pinned to my design wall sideways to facilitate photography, and I actually think I really like it this way.  I haven't put the pocket on yet because I was waiting to see whether it got into a specific show that required the vertical orientation (it didn't) but I think I might put the pocket on so it can hang in this orientation.

And for comparison sake,  here they are side-by side. It seems a bit eerie actually. 

Tesseract #1 (left) and #2 (right)


  1. C'est absolument superbe bravo

  2. Great optical is hard to see that #2 IS flat (especially as I am used to seeing the 3rd dimension through my 2-D computer I have to un-convince my eyes!)

  3. The flat one somehow looks even more three dimensional than the real thing. Wonderful work as usual!

  4. Wow! This is brilliant! It really looks dimensional.
    I hope you are able to get it into a show.
    I wasn't aware you had to use tulle for quilting the 3D piece. Curious why? If it was for keeping small pieces anchored, perhaps something like acrylic wax or diluted acrylic gel would work. It would give more strength to the window screen. It could also enhance the colours, or at least not cause them to differ in look.

  5. The flat one somehow looks even more three dimensional than the real thing. Wonderful work as usual!