Friday, July 19, 2019

Black + White Project: Pathways and Crossings

My Black + White project is finished except for the label. I'm calling it Pathways and Crossings. Pathways: follow each fabric as it meanders around the quilt top. Crossings: What happens visually where two paths cross?

I found the best backing for it, a huge paisley. I ordered enough to be able to match the seam to get enough width.

I dare you to find the seam! After quilting I could only find it by touch; it's totally invisible and the pattern matches perfectly. The seam runs straight up the center of the paisley, through the point, from the arrow.

The quilting emphasizes the pathways, with dense stippling in the background. 

Where the pathways cross, a "transparency" effect is created with a print that combines the motifs and values of the crossed fabrics. If this white and this dark linear geometric print had a baby, it might look like the medium value linear print in the center.

This is my favorite crossing. If the delicate white curlicue print and the strong solid black merged, it might look like this bold black + white spiral print.

This was a challenging project in many ways. First of course, to limit the palette to just black and white, and find a sufficient range of values. All the fabrics came from stash except the one where the white solid and white curlicue cross.

For the design and layout, I used a pattern I had created back in about 2000-2001 for a Piecing Group project. Instead of colors crossing and creating transparency, I needed to work only in value, with print character as a secondary consideration.

The block itself is challenging, a flowering snowball variation, 9" finished. Lots of curved piecing, and each block within the layout is different due to value placement.

The layout requires the blocks to be offset by 1/3, so filler squares are needed. Those are the crossings. To assemble the top, partial seams are needed because everything is stepped, no straight rows.

I showed this quilt at guild show + tell earlier this week, and one of my friends teasingly asked if I could make it any more complicated. Actually, yes - I ran out of background fabric due to a cutting error. I had just barely enough to piece it together to make the background big enough to extend 1/2" past the white points. After binding - no points cut off! - this quilt finished at 46" square. And it is square, which took some careful measuring and squaring up.

I'll check the requirements for Curated Quilts submissions for their January issue featuring black + white quilts and see if I can enter this one. I'll need to get some better photos that meet their specifications.

So there's the saga of the black + white project. Will I make another two-color quilt at some point? Probably. Another black + white one? I don't know.

I'm not on FB or IG but I'm participating in the Two Color Challenge over at Color Girl Quilts by Sharon. I'll send her a link.

Also linking up with:
Wendy's Quilts and More
My Quilt Infatuation


  1. I'm sorry I missed seeing it Tuesday night. I'm sure it's even better in person :)

  2. Congrats on the finish - and good luck with the Curated Quilts entry.

  3. I love how your quilt turned out! I think it would be perfect for the B&W issue of Curated Quilts. Good luck!

  4. Wow! Very dramatic. Congrats on a beautiful finish.

  5. A spectacular finish, so glad it all worked out so well for you.

  6. Very dynamic and exciting. Fingers crossed you get get chosen for Curated Quilts.

  7. Wonderful use of curves and black and white prints.

  8. oh...i love everything about that!!!

  9. What a beautiful quilt and oh my what a lot of work it must have been. I hope it made it into the curated quilts.