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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.