Have you seen the La Passacaglia Quilt?
If not, you’ve either been living under a rock (still been quilting and hoarding fabric, obviously) or are so busy making one that you’ve forgotten what it was you started in the first place. Here’s a crash course in the what, where, why and how! Once you’ve had a look, check out our download for hints and tips on fussy cutting for projects just like the La Passacaglia Quilt.
What is ‘La Passacaglia’?
Before we even get into the quilt, what is ‘La Passacaglia’ and how do we pronounce it?!
According to Merriam Webster:
Definition of PASSACAGLIA
a : an old Italian or Spanish dance tune
Where is the pattern itself?
The La Passacaglia Quilt is just one of many stunning designs to be found in Millefiori Quilts by Dutch quilt designer Willyne Hammerstein. Sew & Quilt is just one of very few places this unicorn of a book (released by European book publisher Quilt Mania) can be found.
The full name of the pattern in the book is ‘Passacaglia with Mr Penrose’, explained by Willyne on the inside front cover:
” ‘Passacaglia with Mr Penrose’ is the quilt features on the front cover. Mr Penrose is a famous British mathematicion who works on sarts, cosmos and the geometrical designs of ‘pavements’. This is one of the most difficult quilts to make, but making it is a fascinating pleasure! Good luck and have fun! “
Why has this quilt pattern become such a sensation?
Even if you’ve never heard of La Passacaglia, you have no doubt noticed the rise of the hexie! English Paper Piecing and EPP hexagons are nothing new, but this very traditional form of quilting has found a new lease of life thanks to the trend for geometrics, but more so the need for piecing that can be done without a sewing machine. We’ve been EPPing (!) in front of the TV, on trains, in waiting rooms, in coffee shops – basically anywhere we fancy doing a spot of sewing but can’t get to a machine.
Soon we were hungry for more shapes, and diamonds, triangles, pentagons and more were part of the EPP frenzy. Word of mouth appears to be the catalyst in launching this particular book into the quiltosphere – one look at the cover alone (the La Passacaglia Quilt itself!) will convince you that it is possibly the holy grail of books for EPP fans, and the cover star in particular has intrigued and caught the imagination of the quilting world.
We can’t pinpoint one reason why it’s taken off. At a guess, the blend of precision piecing, geometric shapes and intricate kaleidoscopic fussy cutting, combined with the irregular composition, dizzying rosettes and frankly epic scale of the whole project is a heady cocktail guaranteed to take any English Paper Piecing addict to seventh heaven.
Here are just a few of the bloggers who have caught the bug!
In the world of modern quilting, it’s the fussy cutting that has given this project the edge. With so many amazing graphic fabric prints around, there’s fun to be had fussy cutting and piecing the bits back together to create dazzling new effects! Just take a look at these examples (below and abover) by Alexandra Luenz – you can see more of her work on Alex’s Instagram feed: @ALEXOUQ
TOP TIP Try the following hashtags (or variations) on Instagram and other social media to find many more examples from the many other fans!
How can I have a go?!
The instructions in the book Millifiori Quilts are super clear, and include everything including templates, step-by-step walk through, and a detailed layout diagram. Taken on step at a time, this is a wonderful project to work through at your own pace.
Prefer to spend more time working with the fabric and less cutting templates? The DIY Addict have prepared packs of pre-cut templates especially for this project. Purchase everything from pre-cut paper pieces to acrylic templates (perfect for fussy cutting) in either the original size OR a supersize version, which we highly recommend if you’re just getting started with EPP!
The added fussy-cut element has become crucial to the new look, so Alex and the LP&Q team have put together a FREE step-by-step guide to get you started. Once you’ve had a go, the possibilities are endless – enjoy!
STOP THE PRESSES!