The La Passacaglia Quilt

DOWNLOAD STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO FUSSY CUTTING EPP La Passacaglia Quilt Rosettes made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

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.

 La Passacaglia Quilt Rosette made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

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:

noun pas·sa·ca·glia \ˌpä-sə-ˈkäl-yə, ˌpa-sə-ˈkal-yə\

Definition of PASSACAGLIA

1

a :  an old Italian or Spanish dance tune

b :  an instrumental musical composition consisting of variations usually on a ground bass in moderately slow triple time
2
:  an old dance performed to a passacaglia

And click here to hear how to pronounce Passacaglia

La Passacaglia Quilt Rosette made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

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.

La Passacaglia Quilt on the cover of the book Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein
As for the quilt itself, the finished dimensions are 144 x 176 cm / 57 x 96in.

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! “

Willyne Hammerstein, author of Millefiori Quilts, the book that features the La Passacaglia Quilt

ABOVE: Willyne Hammerstein, author of Millefiori Quilts, the book that features her much adored La Passacaglia Quilt

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. La Passacaglia Quilt Rosette made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

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.

La Passacaglia Quilt Rosette made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

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!

• Flossie TeacakesMommy By Day, Crafter By Night

Lilabelle Lane The Little Red HenA Life in Lists

Sew What Sherlock (includes the coolest stop motion animation videos!)

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!

#passacaglia #lapassacaglia #passacagliaquilt #millefiori #cottonandsteel #epp #handsewing #paperpiecing  #fussycutting

La Passacaglia Quilt Rosette made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne HammersteinLa Passacaglia Quilt Rosette made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne HammersteinLa Passacaglia Quilt Rosette made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne HammersteinLa Passacaglia Quilt Rosette made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

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!

And don’t forget that you can pick up a copy of the book from Sew & Quilt or, of course, Quilt Mania.

 

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!

 

DOWNLOAD STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO FUSSY CUTTING EPP La Passacaglia Quilt Rosettes made by Alexandra Luenz using Cotton+Steel fabric. Pattern from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein

Click here to download your FREE step-by-step guide now!

STOP THE PRESSES!

You hear right! Quilt Mania have released a follow-up to the original Millefiori Quilts book – you can buy your copy now! 
#lapassacaglia #passacaglia #millefioriquilts #millefioriquilts2

Millefiori Quilts 2 by Willyne Hammerstein for QuiltMania