Posted by: Jocelyn | March 2, 2008

Illusions in Blackwork

I love quilts that show 3D illusions, but I am not a quilter, so how could I get the same effect in my work? By using Blackwork, of course! It seemed ideal, because I could control the density of stitching by the pattern I chose for each patch.

 So I set about producing a suitable design – here’s the result:
illusions in Blackwork

The left hand side depicts an “object” that is physically impossible if each of the cubes really are cubes, and the right hand side is a classic 3D illusion. Do you see a cube in a corner of 2 walls and a floor, or do you see a solid 8-cube object, but with one of the front cubes removed? The sides share 2 patches.

I am quite thrilled with the way this turned out. It does give the effects I was after, and it was fun to do – finding or making up 28 different blackwork patterns and each one in just a small area so I didn’t get sick of it. Worked with one strand of DMC floss on 32 count linen.

If you click on the picture above, it will take you to my Flickr page where you can click on “All Sizes” then choose Large to see it life-size,  or Original for even bigger!


  1. Jocelyn, that is absolutely totally fantastically fabulous. I can’t imagine how long that would have taken and it is like strolling through an Echler painting. You sure have achieved exactly what you envisaged. Way to go

  2. fantastic Jocelyn. You should be pleased with it.

  3. This is great – reminds me of an Escher drawing!

  4. This is lovely! Blackwork fascinates me but mine never begins to look like this…

  5. What a fantastic idea – and it works so well!

  6. Beautiful work!

  7. This is wonderfully three dimensional – a great optical illusions.

  8. This is absolutely great Joselyn, both the design and the execution.

  9. Jocelyn,

    I have tried the print the picture in the original size – I’d like to attempt this – but I can’t print the whole thing. Any ideas?


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