The La Passacaglia Quilt was created by Willyne Hammerstein of the Netherlands. It is known for its intricate shapes and complex designs that allow you to contrast the quilt depending on your fabric choices. More specifically; the quilt offers quilting blocks of varying sizes known as rosettes.
Before we jump in, please view the table of contents above! Our complete guide is designed to be a single, complete resource, to everything and anything La Passacaglia. This includes where to purchase the book (we have information below), the different sizes of quilts (regular and oversized), where to purchase your supplies (you can buy your paper pieces and acrylic templates in a section below), as well as a library of video and written tutorials to help you get started. We plan on updating this web page weekly with new content, specifically with tutorial videos. Check back every Friday for updates!
When I first started quilting the La Passacaglia Quilt Pattern I was confused by the terminology. In the title above, there are three different terms that describe the quilt pattern. Each one of these is correct and can be considered 'slang' to help shorten the name. The correct and more formal name is ‘Passacaglia with Mr. Penrose by Willyne Hammerstein'.
The La Passacaglia Quilt Pattern is found exclusively within Willyne Hammerstein's Millefiori Quilt Book, book #1 of the Millefiori Quilts series. The front cover of the book states;
“’Passacaglia with Mr Penrose’ is the quilt features on the front cover. Mr Penrose is a famous British mathematician who works on stats, 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! “
The La Passacaglia Quilt is internationally known. Even if you are not a hand piecer or english paper piecer, you’ll fall in love with the quilt. The intricate designs provoke endless color combinations and the quilt keeps you busy, thinking about it daily! It’s very addicting. But what makes English Paper Piecing so special? Even though the cost to get started is high, it’s cheaper in the long run. The key to English Paper Piecing is its versatility and the fact that you do not need a machine. Even though the paper pieces and acrylic templates can cost up to $100 for some English Paper Piecing Quilts, it’s cheaper than buying a $1,000 sewing machine! (we just saw a sewing machine for $7,999 dollars that was recently released by Bernina – someone buy us some lotto tickets!) But the best part of English Paper Piecing is versatility – you don’t need to bring a machine! Going to the beach tomorrow, watching your children in the library, commuting to work, sitting in front of the TV? Just pull out a rosette and get started or continue sewing!
I always recommend Oversized Supplies for beginning English Paper Piecers looking to get started with their first Millefiori/La Passacaglia Quilt.
Finding the ideal paper piece size you are looking for can be tedious! Certain quilters love smaller paper pieces while others find the original sized paper pieces to hard to manage. The original pattern has a small pentagon that measures 3/4" in size. The oversized paper pieces offered by TheDIYAddict are 1.5x larger, making the small pentagon 1 1/8" in size.[caption id="attachment_9060" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Regular Size (Top Rosette) and Oversized (Bottom Rosette)[/caption]
- Original pattern makes a 57" x 70" quilt (45" x 58" without the borders) - The small pentagon has ¾” sides - 2,954 individual paper pieces (complete quilt)
- The oversized pattern is 1.5x larger than the original pattern - Oversized pattern makes a 85.5" x 105" quilt (67.5" x 87" without the borders) - The small pentagon has 1 1/8” sides - 2,954 individual paper pieces (complete quilt)
Our La Passacaglia paper pieces can be shipped anywhere. This includes Australia, the UK, France, Canada, and New Zealand.
Finding the La Passacaglia acrylic templates can be as hard as finding the paper pieces! There are several types, styles, and colors of templates available. The traditional English Paper Piecing style offers 3/8" and 1/4" seam allowances. The 1/4" seam allowance is considered to be for 'hand piecing' which includes marking holes. Another main difference is the color of the templates. We've experienced with different colors and have found that clear if the preferred color because it's easier to see your fabric when you fussy cut. Attached below is an example of the two styles of templates.[caption id="attachment_9061" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Regular 3/8" Seam (Top Left), Regular 1/4" Seam (Top Right), Oversized 3/8" (Bottom Left), Oversized 1/4" Seam (Bottom Right)[/caption]
- Original pattern makes a 57" x 70" quilt (45" x 58" without the borders) - The small pentagon has ¾” sides - 5 acrylic templates (3/8” seam allowance)
- The oversized pattern is 1.5x larger than the original pattern - Oversized pattern makes a 85.5" x 105" quilt (67.5" x 87" without the borders) - The small pentagon has 1 1/8” sides - 5 acrylic templates (3/8” seam allowance)
Our complete kits include the La Passacaglia Millefiori quilts templates styles mentioned above and can be shipped anywhere in the world. This includes Australia, the UK, France, Canada, and New Zealand.
To clarify, we also sell a complete La Passacaglia supplies kit that includes the paper pieces and acrylics but NOT the book. There is a discount if purchased together. If you are looking for information on where to buy the book, please continuing scrolling to the next section.[caption id="attachment_8470" align="aligncenter" width="600"] View the complete La Pass quilt kit[/caption]
The Millefiori quilts book is a collection of Willyne Hammerstein's Quilts. She is a European quilter with over 30 years of experience designing quilts that have been featured in quilt shows across the world. Her most famous quilt is known as the 'Mr. Penrose Passacaglia Quilt'.
There are now two books, the original or 1st book, a 2nd book, and there are rumors that a 3rd is on the way! The first book is the ONLY one with the La Passacaglia within it.
The picture below is of Tula Pink's famous La Passacaglia quilt where she increased the size of the original shapes to better fit her fabric. There is folk lore that the La Passacaglia was 'born into modern popularity' by Tula Pink from this blog post due it's colorful design and increased quilt size (which is sold as the 'oversized complete kit' on our website).[caption id="attachment_8491" align="aligncenter" width="259"] Tula Pink La Passacaglia Quilt[/caption]
You can view more information about the Tula Pink Passacaglia at THIS ARTICLE.
Getting started is the hardest part! It took me over two months before I got to me too start. The trickiest part was that I needed extra help before I even started sewing. Even though there isn't a traditional La Passacaglia Quilt Along, there is a La Passacaglia Facebook Group. The La Passacaglia Group was the first Facebook group I ever joined and I loved the inspiration I found for my upcoming masterpiece.[caption id="attachment_8336" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Join the La Passacaglia FB quilt group by clicking the image.[/caption]
It's time for the tutorials section of the article! I'm a huge fan of videos and photos verse written content as if you cannot tell, I'm a terrible writer :(
I've completed an extensive list of tutorials over the last year which is listed below.
We'll start with one of my favorite topics and tutorial videos and work our way through the quilting process. The whip stitch is one of the most popular stitches for English Paper Piecing and we recommend it to all new EPPers. If you are looking for something new, or are specifically looking to hide your stitches, we'd recommend the flat back stitch.
1. First Steps 2. Choosing Quilt Fabric 3. Marking Your Paper Pieces 4. Attaching the Star Row 5. Sewing Five Star Centers 6. Sewing Filler Pieces 7. Hide Your Stitching Using the Flat Back Stitch 8. I've Finished Quilting! 9. La Passacaglia COmmunity 10. Complete How To Guide
1. The best way to get over the hump is to start by sewing a few of the smaller rosettes without the star points and pentagon row. So you will have the five diamond star and the five skinny diamonds.
2. Decide early on if you want all your star points to be the same color or will they be different colors.
3. After you have made several small rosettes, choose your favorite one, and add a pentagon row and the star row. This will allow you to see how the shapes play with each other.
4. You should start the quilt as soon as possible. Don't get stuck on fabric choices. The best part of quilting is that you can always re-do rosette's which did not turn out as you please.
5. Don't give up! It took me almost 18 months to finish my first quilt!