Colourwash Spillikins

January, 2010

Colourwash Spillikins

Deirdre Amsden

Dated 1998
Norfolk, England, United Kingdom

Deirdre Amsden first introduced and developed the design approach to patchwork known commonly as "colourwash" piecing in the early 1980s. Small, busy printed fabrics are arranged in subtle gradations of value—from light to dark—and color.

Because the hues and values are so close and their progression so gradual, the small trapezoids with which the 'pickup sticks' in Colourwash Spillikins are made seem to dissolve one into the other. The subtle movement from light to dark contrasts with the movement of the spillikins themselves against the bold striped ground.

This background connects to the traditional Durham or "north country" or "strippy" quilts of the United Kingdom and creates an effective setting for the interlocking contrasting diagonals.