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Optical mat design

Optical Illusions designs are not what they first appear! Different shapes come to the fore at different times, and sometimes all are perceived at once so that you might be seeing a series of circles, yet a series of squares or triangles at the same time. Alternatively you might see a series of blocks stacked up at first glance, but a series of flowers when you look again.
The two main sources of inspiration for this sort of design come from the Japanese optical tradition, and from American patchwork designs which delight in forming squares which, when pieced together, accentuate circular or other shapes or objects not apparent in the single square.
The Optical Mat design is just such a design. Based on a core repeating element featuring two interlocking triangles, the finished design at times appears to revolve around vertical lines, at others around a series of central lozenges, sometimes around refracting curved shapes and at yet others on a series of scallops.
This project can be worked in various materials and fabric counts to produce a textile piece in any stitchbased medium. The design can be worked on a fine count fabric in cross stitch, a medium count fabric in needlepoint or tapestry or on a larger canvas, using a latch tool or rug hooking method to produce a rug or wallhanging.
The project is presented in a 16 page comb-bound booklet comprising details of how to calculate the size of your project using various different counts of fabric to cover those usual for cross stitch, needlepoint and rug fabrics, an overall design plan and a set of charts for the project itself. The project charts are divided into 12 page-size charts in a comb-bound booklet which lies flat while you work, and a chart is provided for the repeating element of the design to allow you to create your own co-ordinating designs either to complement the main piece or as projects in their own right.

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