Quilting by code

Toronto designer Libs Elliott applies new methods to an old art.


In an age when some people are taking up knitting or resorting to adult colouring books to ensure some screen-free time, a Toronto designer is using a programming language to make quilts.

Elizabeth (Libs) Elliott, who has freelanced for the advertising industry (including OneMethod) and who studied material art and design at OCAD, is making quilts inspired by code. Using a programming language called Processing, Elliott generates random compositions from traditional quilt block shapes to use as designs for her handmade products.

The project “is an exploration in how modern technology can transform a traditional and tactile craft into modern functional art without abandoning the inherent pleasures of handcrafted products,” she says on her website.

Part of the fun is not knowing what the design will look like until the Processing tool produces it from millions of possible combinations, she says.