Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Needlework Tuesday: Kaleidoscope

One Block Wonder, Kaleidoscope, Pinwheel . . . no matter what you call it, this may be the coolest quilt block ever.   A quilt made entirely from one fabric - the bigger the pattern and the more colorful the better.  I'm not going to give you detailed instructions, but I highly recommend Jacqueline O'Brien's series of videos on YouTube.

You begin by cutting six "pattern repeats" from your fabric.  A large print that repeats every 20-24" makes a wide variety of blocks. The size of your quilt is determined by the width of the repeat.  A 24" repeat will cut into six 3 3/4" rows, and each row makes about 20 sets of triangles - so you would have 120 unique blocks.  I used some fabric I've had in my stash for 15 years - hyacinth patterned fabric in shades of green and purple that I've been "stashing" all that time.  The pattern really isn't large enough, and the pattern repeats about every 12-14" inches, so I will only have 60 blocks, but it's free - so perfect for my first experiment.

There's a long explanation of how to stack, align and cut your fabric, but you end up with sets of six identical triangles.  

Each set of triangles can be layed out to form three different kaleidiscope designs, depending on which corner points to the center.

Choose the design you prefer and sew into two halves of a hexagon, but don't join the two halves.  The full quilt is assembled in vertical rows of half-hexagons.  

Check out One Block Wonders on Pinterest or Google to see the amazing variety of ways the hexagons can be assembled.  This fabric doesn't supply much variety of color, but I'm thinking I'll arrange them to move from dark to light diagonally across the quilt.  

The surprise of the designs formed by the triangles and the combinations of hexagons will certainly make this a technique I use repeatedly.  Not to mention - it's cheap!  That ugly, gaudy print on the sale rack will be unrecognizable when it becomes a kaleidoscope.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather at Books & Quilts.  Stop by to see what everyone is stitching or to link your own post.


  1. Hi Tami,
    Beautiful! I've made one something like this, it was called a stack n' whack quilt. Mine was a Fan Quilt. Have a great day!

    Food for Thought

  2. Tami that looks great. I still haven't cut mine, only because I want to clear some partial works from my list first. I do agree about shopping the clearance bin for appropriate fabrics.

    Thanks for linking up with Needlework Tuesday.