Friday, February 25, 2011

Kaleidoscope Krazy

I saw that Ricky Tims has a new book out:

The technique calls for making complicated looking Kaleidoscope quilts from straight strips of fabrics.  Intrigued, I thought I would give it a try, and maybe offer it as a class at the quilt shop.  Already, I am having second thoughts.....

I started out with a bundle of my favorite colors, the jewel tones:

Most of these are fat quarters, and the large floral piece on the left is enough for a backing.  As I looked at Ricky's suggestions for fabrics, I realized that he suggests using the full width of the fabric, rather than fat quarters.  Oops! 

I was already in love with this color palette, so I decided to downsize the overall quilt and hopefully get by with fat quarters.  (Risky, I know.)

I drew up the design on freezer paper, following Ricky's directions, and assembled the first set of strips:

From these, I cut out the innermost point of the kaleidoscope (Ricky calls this the "nose") and laid them out to see what direction I was heading in:

I haven't sewn any of these wedges together yet, but I can see that with this quilt, accuracy is EVERYTHING.  This is not a quilt where you can rush, and I didn't.  I really took my time when sewing the strips but it was still a challenge.

I'm a bit nervous about how this will turn out, and wondering if I will be able to show someone else how to do it.  At the quilt shop, you have to try and offer classes for a wide range of abilities.  This would definitely be considered "advanced".
Stay tuned....

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  1. Very nice ,I love the fabrics you picked out.

  2. Those colors are delicious and I LOVE that first star! I can't wait to see how it all comes together.

  3. It sure looks nice - I can see, though, that it will be a challenge to put together. LOVE your colors -

  4. Wishing I could take your class if you offer it. The star looks wonderful. I'll have to check out the book.

  5. Your kaleidoscope looks lovely already! I agree from my experience sewing this quilt so far - this quilt is not for beginners. And would be tough for folks that need or want to fudge on accuracy, pressing and cutting.
    Nonetheless, it's a fun challenge quilt!

  6. Yours first round is very nice. Love your colors. I attended Ricky's Super Quilt Seminar in January and posted on my blog that Kaleidoscope would be my next machine pieced project. I probably would not be doing it yet but saw that Patty of piecedgoods was about to start one so I committed to joining her. I have spent a lot of time studying the gallery of photos to get the look I want. Did the first round today and the center looks more like a hexagon. I was disappointed which makes it harder to keep going. I'll post tomorrow. Maybe you and I can slog through this together. See my beginning at

  7. I'm such a slacker - if a project requires accuracy, I don't even try. I love your fabrics, and good luck with this!


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