Tag Archives: kaleidoscope block

Kaleidoscope Quilt

Well I never, another finish!

Actually, I finished this quilt ages ago, but never quite got round to taking any photos of it. But a timely reminder last week that the Q1 Finish-Along is about to, well, finish, reminded me that this had been on my To Do list. So I whipped out the camera, hopped onto the balcony, and got to it!

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I started this quilt back in September last year, when I took a class with Marti Michell at the Carrefour Européen du Patchwork in Ste Marie-aux-Mines. I’ve loved the look of the Kaleidoscope block for a long time, and the chance to take this class with such a well-known teacher, and in ENGLISH  too, was way too good to pass up. Now my French is certainly good enough that I can follow when I take classes here, but, well, they can be quite exhausting! I always have to concentrate really hard to make sure I’ve totally understood what I need to do, and then there’s all the having to translate cm into inches, which makes them somewhat challenging at times. A class in English for a change – well, hooray!

According to the pre-course information, highly contrasting colours work the best for this quilt. So I chose black and white, with a pop of yellow.

The quilt top itself was actually finished on the day of the class – which is an absolute first for me. I’m not a super-speedy quilter like my friends Ms JJ or Ms C, and I’m pretty much always one of the last people to finish any given project. But this time I was the first – probably because it was all in English!

Then I came home, and the quilt languished in the back of the cupboard while I tried to decide how to quilt it.

Back in January, I decided enough was enough, and added it to my list for the Q1 Finish Along and the projects I wanted to finish during my fabric fast. And I got stuck in. I started off quilting in the ditch around the distinct Kaleidoscope circles, hoping that this would make them stand out. But it didn’t have the effect I wanted. So I then quilted every seam in the ditch, thinking that this would show up the contrast between black and white.

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Now this worked a little better, but it still didn’t have the effect I was after. I wanted to highlight the circular nature of the Kaleidoscope. And given that the fabric had circular motifs and dots on it, I decided to try quilting some circles.

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The design then evolved to contain concentric and interlocking circles in the quilt centre, and overlapping circles in the outer border.

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Quilt top

 

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Border

It’s easier to see the quilting design from the back of the quilt – and yes, it really is that bright a yellow, one of the many perils of choosing fabric online…

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I finished the quilting back in January, and it was one of my first finishes of 2014. And I’m really pleased with it. It’s only quite small (measures 33″ x 33″) so it wasn’t too daunting to quilt. In fact, it was a great confidence boost for me, as I am always petrified that I’ll ruin my beautiful quilt tops with inexpert quilting or a badly chosen design. This time I just went with it, and let the quilting design evolve organically. And I think that it works. Maybe I should have more faith in myself!

So even though I’ve only just got around to sharing this quilt, I’m linking it up with the Q1 Finish Along Finish Party. Why not pop over and have a peep at some of the other beautiful finishes out there?

In a bit of a sewing frenzy

Gosh, what a busy couple of weeks! The summer seems (finally!) to be over (hooray!), and it’s been rather cold and rainy over here, so I’ve taken full advantage of the Englishness of the weather to finally knuckle down and work on some quilts. And boy, have I been doing some full-on sewing!

First up – block 3 of my Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Sampler quilt – I’m really trying to stay on top of this one! I love the fabric and I find myself loving the blocks too, even if baskets aren’t really my cup of tea. Here’s block 3 – now that it’s finished, I’m a quarter of the way through the quilt. Block 4 is now on its way, so watch this space!

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Next, I started putting together some blocks for the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt Along. I rummaged around in my stash and came across these Stonehenge 2 1/2″ strips, along with some textured black yardage.

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I can remember buying them on sale a while back, with some grand plan for them, but I’ve totally forgotten what it was, so they have now been re-allocated to this new project! And very beautiful they look too – a little like stained glass windows. I’ve put photos of all the blocks so far onto my brand-spanking-new Flickr page, but here are a few of my favourites,

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So far I’ve made 10 blocks – and I’m hoping to make at least another 6, which should get me a good sized lap quilt. They are scarily addictive! I’ve also been drooling over other peoples’ photos of their blocks, and am already planning this quilt in about another 10 colourways, if I ever find the time…

I even have some finishes to report! Firstly, I finally got round to quilting and binding my Ricky Tims Convergence quilt for the quilt show. I made this quilt top at the last Patchwork in the Peaks Quilt Retreat, and it’s been sitting in my cupboard for the past 6 months, waiting for me to pluck up the nerve to quilt it. And now it’s not only finished, but also the proud recipient of my first ever hanging sleeve (thanks to a great tutorial from Blue Moon River Quilts, and to the lovely Marianne who sent me the link!)

I’m calling the quilt Sakura, which is Japanese for cherry blossom. I love the way it turned out, and although it’s not perfect, my free motion quilting is getting better every quilt I make – maybe I’m deceiving myself, but by the end of this one, some of the flowers even started to look a bit like the cherry blossoms they were meant to be, rather than the mutant clover leaves they looked like at the beginning 🙂 All I need to do now is add the obligatory label, haul myself down to the DIY store to buy a wooden hanging rod – et voilà!

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While I was at it, I also whipped up a baby quilt for Mad Cousin Jude’s new baby boy, did some more work on my Challenge Quilt, started binding my mahoosive purple and pink stars quilt for the quilt show, made a stack more hexie flowers, and quilted my red triangles quilt. I even managed to fit in a weekend away at the Ste. Marie aux Mines quilt show, including a class with the wonderful Marti Michell, where I made this beauty… But more of that in a future post…

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Phew! What a lot of sewing! I have been busy, haven’t I?! Makes me quite exhausted just thinking about it all! Time for a cuppa, methinks, before getting back to the machine – 2 more new babies arrived this week, so no rest for the wicked, and all that 🙂

Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.