Kaleidoscope (as defined by Merriam-Webster):
An instrument containing loose bits of colored material (such as glass or plastic) between two flat plates and two plane mirrors so placed that changes of position of the bits of material are reflected in an endless variety of patterns.
Kaleidoscope quilt blocks are aptly named, aren’t they? An integral part of the Kaleidoscope block is color placement and contrast. These two things help to create the effect that you see in the quilt, as you do when looking through the instrument.
When making Kansas Troubles, Liz Porter explained that the vibrant yellow print in the quilt brings the other fabrics to life. The bright colors are perfect for this very traditional pioneer-era quilt, so not only is this quilt historically relevant in terms of colorways, but it’s also relevant to today’s preferences (yellow was the color of the year for 2016!). This is also a great quilt for using up fabrics in your stash.
Bethany Reynolds made it even simpler to make Kaleidoscope quilt blocks when she introduced her Stack-n-Whack™ method. Fons & Porter, as you know, is a sucker for great quilting techniques and innovations to pass onto our readers. We have a great write-up on how to use this modern quilting technique! Make sure to check this one out.
You can also use a handy Kaleidoscope ruler to make piecing a breeze. It’s called the Kaleido Ruler and it’s great for making wedge pieces. There’s also a quilting video tutorial (Sew Easy) on using the ruler to your best advantage for this type of quilt. Highly recommended!
Try out the Stack-n-Whack™ method or the Kaleidoscope template for a good cause! Rescue Me is a cute wall hanging featuring fabrics from the Joey The Shop Dog collection by Rose Ann Cook for Benartex. Rose Ann and Benartex have agreed to donate 10% of proceeds from the line to the national organization Petfinder Foundation. This quilt is in the Easy Quilts Summer 2017 issue. For every Easy Quilts issue from here on, we’ll feature a “giving quilt,” a quilt that in some way, gives back. We’re so excited to participate in this program!
Mary Fons attempted to make a Kaleidoscope quilt a couple of years ago and ran into a fairly large learning curve. She considered it a teaching moment in fabric choice, namely contrasting fabric choices. If you’re going to be choosing fabrics from your stash, or purchasing yardage from your local quilt shop, I suggest you heed her advice in this quick read: Make It Work! (A Baby Quilt By Accident.)
Interested in working with Kaleidoscope blocks and faux prairie points? If you like a more country-style quilt, Josie is a FREE QUILT PATTERN available as an instant download. Enjoy!
Kaleidoscope quilt blocks are such fun and make fantastic quilts! What do you think about Kaleidoscope blocks?