Friday, August 23, 2013

Poppyseed's Kaleidoscope Quilt

This is a quilt I made for a friend who hasn't been born yet. She was supposed to arrive yesterday, but she's running late (so typical of a Virgo).

This pattern is a Kaleidoscope block, and like my last quilt, it is foundation pieced.

Each block is divided in half and each half is foundation pieced separately.

Although each block is identical, the kaleidoscope effect works best when you pick two different colorings and alternate the blocks.

The pattern also looks best when there are odd numbers of rows and columns.  In this case I'm doing 3X5, each of these 15 blocks require 2 paper patterns, but I printed out more than the minimum 30 in the very likely event that I mess up a couple.

I took one of these spare patterns and cut out the patches so I could use them as templates for cutting.

It's helpful to leave more than the traditional 1/4 inch seam allowance to allow for slop.  In this case I left much more than I needed (I cut a generous 1/2 inch).

The first two patches are the trickiest because there's no anchored patches to align with and they have a tendency to shift as you handle them.

On the back (unprinted) side of the paper pattern, align the first patch (right side up) so it covers the appropriate area on the pattern (hold it up to a light to see).

Place the second patch on top of the first patch (right sides together), aligning their edges on the seam line between them.

Sew directly on the line (the fabric will be under the paper and you will be sewing "blind".

Press the patches open and (moment of truth) hold up to a light to make sure they cover the appropriate areas on the pattern.

Subsequent patches are simpler:

Fold along the next seam to be sewn.

Trim the excess fabric.

Align the next patch along this seam right side down.

Sew on the line, press open, and hold up to a light to check.

Repeat this process for the remaining 3 patches.

The resulting half-block will look like this:

Trim the half-blocks down to their seam allowances and piece the pairs into complete blocks

Piece the completed whole blocks in 5 rows of 3 blocks alternating the different colored blocks.

Sew the rows together.

Tear the paper off, and you've got a completed top:

At this point I decided that I didn't like the result.  The red and blue fabrics 'read' as solid to me at the fabric store, but in practice they seemed too busy.  I also felt that there needed to be some darker values in there for contrast.  So I decided to get more fabric with smaller printed patterns and a darker valued blue and remake the quilt top.

The second time around I also made another design decision to not alternate the reds between the two colorings;   instead of the red patches making diagonal 'x'-es on alternating blocks, they make the parallel/perpendicular '+'-es on all the blocks.  I just felt that it made the final pattern less 'noisy'.

1 comment:

hpux735 said...

Amazing! Your intuition was right on. I think the final result was better than the first pass. I'm touched you basically made two quilts!