Saturday, August 19, 2017

Kaleidoscope Quilt

I came across a video from Red Heart Designs on YouTube demonstrating square triangles. It's basically a kaleidoscope quilt, which I have never done before. It was nice to be able to listen to the video multiple times especially for figuring out how much fabric you need and how to do the measurements. Basically, you get 8 repeats of a fabric pattern and cut it into strips then into squares then cut those in half to get triangles. Each group of triangles is 1 block that you sew together. Remember to keep everything pinned together and you're good to go.

The most important thing about selecting a fabric for this type of quilt is contrast not colors. So fabric that is black and white is usually a good pick. You just have to make sure that there's an interesting pattern not just plain stripes or something.

This is the fabric I selected. It's Kaufman Lumina Metallics Floral Bouquet Peacock, which is a mouthful. There's very dark blue to light cream colors with pinks, purples and greens. There's leaves, flowers, petals, heart shapes and vines in the pattern. The fabric pattern also doesn't have a lot empty space. This maybe bad/good depending on what you want. I also selected another fabric from that series Starry Blender to use as sashing. You don't have to use sashing but I think it frames the blocks nicely.

My fabric repeat was 23 1/2" so I got about 8.5 yards of fabric. I wanted a little extra fabric for borders and got cutting. The cutting of the fabric is really important. You want the repeat of the pattern to be stacked on top of each other exactly. To find the repeat of the pattern simply look at the selvage lettering and pick the first letter. Slid your finger down the selvage until you find the exact some letter again and that's the repeat. You can also do this by locating a particular item, say a heart, in the fabric pattern and slid your finger along the fabric in the exact same location until you find the heart again.


This is after I cut my fabric into strips, squares and then triangles. You can see along the center cut there are several layers of fabric and they are all the same.

Each triangle is one block, so at my sewing machine, I laid the triangles out with the same point into the center. Then I would flip one triangle to the right laying it on top of the neighboring triangle.



Just line up the two pieces as accurately as possible then sew from the tip down. Starting at the tip can be hard since that little tip of fabric might get jammed down into the feed dog so be careful.

After sewing two pieces together, open up the seam and iron. Notice you will have some dog ears. It's the only time you get them but you need to trim them away. Continue sewing until you have 4 sewn pairs instead of 8 triangles. Remember to iron each seam open. This helps keep everything flat.

Continue sewing two pairs together to get a half. Line up the seams.



Now, sew the two halves together to make 1 block. Line up the center seams and pin and pin again at the two ends. You can add more but I didn't feel the need. Here's a good tip from the video. Start at the CENTER and sew out and then flip it over and sew the other side starting from the center.


After you get them all sewn together they need trimmed down into a square. I trimmed mine down to a 9.5" square and I got 30 squares. Here's some of the trimmed blocks.





I laid all 30 squares out and put them where I wanted them. I put a pin in the right side of each square where I needed sashing and sewed the rows together. Next, I cut sashing for the long horizontal sections of the rows and sewed that on. I cut my fabric into 1.5" for 1" finished sashing.

I also wanted to use the main fabric for the border. That way you can see the fabric as a whole. I chose 5" borders so I cut the strips 5.5" wide. I also decided to add a flange in aqua between the sashing and border. Think of the flange as a mini border. I cut some aqua batik in 1" strips, fold it half and ironed. I placed the raw edges along the sashing edge and sandwiched it in between the border and sashing. Place the flange on the top/bottom of your quilt and baste/pin it in place then do the sides. Then you can attach your border. I just pinned my flange on and I really should've basted just to make sure it doesn't slip around.


This quilt was really fun to make. One fabric produced 30 different blocks and not knowing what the quilt was going to look like when I started was new to me and I'm glad it turned out so well. I don't have the binding and quilting done yet but here are some pictures of the finished top.













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