Saturday, 31 May 2014

Four sided Kaleidoscopes

Over the later part of this year I will running classes on four sided kaleidoscopes.

Buying fabric for this can be scary.  There is no right or wrong answer because at the end of the day - you have to love the fabric.  Fabric should have either a lot of colour interest and or interesting shapes. 
Here are some examples:
Border fabrics work well if there is a variety in the design.

This is pretty wild.  I'll post a picture of this quilt finished at a later date.
This fabric (from the Benedictus collection) has a lot of different shapes and colour
Using the picture above, I'll take you through my journey creating my four sided kaleidoscope.

Always buy the correct number of repeats.  For example - four sided kaleidoscope - four repeats, six sided kaleidoscope - six repeats etc.  I always buy either an additional repeat or 1/2 metre.  This extra fabric maybe included in borders or binding or I may sew into the backing as a reference. 
The fabric above has a very narrow repeat so I chose to purchase twice the quantity needed.  The smaller the repeat - the smaller the quilt so determine how big you want your quilt and buy the quantity of fabric accordingly.

Once you have determined your block size and sewn your blocks - next comes the laying out.  Its pretty exciting making each block as they become unique.  Its the final laying out that can be daunting.  The following photos were taking on my mobile so the quality isn't fantastic.  This quilt is a wall hanging so I was able to use a design wall to test my layouts.

Layout 1 - is ok - didn't give me the full wow factor I was looking for.

sorry - this one is pretty blurry - however you can see what's happening here.
I did like this - had a "Pacific" feel about it.
This layout was using my "random" method.  Stick each block up
and don't move it around.  I decided to insert thin black sashing strips between each block.
One of my friends suggested white. We seem so quick to use black enhance
our blocks.

This is "Benedictus Tiles" complete.

So where did I get the name Benedictus Tiles come from.  Recently I have started naming my quilts with some reference to the fabric or fabric designer.  After all, the designers have spent hours designing their fabric and I feel that by using their fabric name, is my way of acknowledging their cleverness.  Because without it I couldn't chop it up and create my own design.
This fabric is called Fuchsia Leaves from the Benedictus  collection of fabrics designed by Victoria and Albert museum.  I found it interesting that a museum has its own collections. 

So since my quilt is not square or a rectangle I have inserted a support rod so that when the quilt is hung by the hanging sleeve the sides will not curl.  In this case I had a piece of 2mm plastic cut as I didn't want to run the risk of wood bleeding marks into my quilt - especially since I have used so much white.
I made a casing and hand stitched it onto the back of my quilt

To give you and idea of size I have placed the plastic rod on top of my casing

The back of my quilt with the casing and rod inserted. 
I hope you have enjoyed reading through today's post.  Happy quilting.


  1. That is really stunning, I would have been too scared to put such striking patterns together but it works beautifully!!

    1. Thank you Wendy. The success of this kaleidoscope technique is using the one fabric. The patterns and colours are already working together before you cut it up. Other kaleidoscope techniques require you to cut small segments from a variety of fabrics. I think that's scary.

  2. Love the layout Shirley, and the white 'grouting' sets off the blocks so well. I look forward to the next one.......

    1. Thanks June. I will be hanging this and my next one at Capital Quilters Exhibition in July.


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