Saturday, January 2, 2021

First New-FO of 2021: Kaleidoscope Grad Quilt for Anders

Alright you guys, I know you've heard me sing this song before, but THIS time I mean it.  THIS is the quilt I'm making for Son-the-Younger's upcoming high school graduation:

77 x 99 Kaleidoscope Quilt in Blues, Greens, and Purple

Some of you are raising your eyebrows at this, recalling my previous announcement about a year ago that I would be making Anders a version of Karen Kay Stone's spectacular Cinco de Mayo quilt for his graduation, but that idea has been abandoned for the following reasons:

  1. Graduation is only 5 months away, and I have customer quilt commitments that will demand my attention in addition to my own ongoing projects.
  2. While I still love the elaborately foundation paper pieced New York Beauty blocks in Karen's design, I know that all of those seams add up to a stiffness that is fine for a wall display quilt, but not so soft and snuggly to sleep under.
  3. It bothered me that the New York Beauty blocks were too similar to the curved flying geese arcs in my older son Lars's high school graduation quilt, and I wanted Anders' quilt to be completely different.
  4. Most importantly, I think, is that I just don't want to devote such a significant block of time to recreating a version of someone else's design right now.
So I may (or may not) end up making a quilt like Cinco de Mayo someday, but it's not going to be Anders' graduation quilt.

We were all watching Lord of the Rings movies on New Year's Eve -- well, Bernie and Anders were really WATCHING the movies, whereas I was sort of listening to them and glancing up occasionally as I flipped through a quilting book and then revisited some of my Quilting Inspiration boards on Pinterest.  I have always loved kaleidoscope quilts, but have never made one before.  Once the idea of doing a kaleidoscope quilt for Anders' graduation popped into my head, I had this weird feeling of an energy surge.  MOTIVATION!!  The idea I'm most motivated to pursue is the one most likely to be finished on time!  Other reasons the Kaleidoscope is a good pattern for this quilt: 
  1. Although the kaleidoscope pattern has a cool illusion of curves, it's all straight piecing.  Most blocks will have only 12 pieces.  This feels reasonable, given the time constraints.
  2. I got two AccuQuilt GO! dies for Christmas that will speed up the cutting considerably -- the 5" x 6" Isosceles Triangle die and the 3" HST die.  That's all I need to make 11" finished kaleidoscope blocks, and with blocks of that size the quilt should go together fairly quickly.
Anders requested "blue, green and purple" when I asked him what colors he would like this quilt to be, which sent me scampering off to the Hand Dyed section at, where I filled my virtual shopping cart with the following goodies:

Fabrics from my eQuilter Shopping Cart, Destined for Kaleidoscope Blocks

Won't these be FABULOUS?!  As usual, I probably bought enough half-yard pieces to make five or six of these quilts...  I am definitely NOT on the bandwagon for any New Year's resolutions about not buying fabric.  Instead, I consider it my personal mission in life to ensure that my favorite fabric companies stay in business...  😏. I especially love those hand dyed stripe fabrics, which I've used in several of my quilts before.  I think they will be especially effective in my kaleidoscope quilt.  And yes, I did check my stash this time to make sure I didn't already have any of these, but the ones I'd bought before have all been used up in other projects.

The second stop on my online shopping list for this quilt was Marjorie Lee Bevis's Etsy store where she sells assortments of her hand marbled fabrics.  The pictures do NOT do them justice!  I used Marjorie's hand marbled fabrics for the sawtooth stars in my Paint Me a Story quilt as well as in my pineapple log cabin quilt.  (And yes, I DO plan on quilting both of those tops at some point in 2021!). I replenished my supply of marbled blues, greens and purples and I cannot wait to use them in my kaleidoscope quilt.

Assorted Hand Marbled Fabric in Green, by Marjorie Bevis

As far as the background fabric, I'm deciding between either pure black (which I have on a bolt) or else a really deep, dark, inky navy solid, which I would need to order.  I think I'll wait and audition some possibilities once my feature fabrics arrive from Etsy and from eQuilter.  I'm in North Carolina and I believe both of those sellers are shipping to me from the West coast, though, so it's not like they'll be in my mailbox tomorrow or anything.

Oh, did any of you notice that little hot pink asterisk back there, when I predicted that my Kaleidoscope quilt "should" go together fairly quickly?  That's because I'm contemplating mixing in a few more complicated blocks to spice it up a bit.  I've got so many leftover blue and green strips from my pineapple log cabin...  What if I pieced some of those strips together, pressed and starched them nice and flat, and THEN ran them through my GO! cutter to cut them into isosceles triangles for my kaleidoscope blocks?  There are also those fancier kaleidoscope blocks that I included in my EQ8 rendering that I may or may not make.  That's one more thing I like about this design -- its flexibility!  I can incorporate more or fewer variations on the basic kaleidoscope block, depending on how I'm feeling (and how quickly I find myself running out of time!).

Have YOU started any new projects so far in 2021?  

I'm linking up today's post with my following favorite linky parties:


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt


To-Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us


Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I love that pattern for Anders quilt - it will be lovely!! That fabric you show is wonderful too. I love Lord of the Rings and watch the trilogy now and then loving it every time. My youngest brother and my niece watch the whole 12 hours every winter usually on a rainy day and I watch it also in the winter on a boring day!

Ramona said...

The Kaleidoscope block is one of my favorites. This is going to be gorgeous made from the fabrics you have in your cart. Love those! I really like the added bonus blocks in the design, too, and think they will add a lot of sparkle and shine.

SJSM said...

You know, sometimes it’s best to switch horses. Seeing as you are 5 months away having a project that is flexible is the right decision. You don’t want to be beating yourself up to make that deadline. On my end, the current project is copying a scrub top for my SIL. It is one she likes the best and no longer can buy. Good news is she received her Moderna vaccine last Sunday. She works at a prison and rotates through the Covid ward. We are all so happy she now has the first part of the vaccine.

Anonymous said...

The kaleidoscope quilt is going to be gorgeous! And I have now favorited Marjorie’s store. Too fabulous!


Anonymous said...

This is going to be an amazing quilt! I love the kaleidoscope pattern, but have never made a quilt using it...
Looking forward to following along as you make this quilt for Anders!
I am in the planning stages for a quilt that will be a wedding gift for our nephew who is getting married in December. I am thinking I would like to make it a Christmas quilt....they won’t expect that, so it would be a fun surprise... hope to finalize my decision this week... I will be machine piecing (a departure for me as I normally hand piece) the quilt, but will be hand quilting it, so I need to get going with it...the clock is ticking!!
Sandra B

WeedyMama said...

I started a red and black kaleidoscope quilt way back in my beginning days. As I recall, it wasn't hard to put together. Make it in halves and then stitch them together. I think that was the days of cardboard and sandpaper templates, so using an AccuCut will move it up to lightening speed!

I have some of Marjorie Bevis fabrics too, very well aged.

eQuilter is in Colorado, and ships FedEx through Memphis, so it shouldn't be too long before your new purchases arrive. Mine go there and then back to WA state. (Do you hear my foot tapping, tapping, tapping?)

Anders will be pleased.

The Joyful Quilter said...

That looks like a great option for DS2's grad quilt, Rebecca! Best of luck on it. What have I started in 2021? I started a PINK quilt for the TABLE SCRAPS Challenge on my blog. Details at the top of my Blogger homepage.

MissPat said...

I do like the secondary design created by the kaleidoscope blocks. Lots of movement and, of course, the blue, green, purple combo is my favorite. Good luck with your timeline.

Lynette said...

Ooo! I really like your plan here! Good switch in the name of finishing on time - easier construction by far than the Cinco de Mayo quilt, but it somehow has the same energy - love your fabrics, and I hope they arrive soon for you. (And can my order for my 2021 temperature quilt fabrics get here, too, please?!)

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your kaleidoscope design is fabulous, especially with those unique blocks that have a bit different design to them! I love Anders' color choices, too. It will be fun to see this one progress!

Celine said...

Oh wow, this will be such a magnuficient quilt! Good luck with it.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Looks fabulous! Love those fabrics!!! And of course I'm going to be watching to see how you quilt it--no pressure. I'd use a neat, modern E2E.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Rebecca! All of the points you've shared make fabulous sense to me. Especially the five-month-deadline and the Go dies. I adore the idea of making a string-like piece of fabric but am worried about the extra seams. Maybe you could try a block or two? Or maybe if only some of the blocks contained the string-like pieces, it would be fine. I look forward to seeing this project come together. All of those fabrics you've shared are just FAB. Thanks for linking up this week. ~smile~ Roseanne

Preeti said...

I love Kaleidoscope quilts for the secondary pattern of apparently intersecting circles. Anders chose lovely colors and you will choose gorgeous fabrics resulting in a show-stopper of a quilt. I am confident you are up to the task.

dq said...

Well this qu8lt will be every bit aa beautiful as the NYB. These fabrics are stunning!

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

You're nothing if not ambitious! But I love your plan and yes, with AccuQuilt cutting the pieces this actually will go together fast. Love, love, love the fabrics you're planning for this! For me, great fabrics I'm in love with makes the process of making a quilt so much easier. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.