Sunday, February 21, 2021

Kick-Starting the Kaleidoscope Quilt

Son-the-Younger's high school graduation quilt has begun!  And it's SOOO exciting!

In the photo above, the isosceles triangles have not yet been sewn together into an octagon, but I just loved the way the strippy pieced triangles came out and had to snap a picture.  This idea was born of necessity, because I didn't pay attention to the size of the hand dyed fabric pieces in the assortments I ordered from Marjorie Lee Bevis on Etsy and I do not have enough of any one of them to cut four identical 5" x 6" triangles out of any one fabric.  Bummer -- but also opportunity for inventive solutions!  I cut two different marbled fabric pieces into four strips each, then pieced them with strings of Kaffe Fassett, a green batik, and a strip of Tula Pink spots that was trimmed away from leftover quilt backing, all from my overflowing scrap bins, and then I layered for of these me-made string fabrics over my AccuQuilt 5" x 6" Isosceles triangle die to get two different sets of pieced triangles for my kaleidoscope blocks.

My GO! cutter did not appreciate me cramming four layers of pieced fabric with stacked seam allowances through at once, and it was really hard to turn the crank handle -- but it cut them cleanly and without breaking anything...  So I'll be doing that again!

Here's the first block that I actually finished piecing, winking at me from my design wall.  This is one of eQuilter's hand dyed stripes:

Naturally I want all of my points to meet up perfectly in the center of my blocks, especially with high contrast fabrics like this block.  It came out pretty good, I think, and I'm hoping that I'll get better at this with each block:

I'm machine piecing these triangles together, careful not to sew through the point where all the seams intersect in the center of the block, so I can open and flatten the bulk at the center once the block is complete.  For this one, I spiraled the seam allowances clockwise around the block like so:

But for the pieced triangle blocks, I think I'm going to press all of the seams to the dark fabric due to the bulk of those seam allowances.  I hope I can still get the centers to lay flat and crisp.

You know, although I do like how my pieced triangle blocks look, I was really looking forward to the drama of having some of these kaleidoscopes made up with large triangles showcasing the hand marbled fabrics.  I also went with the 11" block size to speed construction of the quilt top, and piecing all of these strips together is NOT a time saver!  So I went ahead and ordered more fabric from Marjorie's Etsy shop in hopes that I'll get some duplicate pieces in the mix this time.

I'm leaving off the corner triangles of all of these blocks until I've determined a final layout, in order to give myself maximum flexibility in the layout decisions.

My weekly To-Do List focus for this week is this graduation quilt.  I'd like to get these in-progress blocks finished plus a few more by the end of the week.  Wish me luck!

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


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts


To-Do Tuesday at ChrisKnits


Bonnie said...

I like your solution to the fabric size issue. I think it will add interest to the quilt too. I've never done it but you might want to try a clapper on the centers of the blocks. I know one of my quilts with lots of points in the center of the blocks had trouble with the hopping foot going over it. Haven't made that particular block again (yet) but I think a good pounding might help it.

Ramona said...

OH WOW!! This is going to be one gorgeous quilt! I just love the strips of fabric used to make half of the triangles. Great idea! I can't wait to see this one in the finished stage. said...

I love the string pieced strips. What a great effect those strings play in the block. The hand dyed striped fabric is dynamic too. Looks like the perfect beginning to me! Way to go!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Awesome job with those center points!!

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

looks like the centers of the blocks came together really well

chrisknits said...

Love this project! I am getting ready to cut the same pattern for a great niece.

DonnaleeQ said...

Love the bright fabrics and interesting blocks. Center points perfect too! Not always easy to do.

The Joyful Quilter said...

That's going to be a gorgeous quilt, Rebecca! Lucky, Ander!!!

piecefulwendy said...

Oh, those fabrics are pretty amazing! Will be fun to see this one take shape.

O'Quilts said...


Lynette said...

So cool!!!! The fabrics are all so gorgeous, and I absolutely love the strip-pieced kaleidoscopes. Hey, did you already find out if you can get the centers nice and neat with pressing to the dark on those? If not, I bet the seamlines won't be so bulky with spin-pressing, since they're pressed at an angle to themselves instead of straight on. . . so the seams won't be stacking on themselves.

dq said...

I really like them pieced with strings too!