So since the beginning of the year I’ve been experimenting with kaleidoscope ideas and patterns. I was browsing through my collection of “American Quilters” Magazines and happened upon an article by Eileen Bahring Sullivan (I think it was the Winter 1995 issue*) for paper piecing a kaleidoscope snowflake. I quickly ran through my stash and packed several hand dyed blue and white fabrics to take along to the Jones Mansion Retreat (see earlier post). Of course I never used them! I ended up buying something new when went out to Hidden Quilts (the blue’s I had just were too dark).
Each section of the snowflake is made with the exact same paper piecing pattern (6 separate sections).
Here I’m sewing from the back side of the pattern. It gets a bit confusing when I’m working on it as to what fabric comes next, so I started to color in the darker segments (see blue pen) just to remind me where I was!
Here I’m trimming the edges of a finished wedge (sorry about the glare from the light).
This is how one wedge looks in process—and before trimming
And here are the paper pieced wedges from the right side! Much better. As you can see, the last wedge is ready to join the rest.
It took quite awhile to paper piece this snowflake together—there are a lot of seams. But there’s something about paper piecing that I love once I get into the “rhythm” of it. It’s relaxing to me. And I like the surprise when you flip it over and see the results. The other nice thing about paper piecing is the accuracy. If you can sew down the printed line, it works out perfectly! Only problem was that I mis-judged the amount of fabric I need to make 3 snowflakes. I tended to overestimate the size I really needed for piecing each segment, so I ran out of fabric much sooner, and this had become a one snowflake project instead.
So after adding a blue batik border to match, this one snowflake turned into a very lovely table topper for the center of a dining table, coffee table, or side table.
Here’s a close-up—I did some straight stitch quilting following the lines of the piecing…
A candle fits perfectly in the center…and I’ve just put it for sale in my SHOP.
Since it’s National Quilting Day today, I’ve been working up finishing projects like this one all day.
My next Kaleidoscope adventure will be to cut and piece 60 degree triangles of fabric together—“Stack-and-Whack” style.
Until next time…HAPPY QUILTING!!!