Kaleidoscope Quilt Blocks in Subtle Floral Print

My fascination with kaleidoscopes continues.  I happened to buy these beautiful fabrics on a whim when I was shopping at Hidden Quilts while at the Jones Mansion Retreat a few weeks ago.


Aren’t they beautiful?  The main floral fabric is called “Savannah” by Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics.   I actually bought the blue batik on the left for something else, but it went so nicely with the floral … and then I found the black print & then the paisley—just couldn’t pass it up.  Sometimes you’re just “on a roll”…you know how it is.   I was thinking about making a table runner…something on a smaller scale than a lap quilt.

After I was home awhile it dawned on me…  I’ve been wanting to try the “One Block Wonder” or “Stack-N-Whack” kaleidoscope technique again…why not try it with this subtle floral to see what would happen?

Normally, I would pick something more vibant—a fabric that had more going on…more movement …more color, …not so much negative space…but I was eager to start experimenting to see what might happen.  So I measured the repeat, and stacked 6 layers of the fabric, one on top of the other, lined them up, and then cut the 60-degree triangles.

I think the most fun of doing this technique is arranging and re-arranging the six identical 60” triangles to see what combinations they’ll create.  It’s always such a surprise!

It helps if I keep my digital camera handy.  I can take a photo of each of the three combinations, as I swirl the triangles around.  When I’ve tried all three combinations, I can go back and look at the three photos on my digital camera to make the final decision.

Which one will it be?   This (#1)…?

or this?…(#2)?

or how about this?…(#3)?

It’s so exciting to see the secondary pattern emerge!  You never know what they’ll look like.

Here it is sewn into “half-hexi’s” (Ichose #2).  I decided to add blue batik 60-degree triangles to give it more depth.  (Sorry for the yellowish color in the photo below…it read “yellow” with the lighting on my design wall—I should have used flash.)  The piecing is easy since you first sew the half-hexi’s and triangles into columns, and then sew column-to-column…no “Y” seams!

I like the way the blue triangles created a “star” around each hexi center.Blog5

So I decided to make five centers and surround them all with the blue batik triangles.


The kaleidoscopes are very subtle because of there’s so much white/tan background, but I like the way it turned out.


I added a blue batik border, and then a black/brown binding.  It turned out to be an 18 x 48 inch table runner that I’ll put up for sale in my Etsy Shop as soon as I finish hand-sewing the binding.  I had just enough fabric to complete it!  How’s that for luck?

Now that I’ve “experimented” with this fabric, I’m ready for something completely different!

My hubbie and I took a “road trip” over to the quilt shop in Monticello, Wisconsin, called “Quilter’s Compass” – they have a wonderful selection of fabrics—lots of Moda prints, lots of great pre-cuts in addition to a fabulous collection of yardage.  (And an A&W Root Beer Stand close-by, so my hubbie was happy to get his Root Beer Float after I was done shopping!)  With a little help, I found the perfect WILD and colorful fabric for a totally different look for my next “One Block Wonded” —possibly a baby/lap quilt:


Isn’t it wild?  It’s called “SAMBA” by Exclusively Quilters.  I love it.  I can’t wait to see what will happen when I stack it up and create the kaleidoscopes!  I’ll keep you posted. 

 Have you tried these techniques?  I’d love to see what you’ve done.  Please feel free to post a photo of your kaleidoscope quilt below! 

 Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING! …and Happy Easter!


Mulberry Patch Quilts


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