Kaleidoscope Quilt

A kaleidoscope quilt!  This has been on my list of quilts to make for a long time.  Now, this pattern can make quilts that look very different from each other.  The biggest thing to look at is value placement.  I studied a lot of these quilts to figure out exactly how to make it look the way I wanted.  

This is a very simple block, as you can see by my little drawing above.  To give it those larger grand looking circles which you see when you step back, you have to alternate the values in the blocks.

By looking at my sketch above, you should be able to understand how to sort out the values.  The most important thing is that ALL the little corner triangles, and the large triangles in Block #2 that are connected to them, are the lightest value.  The rest of the pieces can be a mix of medium to dark value, and even a few lights thrown in.  

I wanted the circular pattern to be obvious, but not stark, so that means that I merged the values slightly.  Some of this was accidental, as I find it hard to judge the values of light fabrics.  It's surprising how some fabrics that you thought were light, are actually not light at all when seen from a distance!

Don't over think it though!  If you follow this guide in general, a few wrong values in there will add interest and the overall design will still show up.  I arranged my less accurate valued blocks around the edges, which makes the design fade out a bit.  I don't mind it in the finished quilt, because the stronger design in the center continues to suggest the same design on the outer edges, even though some of the bottom blocks are just a smudge!

I used the Marti Mitchell KaleidoRuler, which I highly recommend!  I would use this over a premade template for a few reasons.
1.  You have flexibility for multiple sizes (I did the 9" block)
2.  You can precut larger strips with this ruler and I think it's alot easier to cut than trying to wrangle around a template.

What else can I tell you?  
*The backing is a vintage Holly Hobby sheet.
*There are no inset seams, how can I impress you with how easy this block is?!  (the only tricky part may be getting that center seam to line up on each block)
*I've seen a lot of kaleidoscope quilts that were not what I wanted, and only a few that told me it was possible to make what I was envisioning.  The Kaleidoscope quilt in this post by Huntspatch Quilts is one I like!


  1. Beautiful! The slight fading of the design around the edges is brilliant!

  2. So pretty! Your quilts are always such an inspiration.:)

  3. A beautiful quilt - it's on my one day list.

  4. Ha! I was thinking your quilt had some similarities to mine -- and then there it was! Thanks for the shout-out. Yours is lovely.

    1. I couldn't find a full post on that quilt...if you have one I'd link to it instead!

    2. Thanks -- the quilt predates by blog, but there are a few more photos on Flickr here:

  5. Absolutely Gorgeous! Your fabrics you choose are always so beautiful.

  6. i'm pretty sure i had those HH sheets as a girl! it looks very familiar. i really like the kaleidoscope pattern, too, and you have made this one shine. thanks so much for explaining your thought process and choices on this. it's very helpful.


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