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Thread: what prints work for kaleidoscope?

  1. #1
    Senior Member quiltswithdogs's Avatar
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    I'm experimenting with kaleidoscope. I only want to make one little block to learn it.

    I have directions from several sites but nobody gives advice about the prints that work best. I've tried but am relunctant to continue using my stash without your advice.

    I've tried one with alternating rows of a flower on stem with little diamonds in between, all flowers are standing in same direction and they do not touch. No luck.
    I've tried a fabric with a repeated daisy spaced randomly. That came out looking exactly the same no matter how I reassemble the triangles.

    I have ready to go a sort of hawaiian flower one where there are no spaces or different colors. The flowers do have some shading to make the petals visible and there is no space inbetween; each flower blends in to those surrounding it.
    I have ready to go one with random spaced various looking dogs facing different directions (ie upside down, sideways)... maybe that'll work if I have enough of the same dogs to end up in a circle when triangles are assemble... I don't know.

    I'm getting all confused. What kind of prints work best?

    I love the finished look and want to learn this!

    thanks for any help


  2. #2
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    i like to use 2 mirrors to see what the kaleidoscope will look like before i cut up fabric.

    i prefer to use paisley or florentine or some other intricate pattern that isn't too dense.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I think I read in Paula Nadlesteen(sp?) book that fabric with mirror imaged parts works best. When you take an image and run an imaginary line down its center - do the left and right sides give the same picture? Then that will work. It also works if the fabric has a reverse of an image (flower tilting to the right, and same flower tilting to the left.) I use the mirror to see what the result would be.

  4. #4
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    OHHHOHHHHHH I know I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Maxine Rosenthal gives a lot of tips for fabric selection in her book, One Block Wonder, and shows most of the original fabrics for the quilts displayed in the book. I highly recommend it.

    It isn't clear from your question whether you are stacking the fabric before making your blocks, but I'll assume you are. You want to find fabric without much "background", or where the background has movement to it. Avoid stripes, because they will produce straight lines in the kaleidoscopes. Larger scale prints are better. Florals are often used. I used a fabric with lots of different dog breeds in my first OBW, and it worked well, especially because people have fun looking for the dog parts.

    If you're making a hexagon block, you need at least 6 repeats of the pattern, and for an octagon block you need 8. I find that makes it a little hard to experiment with fabrics in my stash. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member quiltswithdogs's Avatar
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    I can't afford to buy anything these days, especially not a book. I'd love to see Maxine's examples. What about any of you... can you show me your kaleidoscopes?

    The mirror idea was great! I managed to find a fabric in my stash that works.

    I've cut out 4 squares, stacked and cut them on both diagonals, rearranged all triangles to make new squares. (I'm doing an easy version). Now I have 4 interesting blocks.

    You won't believe what I used... fabric of music bars with notes! The bars are wavy, not in straight lines. Now, 2 squares have the bars going around in a sort of square and the other 2 squares have the bars going sort of towards the middle, rather like musical snakes. From across the room, it all looks like busy waves going in a pattern, then as you approach, you make out that they are musical bars with little quarter notes.

    Friday I leave for a 4 day trip and visit to southern CA, 8 hrs from me. My mom and I will visit my daughter and check out her infamous house and business that almost burned up in the awful Santa Barbara fire. When I return, I will piece these 4 squares together, borrow a camera, DH will put photos onto my computer, then I will show you my first kaleidoscope attempt and see what you think.

    But, for now, I need to pay bills and do laundry so I can pack....
    ...oh, boy, I am sooo procrastinating! I do not want to do those... I want to play kaleidoscope!

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Enjoy your visit with your daughter, can't wait to see what you have done on your blocks :D :D :D

  8. #8
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    if you make kaleidoscope's the way paula nadelstern does you don't need 6-8 repeats which can really add up to a lot of fabric when working with repeats between 18-24 inches.

    paula nadlestern selects elements to build the kaleidoscope so you need far less fabric but the downside is fussy cutting everything.


  9. #9
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    Have fun on your trip. I'll try to show you a 4 piece kaleidoscope quilt I just made.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    minie, your quilt is beautiful!




    Ninnie

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