Do you know the “stack-n-whack” kaleidoscope technique (I learned it from a book by Bethany Reynolds ); I used it often in my first years of quilting. Even now, when I see a beautiful print, I imagine how it would look like in a kaleidoscope quilt.
This technique is about stacking multiple layers of fabric with identical print (fabric repeats) and cutting shapes to create a block with a unique kaleidoscope design.
Over the years I learned that it is easier to stack/align the layers if you cut strips with identical design (instead of large, rectangular pieces of fabric).
To achieve perfect blocks, do not prewash your fabric – to avoid distortion. Even the pressing could distort the fabric and should be done with care (press along the straight grain of the fabric).
I don’t have perfect blocks because I washed my fabric with no mercy (initially it wasn’t intended for kaleidoscope).
Here is my 6 strip set.
I cut equilateral triangles from this set; you have to stack the layers and cut once through all; I used a 60 degree ruler by Debby Kratovil. The block will be a hexagon.
If you use 8 layers, you will cut triangles with a 45 degree ruler (Debby has it too); the block will be an octagon.
|Besides the usual rectangular or square rulers, these are the rulers I use most.|
Here are a few of my triangle sets cut from my stack of strips.There is not any waste of fabric.
If you want to join the blocks this way (see below) – by machine- you have to stitch the block in halves, you do not stitch a complete hexagon; then you stitch vertical rows and then you will join the rows.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t happy with the placement of my blocks! You have to think it! And the size of the blocks counts too – I think mine were too big.
I thought it will be forever an UFO then I had an idea and I started over again:)
I think you get the idea, right ? This is a 2” hexagon paper template.
It’s very easy to sew this block. I press the block only when it is finished (no pressing after every seam!); I pressed the seam allowances open only for the last seam.
How do you know you placed the hexagon template exactly on the center ? The corners of the template must touch the seams (see the red arrows).
I definitely love to stitch these hexagons by hand more than to stitch half hexagons by machine. I love this technique for small projects. For a king size quilt, I will probably think twice!
Do you like this combination of regular piecing and English paper piecing?
These hexagons will be the front of a new large bag, like these ones. If I will have enough patience to make more.
Enjoy creating unique kaleidoscope hexagons!