As you know, you can piece 6 equilateral triangles into a hexagon. And if you want a special hexagon, you can make a kaleidoscope one. The kaleidoscope 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.
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Easiest Kaleidoscope pattern
With the same technique used for the pattern above, you can cut sets of 6 strips.
From the sets you will cut equilateral triangles. For this you can use an equilateral triangle ruler or the regular rectangular ruler, check out the tutorial below.
How to cut and piece equilateral triangles.
Here are a few of my triangle sets cut from my stack of strips- no fabric waste, this technique is different than fussy cutting.
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. This is a technique I don’t enjoy too much, but you must use it if you are sewing big quilts.
Sew completely the hexagon – by machine; then join the hexagons with English paper piecing.You will need a paper hexagon template – smaller than your fabric hexagon.
Here is the way I pressed my blocks; I press only after the block is finished.
You have to place the hexagon template exactly on the center of your fabric hexagon. How do you know you are positioning it correctly? The corners of the template must touch the seams (see the red arrows).
Here are some of my blocks, ready for hand sewing. Do you like this combination of regular piecing with English paper piecing?
And here is how one of my quilting friends finished these blocks. I just ADORE it! The solid triangles in between the hexagons highlight lovely the kaleidoscope design of each block. I also love how she used different colors for the triangles!
Do you have a friend able to finish some of your UFOs? I am extremely grateful for my special friend Silvia!
Now, here you can find templates for hexagons in 20 sizes, but if you need a bigger size, here is how to create your own hexagon template, in any size you need, from a square.
You start with a square that is double the size of the edge of your hexagon.
Example: for a hexagon with a 5” edge, you need a 10” paper square.
Fold the paper square in half then in half again. Optional – mark the creases with a pen (it is easier to see what you are doing).
Fold the bottom corners as shown below- first corner.
The second corner.
Rotate the piece and in the same way fold the other two corners.
Unfold the paper piece. Fold it on the yellow center line shown below.
Your piece should look like this; the bottom edge is the folded ege.
In the same way described above, fold the two bottom corners.
Unfold the paper. Mark with an X each intersection of the creases that come from the center of the piece and the center of the top and bottom edges (see the red X)
Join the red points with two vertical lines.
Then join the red points with the center of the top and bottom edges (just follow the creases). Then cut on the drawn lines…
… and here is your hexagon. Its edge is half of the edge of the square you started with.
Once you have this template, if you need more of them, copy it on a letter or A4 paper, then use the technique shown here and cut quickly how many you want!
I hope you will find this tutorial useful.
If you need templates for your English paper projects, click here.
This is the most helpful tutorial I have ever seen! Congratulations and many thanks for sharing it! Saving, saving, saving!
Ellie Miller says
Absolutely fabulous tutorial. I love EPP and will definitely try this technique. Thanks for sharing. I might just order the hexagon templates