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April 30, 2008 / Mary Ann

Kaleidoscope Quilt, subtitled Circle Skirts

This was made in an Iowa Star Quilt Store workshop circa 2003. I bought the border fabric, then picked out a few new fat quarters of every color I saw in the border, choosing light and dark values, and added some from my stash. It was a challenge to piece but this is probably the favorite quilt I’ve made. I loved picking out the fabrics, making different combinations and I love looking at the “dancing” patterns. I love mixing plaids and stripes.

Skip this paragraph if you don’t want color value detail. I did make sure to keep with the dark and light values within the right spots in a block, but experimented with using different fabrics within one block. For example, all the blocks are made of the same pattern, depending on the color value used, either a X or a + seems to dominate. Sometimes the legs of the X are light and sometimes they’re dark. Dark and light are what make this quilt pattern, not color. For example, look at the 3rd row down, 2nd block across — the legs of the + are of 2 different fabrics, a brownish red and a reddish gray. What’s important is that all 4 legs are dark and that the all 4 legs of the X part of the block are light. The quilt is pleasing to the eye (if I do say so myself) because the colors do all go together, but the point is, they wouldn’t have to to get the kaleidoscope effect.

Suzanne machine quilted it (of course), in a simple meander. She will correct me if I’m wrong but I’m not sure she had done too many quilts before this.



Leave a Comment
  1. Judy / Apr 30 2008 1:49 am

    This quilt is magnificent! I love the kaleidoscope effect. I did read the paragraph about color value to education myself. I was able to follow what you were saying and enjoyed having that explanation. Will make my looking at quilts that much more interesting.

  2. Amy Ellsworth / Apr 30 2008 11:28 am

    Judy sent me this link to take a look at your beautiful quilt. I love it! And I love how it seems to move as you look at it. I’m just starting to get into quilting and learning the difficulties of fabric selection. I really enjoy that part of the challenge, so your discussion of the color values was really interesting.

  3. Suzanne / Apr 30 2008 12:35 pm

    Yes, that one was quite early in my career. At least done during the first year, as I distinctly recall working on it when my machine was in the back room of the quilt shop.

    It is more beautiful in person, but it is fascinating to look at in a photo to see the kaleidoscope effect.

  4. Deb / May 1 2008 7:20 pm

    Me likey, I will take two. 🙂 LOL

    Actually, Matt and I would love another queen sized quilt and once we move Colin is going to get a full size bed, so he would need a new quilt too… hint hint. Hee hee

  5. Violette / May 1 2008 11:50 pm

    Its beautiful. You did a great job. By the way, your daughter sent me here.

  6. Jessie Zeigler / May 3 2008 10:42 pm

    This must be the quilt Emily was telling me about! Beautiful! I love the Kaleidoscope effect. I started one 2 years ago in a paper piecing class, intended for my husband. Well, he’s 6’4″ tall and the quilt is only about 55″ long right now, but I couldn’t bring myself to do more than 110 blocks (paper piecing isn’t my favorite… I know that now). So, looks like I’ll get creative with the border! 🙂 BTW, thanks for visiting my blog. Can’t believe you baby sat my dad… funny!

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