Recently I received a free video download of Ricky Tim’s “Kool Kaleidoscope Quilt” when I renewed my membership in The Quilt Show, Ricky and Alex Anderson’s online quilt show. The instructions are also available in a book. I watched the video and decided the technique was interesting enough that I wanted to make a quilt.
As color inspiration, I used a fabric panel purchased at my local quilt shop that had large butterflies on it. Following Ricky’s instructions, I purchased half yards of 20 fabrics and made the quilt. Here is a photo of the finished product:
The disadvantage of this technique is that you have to buy a lot of fabric – way more than you need. There are lots of choices to be made during the design process and they can all influence how much of a particular fabric is needed. The finished kaleidoscope section of the quilt is just 36 inches square, so the 10 yards I purchased is way more than needed. As part of the design process, you cut varying width strips of all the fabrics. Then a bunch of strata are created using the strips. Once all the strata needed for the quilt are finished, typically you have a bunch of leftover strips.
The first thing I did was use up strips in the borders. That brought the quilt size to 48 inches square. The second thing I did was create a bunch of strip-pieced squares (9 inch finished) using all the leftover strips plus some new ones. I then made the quilt shown below, setting the squares on point and adding sashing:
I still had squares left over. I also had the original butterfly panel I used for inspiration. So I used those pieces plus some of the leftover fabric to make the back of the strip/square quilt:
I still have a little bit of fabric leftover, but I just put it back in my stash and called it good. Both the above quilts were quilted by Terri Allender, a long-arm quilter who lives nearby. The process of making the quilt was quite interesting, but one was enough. I think the process could be adapted for other purposes, although at the moment I don’t know how. Maybe it will suddenly occur to me someday when I am designing another quilt!