Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern

  • 01 of 06

    Work with Color and Contrast to Create a Kaleidoscope-Like Quilt

    Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern
    Kaleidoscope Quilt. Janet Wickell

    Create the Kaleidoscope Quilt

    Have fun experimenting with color and contrast when you choose quilting fabrics for your own version of the Kaleidoscope quilt pattern. I couldn't decide on a name for this quilt, but kaleidoscope was the design many members of our Facebook group saw, and the name stuck.

    Divided Cross quilt blocks make up the quilt's layout. Take a look at my original quilt block pattern for that traditional design and you'll see how easy it was to give the blocks in the quilt...MORE a completely different appearance.

    • Blocks in the Kaleidoscope quilt are placed on point
    • Quilt blocks are sewn in two different color schemes, giving the quilt a bit of visual motion from the inside out.

    Finished Quilt Block and Quilt Sizes

    • Blocks finish at 12" x 12" (which means they measure a little under 17" x 17" from corner to corner when placed on point)
    • The quilt finishes at about 71-1/2 x 71-1/2"
    • Make two more rows of quilt blocks, alternating colors, in the same way, to sew a quilt that finishes at about 71-1/2" x 105". Adjust yardage as necessary.

    Choose Fabrics for the Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern

    Nine of the 13 blocks in Kaleidoscope have a light background and the remainder is framed in dark blue. Would you rather reverse that look, placing the dark-framed blocks in different positions?

    Replace my color suggestions with your own choices after you print the pattern because this quilt is very easy to customize. Duplicate fabrics to reduce the number of fabrics used.

    Make a scrap quilt if you like, but pay close attention to contrast when you choose fabrics to make sure the design emerges when blocks are joined.

    Read through the entire pattern before selecting fabrics. Stripes and other directional fabrics may not work as well for some patches.

    Navy Blue

    • Used for middle border and frames of darker quilt blocks.
    • 1-7/8 yards

    Gold

    • Used for outer border and squares in lighter quilt blocks.
    • 1-1/2 yards

    Gold-Green

    • Used for squares in darker quilt blocks
    • 1/4 yard

    Black Print on Muted Gold

    • Used for center squares of lighter quilt blocks
    • 1/4 yard

    Muted Rose Print

    • Used as an inner background (next to navy) in darker quilt blocks
    • 3/8 yard

    Muted Rose Print on Neutral

    • Used in center areas of darker quilt blocks
    • 1/4 yard

    Light Green

    • Used in squares of lighter quilt blocks
    • 3/8 yard

    Darker Green

    • Used in several areas of darker quilt blocks
    • 1/2 yard

    Deep Red

    • Used in darker quilt blocks, inner border, and binding.
    • 1-1/2 yards

    Subtle Orange

    • Used in darker quilt blocks.
    • 3/8 yard

    Black

    • Used for 'star' tips in lighter quilt blocks
    • Could use more Navy instead.
    • 3/8 yard

    Light Background

    • Used for setting triangles and as background in lighter quilt blocks.
    • 2-1/4 yards

    Other Materials

    Backing and batting can vary depending on the type of quilting planned. Allow extra for intricate or intense quilting. Follow the quilter's guidelines if you send the project to someone else for quilting.

    Backing

    Batting

    • Same as Backing

    Binding

    Border yardage calculations are for butted borders made from crosswise grain strips. Purchase extra yardage if you prefer mitered borders.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Begin Sewing the Four Dark Divided Cross Quilt Blocks

    Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern
    Make Dark Blocks for the Kaleidoscope Quilt. Janet Wickell

    Make Divided Cross Blocks with Dark Frames

    The light and dark variations of Divided Cross are sewn in slightly different ways.

    Make Block Centers

    Cut just enough fabric to make a sample or two before cutting all fabric for any quilt pattern.

    We'll use strip and quick piecing techniques to create as much of the patchwork as possible. Strip lengths are longer to allow for squaring up after strip sets are sewn.

    Use chain piecing to speed up assembly once you're familiar with the instructions.

    Use a calibr...MOREated quarter inch seam allowance throughout the quilt. Refer to rotary cutting basics for quilters if you have not cut long strips of fabric.

    Cutting

    Darker Green

    • (1) 3-1/2" x 15" strip

    Muted Rose Print on Neutral

    • (2) 2" x 15" strips
    • (1) 3-1/2" x 17" strip

    Deep Red

    • (2) 2" x 17" strips

    It's an extra step, but your accuracy will improve if you press to set each seam before pressing the seam to one side. Use straight pins to keep seam intersections in place.

    1. Figure 1. Sew a 2" x 15" muted rose strip lengthwise to each side of the 3-1/2" x 15" darker green strip. Press seam allowances towards the green strip. 
    2. Square up one end of the strip set. Starting from the squared up end, cut (4) 3-1/2" segments.
    3. Figure 2. Sew a 2" x 17" red strip lengthwise to each side of the 3-1/2" x 17" muted rose strip. Press seam allowances towards the red strips.
    4. Square up one end and cut (8) 2" segments.
    5. Figures 3 and 4. Arrange one Figure 1 segment with a Figure 2 segment above and below it. Join the rows, matching seam intersections carefully.
    6. Press seam allowances towards the center.

    More Cutting and Patchwork

    • Figure 5 illustrates one Flying Geese (you'll need 16).
    • Figure 6 illustrates one half square triangle unit (you'll need 32).
    • Alter cutting instructions to sew the units with other methods.

    For No Waste Flying Geese

    1. Cut (4) 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" darker green squares. Cut (16) 2-3/8" x 2-3/8" muted rose squares.
    2. Use the no waste flying geese method to create 16 flying geese that measure 2" x 3-1/2". You'll pair each large square with four smaller squares to sew groups of four geese each.

    For Half Square Triangle Units

    1. Read the instructions that explain how to make eight identical half-square triangle units before you begin. You might want to make oversized units and then trim back after assembly.
    2. Unless you are sewing oversized units, cut four 4-3/4" x 4-3/4" muted rose squares and four red squares of the same size.
    3. Pair and sew contrasting squares as explained in the tutorial linked above. When cut apart you should have (32) half square triangle units that each measure 2" x 2".

    Sew Geese and Triangle Units Together

    1. Figure 7. Sew a triangle square unit to each end of a flying geese section, orienting the angled edges as shown.
    2. Press seam allowances towards the geese.
    3. Repeat to make a total of 16 triangle/geese units. Each should measure 2" x 6-1/2".

    Add Frame Rectangles to the Figure 7 Patchwork

    1. Figure 8. Cut (16) 2" x 6-1/2" navy blue rectangles.
    2. Sew a rectangle to the top of a Figure 7 unit. The tip of the green flying geese unit should point to the rectangle.
    3. Press the seam allowance towards the navy rectangle. The new patchwork should measure 3-1/2" x 6-1/2".
    4. Make a total of 16 Figure 8 patchwork units.
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Finish Sewing the Four Dark Divided Cross Quilt Blocks

    Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern
    Finish Sewing the Dark Version of the Kaleidoscope Quilt Block. Janet Wickell

    Complete the Dark Framed Divided Cross Blocks

    Final Cutting

    Darker Green

    • (1) 2" x 33" strip
    • (16) 2" x 3-1/2" rectangles

    Navy Blue

    • (1) 2" x 33" strip

    Finish Sewing the Quilt Blocks

    1. Figure 9. Sew a 2" x 33" green strip lengthwise to the navy blue strip of the same size.
    2. Set the seam and then press the seam allowance towards the navy blue strip.
    3. Square up one end of the strip set and cut (16) 2" segments.
    4. Figure 10. Place the Figure 9 segments in front of you, green fabric to the right.
    5. Sew a...MORE 2" x 3-1/2" green rectangle to the top of eight segments.
    6. Flip the eight remaining segments around, green fabric to the left. Sew a 2" x 3-1/2" green rectangle to the top of each. You should have two groups of mirror image patchwork units.
    7. Press seam allowances towards the green rectangles.
    8. Figure 11. Sew a Figure 10 patchwork unit to each end of eight Figure 8 units (from the previous page). Use one Figure 8 unit from each mirror image group. Blue patches should be in the upper corners and center as illustrated.
    9. Press seam allowances towards the outer patchwork.
    10. Figure 12, center. Sew a remaining Figure 8 unit (without patchwork ends) to a block center, orienting colors as shown. Press seam allowances towards the center of the block. Repeat for remaining three block centers.
    11. Figure 12, overall. Sew two Figure 11 units to a center unit as shown. Press seam allowances towards the outer rows. The block should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".
    12. Make a total of four quilt blocks. Figure 13.
    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Begin Sewing the Light Divided Cross Quilt Blocks

    Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern Illustrations
    Begin Making the Light Divided Cross Quilt Blocks. Janet Wickell

    Light Framed Divided Cross Quilt Blocks  

    You'll need nine light variations of the quilt block to complete the quilt.

    The light blocks are sewn in much the same way as the four dark blocks you've already assembled. The difference -- the corners of this block are made up of four patch units with two colors in each row.

    Cutting for the Block Center

    Add a little more length to strips if you prefer a bit more for squaring up.

    Red

    • (2) 2" x 33" strips
    • (1) 3-1/2" x 38" strip

    Black and Gold 

    • (1) 3-1//2" x...MORE 33" strip

    Gold-Green

    • (2) 3-1/2" x 38" strips

    Sew the Block Centers

    Assembly instructions are very much the same as the first block. Only colors and quantities differ. 

    1. Figure 14. Sew a 2" x 33" red strip lengthwise to opposite sides of the 3-1/2" x 33" black and gold print strip. Press seam allowances towards the center, square up and cut nine 3-1/2" segments.
    2. Figure 15. Sew a 2" x 38" gold-green strip lengthwise to opposite sides of the 3-1/2" x 38" red strip. Press seam allowances towards the gold strips, square up and cut (18) 2" segments.
    3. Figures 16 and 17. Sew a Figure 15 segment to the top and bottom of a Figure 14 segment. Press seam allowances away from the center.
    4. Make a total of nine block centers.

    Flying Geese and Half Square Triangle Units

    You'll need 36 flying geese and 72 half square triangle units for this version of the quilt block. Colors differ, but sizes are the same as the units assembled for the previous block.

    Flying Geese

    1. Figure 18. Cut (9) 4-1/4" x 4-1/4" orange squares and (36) 2-3/8" x 2-3/8" light background squares.
    2. Use the no waste flying geese technique to create 36 geese that measure 2" x 3-1/2" after assembly.

    Half Square Triangle Units

    1. Figure 19. Cut (8) 4-3/4" x 4-3/4" black squares and (8) 4-3/4" x 4-3/4" light background squares. You might want to sew with slightly larger squares as explained on page 2.
    2. Use the same technique linked on page 2 to pair contrasting squares and create 72 half square triangles that measure 2" x 2" after assembly.

    Sew Triangle Units to Ends of Flying Geese

    1. Figure 20. Sew a half square triangle unit to opposite ends of a flying geese unit, arranging angled edges as shown.
    2. Press seam allowances towards the geese.
    3. Repeat to make a total of 72 identical units.

    Add Frame to Figure 20 Patchwork

    1. Figure 21. Cut (36) 2" x 6-1/2" light background rectangles.
    2. Sew a rectangle to the top edge of each flying geese/triangle unit. The geese should point towards the rectangles. 
    3. Press seam allowances towards the rectangles.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Finish Sewing the Light Quilt Blocks

    Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern Illustrations
    Finish Sewing the Light Quilt Blocks. Janet Wickell

    Make Four Patch Units

    1. Cut (4) 2" wide strips of light green fabric from selvage to selvage (usually about 43").
    2. Cut (4) gold strips of the same size.
    3. Figure 22. Sew a gold strip lengthwise to a green strip. Press the seam allowance either direction. 
    4. Square up and then cut as many 2" segments as possible.
    5. Repeat to pair each remaining gold strip with a light green strip. Cut a total of (72) 2" segments.
    6. Figure 23. Sew two segments together, turning one around so that like colors are...MORE diagonal from each other. Press seam allowance either direction or reduce bulk by fanning out the seam.
    7. Make 36 four patch units. Each should measure 3-1/2" x 3-1/2".

    Sew Four Patches to Flying Geese 'Rows'

    1. Figure 24. Sew a four patch to each end of 18 Figure 21 units (previous page). Gold squares of each four patch should touch the black portion of half square triangle units.
    2. Press seam allowances away from the four patches.

    Finish the Quilt Blocks

    1. Figure 25, center. Sew a Figure 21 unit (without four patch ends) to opposite sides of a quilt center. The light frames should be positioned on the outer edges of the partial block.
    2. Press seam allowances away from the center.
    3. Figure 25, overall. Arrange two Figure 24 rows and one center into three rows as shown, paying close attention to the orientation of four patch units. Press seam allowances away from the outer rows.
    4. Repeat to make nine quilt blocks that measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".
    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Arrange the Quilt Blocks and Finish the Kaleidoscope Quilt

    Kaleidoscope Quilt Layout
    Kaleidoscope Quilt Layout. Janet Wickell

    Cut the Corner and Setting Triangles

    Create Diagonal Rows and Sew the Quilt Top

    Flip blocks around if it helps you create as many rows as possible with seam allowances that butt into each other for a perfect match. Use...MORE pins to secure blocks and rows for sewing.

    1. Arrange the quilt blocks and (larger) setting triangles into diagonal rows as shown.
    2. Sew blocks and setting triangles in each row together.
    3. Press seam allowances towards the setting triangles and dark-framed quilt blocks.
    4. Join the rows, matching seam intersections carefully.
    5. Center and sew a corner triangle to each corner of the quilt. Press again.
    6. If necessary, carefully remove excess triangle fabric around edges. Be sure not to trim the 1/4" seam allowance. If trimming is needed (because we cut triangles just slightly oversize) it should be minor.

    Add the Borders

    Borders help you square up a slightly skewed quilt. Refer to my quilt border instructions if you aren't sure how to measure your quilt for borders.

    Add the following borders one at a time. You will need to piece some (crosswise grain) border strips to achieve length.

    • Use 2-1/4" wide red strips for the inner border.
    • Use 5-1/2" wide navy strips for the middle border.
    • Use 3-1/2" gold strips for the outer border.

    Finish the Quilt

    1. Press the quilt and mark for quilting if necessary.
    2. Sandwich the quilt with batting and backing.
    3. Baste the quilt using a technique appropriate for the type of quilting planned. For instance, safety pins can be used for machine quilting, a thread is common for hand quilted projects, and some quilters like adhesive basting products.
    4. Quilt the quilt.
    5. Remove excess batting and backing, carefully squaring up the edges of the quilt if necessary.
    6. Bind the quilt with easy mitered doublefold binding.