Donation Kaleidoscopes

TFQ's Kaleidoscope #1
TFQ’s Kaleidoscope #1

I did nothing to get these quilt tops to the stage they are at now. I am only transporting them and using them for content for this blog. 😉 Also, I always enjoy tooting the horn of other talented artists.

TFQ had to clear off her guest bed so I could sleep in it last week. She keeps her quilts flat on that bed. When she went through them, she decided that she would donate some quilts and tops that had served their purpose for her artistic development. I have several she gave me to donate, but will spread the wealth over  a couple of blog posts. Hopefully, you will be inspired to create some donation quilts of your own.

The kaleidoscope pattern is an old pattern. In Jinny Beyer’s, The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns, there are 9 references to that name and many of them are not the Kaleidoscope as I have always known it. Of course, block pattern names develop, have colloquial an regional differences, so references like the above as well as Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and the accompanying BlockBase are invaluable references.

TFQ's Kaleidoscope #2
TFQ’s Kaleidoscope #2

The closest patterns listed to the one shown in the photo (above) are on pages 292 and 293, categorized in the 8 pointed star category. There is also a continuous pattern called Kaleidoscope (413-7), which except for the squares that join the actual Kaleidoscopes, is the pattern TFQ made.

There is a lot of opportunity for color work in this pattern. In the two examples, you can see the differences in the way TFQ used background and also blended the colors somewhat. Example #1 looks like an actual Kaleidoscope (the thing you put to your eye and twirl). The arrangement and selection of colors looks like broken glass that has been shaken up.

You might be wondering why TFQ pieced the background like she did in Example #2. I don’t presume to kn ow for sure, but if I had to guess I would say that there are two possibilities. The first is texture. The color of the inner blocks really draws our attention. They also have texture and I think that the bringing the texture out into the background provides continuity. Second, the piecing in white is one of those rewards you get for looking more closely at a quilt.

As I said, these are tops so someone else will need to finish them. It will be interesting to see how they end up. Thanks, TFQ!