Monday, March 22, 2010

Weeks RIngle's Kaleidescopes in a Flash

Kaleidescope Number 1

Last Friday, I took a day off of work to attend the Fox Valley Tech's Annual Sewing Expo. Weeks Ringle taught a day-long workshop called Kaleidescopes in a Flash. It uses a technique of using a template to fussy cut the same wedge out of the fabric. For a brief moment, I thought I had made a mistake and signed up for a very complicated "1 block in 1 month class." Then I thought it might be similar to Bethany Reynolds' stack-and-whack, but this is a very different technique--probably more akin to Paula Nadelstern's method of creating kaleidescopes (but not as many seams and you can finish 2 blocks in 2 days, not weeks!)

Here's a chunk of what's left if the "cheese cloth" after fussy-cutting out the wedges.

Kaleidescope Number 2

The corresponding cheese-cloth.
I think this fabric was a Carol Bryer Fallert border fabric.

The directions for making these fussy-cut kaleidescopes are in the book, The Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and her husband, Bill Kerr. Look for "The Gamelon Quilt" on page 62. Each block requires 8 wedges. Once you know what to look for, the cutting goes faster than you might expect.

The secret (besides the templates) is in picking the right fabric. Before the class, Weeks told us we needed to get fabric with that was bilaterally symmetrical. At the time, I wasn't at all sure what she meant by that, so I expected to buy a kit at the class. She did bring several bolts that fit the bill. As luck and timing would have it, my blogging friend Vicki Welsh recently posted an excellent explanation on purchasing bilaterally symmetrical fabrics on her blog, Field Trips in Fiber. (While you're there, take a look around--she's remarkably prolific!)

During the workshop, I cut out enough wedges for about 8 blocks out of 3 yards of fabric. On Sunday, I was able to finish 2 blocks pictured. I don't expect this to be a full quilt. I'll be happy with a couple of wall hangings!

Weeks is a really interesting person. If you have the chance, take a class with her. You won't be sorry!

Here is one of Oliver's latest art works : Spatter Paintings of a 3rd Grader.
He made an effort to sign his name more like a scribble than he usually does.
I hung this one up in my sewing studio. ;-)

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