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Friday, May 9, 2014

Using Mirror Tiles for One Block Wonders, Kaleidoscopes...

Last week a customer of ours, Louise, came in to pick up a quilt that Jami had quilted for her.  When Jami opened it up for her to see the work - well I saw it was, more or less, a kaleidoscope quilt.

Now why I didn't take a picture of it to show you, I have no idea.  But I didn't.  However I noticed that the kaleidoscope blocks weren't done in the "Paula Nadelstern kaleidoscope method" that I'm more familiar with.  So I questioned Louise.  She said it was a One Block Wonder.  In the same breath, she said she wasn't completely happy with it.  We were, but we asked her why she wasn't.

Those of you familiar with One Block Wonders know that you make the blocks and quilt from just one piece of fabric.  The One Block Wonder began with Maxine Rosenthal & Joy Pelzmann who have written books - ONE BLOCK WONDER and ONE BLOCK WONDERS ENCORE!  The first book  - One Block Wonder - explores ways in which you simply use one piece of fabric and how to put all the colors together.  Their next book, One Block Wonders Encore, not only explores additional ways to piece a kaleidoscope quilt with one fabric, but it also shows you how to place cubes within, or use 2 different color ways of the same design, or 2 different designs in the same color way... Oh so much to try!

Louise thought that hers was too mushy/muddy.  She said that she wished that she had more "white space" between the motifs.  To solve her issues with what she had done, she grouped the block colors together and in our opinion we thought it just all flowed very wonderfully together.

However we further discussed what type of fabric she would have preferred, so we began pulling some pieces off our shelves to examine them using our mirror tiles.  Below are a series of videos showing you 3 types of fabric designs.  One thing we all knew - you want a fabric that has a lot of color.  You also want to find a fabric where the motifs are a good size medium, to large design.

Our conclusion, really -- it's truly up to you as to what type of kaleidoscope effect and quilt design you're looking for -- haha, sorry.  However one way to figure that out is to use this simple Mirror Tile.  You simply move it around that fabric to see what types of kaleidoscopes you can make from the fabric.

For example, this first video shows you a fabric that has lots of white background showing. Lots of space between each design.  The designs are a good medium size.  Our personal point of view is we don't think this would work, unless you wanted to do a great deal of fussy cutting.

In this second video - here you see large motifs sitting tightly together, and one on top of another.  There's also lots of color, which is good, and as you can see as the mirror tiles move around, the colors just explode!  However - depending on how you lay it all out, well it might become a bit blendy/mushy.  Not that that's a bad thing - it's just a question of what effect you're trying to create.

This final video shows you a fabric of medium size motifs. Lots of color.  Definite white space around, sort of shares the background with the lime green.  Again - it truly depends what kind of effect you're looking for.  But because of all it's variety, it just seems to give you a lot of options - we think. Maybe. 

Anyway we hope you'll see what we're trying to show you.  Hope you take the plunge and give it a try.

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