KALEIDOSCOPES & QUILTS: A Multi Day Kaleidoscope Class

Intermediate to advanced skill workshop

Limit: 20 students
Intermediate to advanced students

Price: Price:

The workshop covers unique machine-piecing techniques and color and fabric guidelines for creating the complex and mobile reflection of a kaleidoscope. While gaining insight into the nature of symmetry and intricately printed fabrics, students will learn to create a design that sews together successfully and renders a kaleidoscopic image filled with luminosity and dramatic impact. 

On Day 1, students learn all of the unique machine piecing, drafting and template techniques I use to create complex images by sewing a pattern called SunStars. The next days include exploration of more advanced themes (ie: piecing curves, innovative use of fabrics, learning to identify and join divergent angles, exploring a range of angles using the pattern called Sixty-Thirty). Students will begin to work independently, designing and sewing at their own pace with the instructor providing individual attention. Most will finish more than one kaleidoscope depending on project size and scope, although the class is more process then product oriented and each student works at her own pace. 

In a longer format, the instructor doesn’t need to oversimplify. Time is provided for both process and product and for setbacks -- which often turn out to be the take-aways, the lessons that occur when a misstep needs to be fixed. Skills get cemented and integrated, making the processes richer and layered. Consider time and space to create among like-minded peers a rare gift to be much appreciated. In the classroom context, seeing what others make is almost as good as making it yourself.

 Please note: This class can be formatted as a 3-, 4- or 5-day class. For a 2-day kaleidoscope class see SUNSTARS: A Kaleidoscope Class. It is described as a separate class under that name. 


NOTE: *An asterisk means that this important item will be available for sale in the classroom so don’t waste time finding it on your own if not convenient.

1. Graph paper with an eight-to-the-inch grid and a bold inch line; will be provided by instructor.

*2. Sheets of see-thru plastic template material with an eight-to-the-inch grid and a bold inch line. PREFERRED AND AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN CLASS : Visi-Grid (C&T Publisher)


4. Sharp pencils with ample and accessible erasers

*5. Extra fine-point permanent marker. PREFERRED AND AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN CLASS: Multimark S/Faber Castell Fine point

*6. Method to mark dark fabric. PREFERRED AND AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN CLASS: Uniball Silver Gel Pen)

7. A sharp fabric scissor (consider Karen Kay Buckley’s 6” Perfect Scissors)

8. Template/paper scissors: A template scissor should not be the discarded kitchen shears or shaped for a five-year-old's hand. It is the essential, indispensable tool from which all other acts follow. I use OlfasCS-1 multipurpose scissors.

9. Set-up for rotary cutting, including a rotary cutter, ruler and mat. OPTIONAL: Small rotary cutter and Brooklyn Revolver (cutting mat mounted on a lazy susan)

10. Sewing machine with well-defined quarter-inch seam allowance guide + single hole throat plate when available

11. General sewing supplies including fine pins and black thread

12. Ziplock baggies to hold templates

13. Simple, inexpensive compass



NOTE:  BILATERALLY SYMMETRICAL fabric designed by Paula Nadelstern will be available for sale in the class.


Fabric: If it catches your eye, bring it! The palette of fabric does not have to match. Diversity is the key. Remember, more is more! Important: Multi-colored cotton fabrics printed with at least 8 or 16 on-grain motifs which are identical and bilaterally symmetrical; in other words, the motif can be divided into identical halves by a line passing through the center. Also good: symmetrical patterns and mirror-imaged motifs printed off-grain (ie: paisleys). See examples: http://paulanadelstern.com/fabric/fabric-intro.php?line=12


Also: a wide variety of 1/4-1/2 yards of small to medium all-over prints, textures, gradations, stripes, marbled and stuff speckled with gold (a black splattered with gold is excellent). Include rich, saturated jewel tones and painterly fabrics that evoke luminosity, translucence, iridescence. Black and white all-overs such as dots or dash are useful. So are classic stripes composed of wide bands of colors or ombre.

Important: Black or dark saturated color that reads like a solid but isn't. Can be a batik as long as it doesn’t read blotchy.