NEEDLESTARS©: A Kaleidoscope Class (Not currently available)

Advanced beginner, intermediate and advanced skill workshop

Maximum: 20 students

Recommended Format:
1 day workshop


This class is the first day of my multi-day kaleidoscope workshop and is both a process and product class. Students learn all of the unique machine piecing and template techniques I use to create a complex kaleidoscopic image while simultaneously exploring the virtues of bilaterally symmetrical fabric. Needlestars© is a 4-patch block reminiscent of a kaleidoscopic pinwheel.

Guild program chairperson can inquire about a kit for each student including graph paper, template plastic package, ruler, and marking pen set for templates; $12 more if kit includes one yard of bilaterally symmetrical fabric (student will have choice between 3 or more colorways).


1. Graph paper with an eight-to-the-inch grid and a bold inch line; one sheet per student 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 in a 3 pen set)
*6. Method to mark dark fabric. *PREFERRED AND AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN CLASS: Uniball Silver Gel Pen)
6. Fabric scissor
7. 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, indispensible tool from which all other acts follow. I use OlfasCS-1 multipurpose scissors.
8. 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)
9. Sewing machine with well-defined quarter-inch seam allowance guide + single hole throat plate
10. General sewing supplies including fine pins and black thread
11. Ziplock baggies to hold templates

Fabric (When possible, Paula Nadelstern fabric will be available for sale in class)

The success of NEEDLESTARS depends on choosing a bilaterally symmetrical fabric. A motif with bilateral symmetry can be divided into identical halves by a line passing through the center.

Note: Patches A+C are cut from the same bilaterally symmetrical fabric. Patches D+E are cut from the same allover fabric that functions as the background and is often a rich, dark (or black) reads-like-a-solid-but-isn’t fabric. Patch B is cut from a different allover fabric and should contrast sharply with Fabric A in order to stand out and emphasize the shape of the “needle.” In other words, DO NOT PICK A FABRIC FOR B THAT MATCHES YOUR A FABRIC.  It is best to audition Patch B in class so bring a variety of small to medium all-over prints evoke luminosity or translucence, textures, gradations, splattered dots, stuff speckled with gold or thin stripes. Painterly batiks are also good. Be outrageous in your B choices, bring stuff that clashes with A.

Yardage Requirements
for Single Block Made in Class 10" x 10"
Fabric A+C: Bilaterally Symmetrical Fabric:
1 yard
Fabric B: The Needle: 1/2 yard
Fabric D+E: Background: 1/2 yard