Thursday, June 23, 2011
Kaleidoscope QAL: Start your rotary cutters!
Are you ready to get started? Chomping at the bit a little? ;) I am still so floored by the how many people are interested in this little quilt-along, and I'm so excited to start seeing more progress photos in our Flickr group! Cutting is going to be pretty simple for this quilt, but once you do your cutting, I'm going to encourage you to do some playing around with your fabrics to help plan out how you're going to start your piecing next week.
Let's start with printing this handy dandy template. You can download it here.
There are two pieces to this template, both of which include a quarter-inch seam allowance - Template A, the Kaleidoscope parallelogram that I will call a Kaleidoscope triangle because it turns into a triangle when pieced into the quilt, and Template B, the corner triangles. Print out this template, and you can do one of a couple of different things with it to start using it. First, though, make sure that your template is printed correctly and to size. Template A should be exactly 6.5" tall. If Google Docs gives you trouble, try downloading the PDF, then open it in Adobe Acrobat and print it there, while making sure the page scaling is set to "none" - thanks, Kati for that great tip. If you still have troubles with this, let me know and I'll send you the PDF directly.
Now, to make your templates, you can purchase template plastic at your local craft store to make your templates from, you can use cardboard from a box, or you can stick with just paper. You can also use freezer paper, like Jo, or you could use tupperware lids/bottoms or milk jugs, like Alysowl! Also, I find that I am most successful cutting accurately with plastic templates, combining them with a ruler, so I don't accidentally cut the template itself. Another great template tip, from Leila, is to actually tape the side of the template to your ruler, to keep it from scooting around on you!
Now that you've made your templates, it's time to cut! Here's what you want to end up with:
* Baby quilt - 48 prints, 48 solids
* Big quilt - 120 prints, 120 solids
* Baby quilt - 48 prints, 0 solids
* Big quilt - 120 prints, 0 solids
To cut your kaleidoscope triangles, you'll cut 6.5" wide strips of fabric. If you're cutting from half-yards or quarter-yards, you should be able to cut 10 kaleidoscope triangles from each 6.5" x WOF strip. If you're cutting from fat quarters, you should be able to get a total of 5 kaleidoscope triangles. When you cut one entire kaleidoscope triangle, flip the template over as shown above and cut again, to avoid waste.
To cut your corner triangles, you'll cut 4.5" wide strips of fabric. Then, line up your template with the raw edge of the fabric, and cut around your template. You can then flip the template over, just like you did with the kaleidoscope triangle template, and cut again. If you're cutting from half-yards or quarter-yards, you should be able to cut at least 18 corner triangles from each 4.5" x WOF strip of fabric. If you're cutting from fat quarters, you should be able to get a total of 9 corner triangles from each cut you make.
Also, a handy cutting tip - you can definitely stack a few fabrics on top of one another to minimize the amount of cutting you have to do. Just make sure to cut slowly and cautiously for accuracy!
Once you've finished cutting, it's time to play. You can use a design wall, you can use your floor, you can use whatever space works for you, but you're going to want to play around with how you want this quilt to work out. Here's a few ideas...
You can go monochromatic with your corner triangles, creating a monochromatic diamond...
You could go totally scrappy (which is what I'm leaning towards, despite how much I like geometric patterns)...
There are really tons of different ways to lay these prints out, so feel free to start thinking about this after you finish your cutting! Better yet, pop over to the Flickr group to see some of the diagrams people are making while they think about how they're going to lay out their Kaleidoscope quilts.
Stay tuned next week for the start of your piecing instructions, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to drop me a quick line or to pop over to the Flickr group and ask!
Now, go get cutting!! :)