Friday, May 29, 2020

Kaleidoscope Dreams

Well I have a finish, and I am pretty stoked about it! For those who have followed the build on Instagram, here is the final cushion cover, which I've named Kaleidoscope Dreams.


I made the first cushion cover using Paula Nadelstern's line 'Wonderlust' for a Benartex blog hop in 2018. When Sheila was at our house for Dayna's wedding in November that year, she fell in love with the cushion, and asked me to make her one.  Exactly the same. Time went on. Earlier this year we were chatting, and she brought up the cushion again because she had seen it in a yoga photo I put on Instagram. I said I might have enough of the fabric left but I wasn't sure... She said she'd pay me for it, and I told her no, there was no need, but within 24 hours, she had emailed me some, and refused to hear otherwise.



I had a few Island Batik and H2H commitments to complete, but as soon as they were done, I started work on the kaleidoscope. The first thing was laying my hands on the leftover fabric! My sewing stuff has been moved from, well, Florida was where I was when I made the original for the hop, so back to Ontario, to the 'loft' upper half storey where I used to sew, then back to a bedroom on the main floor with the majority of my fabric in a basement bedroom, now back up to the renovated sewing studio! Eventually I found it. Well, most of it. I started looking at the holy (well it is), but let me get the correct spelling of the synonym: 'holey' fabric, because that is what you do to create a kaleidoscope, is cut out the shapes you want from the repeats in the fabric.


So there were a couple of heart-stopping moments when I thought I only had seven repeats instead of the required eight, or only 14 instead of the required 16, for the symmetry sections. Paula's main fabric, her prima donna fabric, does most of the work. I actually found my drafting and templates, both plastic and freezer paper, from the first one. I know, what a weirdo, but in some cases that weirdness is a lifesaver! I drafted new freezer paper because two of the patches were completely different from the original kaleidscope because I did not have enough fabric.

I hit upon the idea of an orange spike because spikes are just stunning in 'scopes, coming off the one lacy section, and played around to see if I could draft it in and find symmetrical pieces to go on either side.... I could! Soon I had one eighth of the kaleidoscope pieced.

I wish I'd used my mirrors because I may have seen the potential for another spike where the short turquoise one is, to carry it from the other lacy bit along the seam... Ah well, and no, there is definitely not enough fabric to do a third.

I cheated a bit and did paper-piecing in some places, just as I did for the original one, to make things go a little faster. The section between the turquoise spikes is completely different from teh original, again because I didn't have enough fabric. However, I am SO PLEASED with that lipstick-looking, or old-fashioned bubble Christmas lights-looking motif that comes off the orange spike! Who knew the surprise it would give me when the circle was complete.
Do you see the second turquoise and yellow lacy bit that has the potential to have been somehow carried through to the small turquoise spike? Still, I like the 'negative' deep purple space that give the outer ring a floating feel.

Quilting ensued righ taway. I knew I'd be using a multitude of Sulky metallic threads.
Sadly, they are exceedingly difficult to photograph to show their beauty. This shows some of the intricate FMQ I did with the threads, following patterns in the fabrics to accent them. My Bernina has no problem with these threads, never has, which is why I love her so.


Aurifil was used in the bobbin, and for piecing and to stabilize the eight spokes and edges of the square.

Here is the inner back before assembly:
I love the dot to dot designs I came up with in the corners and in the spaces between corners. They add a radiating effect I think.

The sun was in and out at the most inopportune times on Thursday all day, but I tried to get a sparkly pic at one point before it got assembled.

Waiting for better light, I took some early morning shots. I knew it would be perfect by my mini lilac! this is a willow chair MacGyver and I made a long time ago in a class bought with money from my mum for our anniversary. If we can build a chair together, we can remain together!

The back:
This fabric is left over from my Plus Playtime quilt that was my second QAL. I didn't have enough of the original I'd used.

The label:

Here are the two together. The second one is a definite improvement on the first, but they're both pretty spectacular if I do say so myself..

The backs of both, both are in the Wonderlust line (the spelling is deliberate):


The Sulky metallic threads are just incredible and add so much to these. However, they are nigh on impossible to photograph even with a pre-7 am morning light angle, but maybe if you zoom in...
Lots of painstaking, but oh so enjoyable, FMQ-ing.

This is on my Q2FAL list which you can see on Instagram. I'll be sending it off to Alberta right away where I know it will be much loved in its new home. Thank you, Sheila, for giving me the opportunity to create this for you, but also to play with kaleidoscopes again, such fun they are, and time just zips on by. I guess-timated 30 hours in this!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design
Size: 18.5 x 18.5"
Fabric: Benartex 'Wonderlust by Paula Nadelstern
Backing: as above
Batting: Hobbs 100% cotton premium
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced with Aurifil on my Bernina; quilted with Sulky Holoshimmer, Sulky Metallic, and Aurifil 100% cotton

Linking up

30 comments:

  1. Those Paula Nadelstern fabrics are exquisite. Sew glad you were able to find everything to make this beautiful gift of love.

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  2. What a fantastic outcome on those pillows - very pretty! And lots of work. Your friend will love it!

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  3. Wow, this turned out gorgeous. Sheila is going to flip when she gets it. It was so all those hours. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  4. Fabrics and design are both awesome, Sandra! I know your friend is pleased!

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  5. OMGosh! So gorgeous! Never in a million years would I attempt such a design. It is (they are)stunning!

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  6. Wowza! Incredibly intricate, and the quilting is stunning!

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  7. Gorgeous! It is stunning and the play of those sulky threads I'm sure is amazing!

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  8. Wow, what a labor of love. The kaleidoscope effect is stunning and I know the metallic thread just adds to the depth and oomph of the finish!

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  9. Two beautiful pillows, Sandra! I've never done any kaleidoscope work, but I'm always fascinated by it. They look just fabulous!

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  10. Wow, stuning effect, and beautiful quilting! I love these cushions ;)

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  11. These are fabulous and make me long to touch my Paula Nadelstern fabrics too! I hope to remember to bring them next week. I love these pillows - what's not to love right? Thanks for linking up too to TGIFF!

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  12. Kaleidoscope Dreams are spectacular beauties. Wish I could see it in person. Hope you are staying safe. Sheila will beam with delight, I am sure.

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  13. Once again you've put so much love and emotion in your quilting. It is a joy to see someone take such care in creating special gifts rather than churning out project after project just to rack up quantity, not quality. Bravo! Sheila will say it was worth the wait.
    Pat

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  14. I have Paula Nadelstern's book "Fabricadabra" but I haven't had to courage to attempt any of the designs yet. I got to listen to her at an exhibit of her work at the Houston Quilt Festival a few years ago. I happened upon her as she was explaining her technique to a small group.
    Pat

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  15. All I can say Sandra, is wow. This is one of the most amazing quilty things I've seen. What a finish!

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  16. It’s a good thing you already had a cushion like this, or I think it would have been mighty hard to part with the new one. I love comparing them and seeing how they are so alike but different. Oh, yes, so many hours! I don’t think many people appreciate that if they don’t know the process. Those Paula Nadelstern fabrics are so silky, so I can imagine how that thread looks on them up close. The quilting texture shows beautifully. You keep coming up with cool backyard surprises. Willow chair class: what a wonderful anniversary idea!

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  17. A beautiful pillow. The first looks just as nice. As you were discussing the different steps, I was thinking, "this took a while." But I wouldn't have guessed 30 hours. You do such gorgeous work. I'm sure you had lots of fund making this pillow.

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  18. Hi Sandra. What stunning effects! I could never, ok, would never take the time it takes to make these stunning pieces. It is so meticulous....not my forte, but I sure appreciate them :-) Thanks so much for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks. I really love the quilting.

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  19. Wow...amazing pillow. You did an amazing job.

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  20. Judith FairchildMay 30, 2020 at 8:05 AM

    What a gorgeous piece of lovelyness. I so enjoy kaleidoscopes you have gotten my wonder if I can do something bubbling up. Thank you.

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  21. Absolutely over-the-top gorgeous!

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  22. What a lucky girl to be receiving this gorgeous pillow.

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  23. So beautiful!!!! And the quilting on it is impressive and exquisite! Lovely pillow, and I like how the two complement each other but aren't exactly the same--perfect for a pair of friends!

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  24. WOW, Sandra! Seeing that photo on the walkway before you stitched it all together really shows off the sparkle. Amazing. That you could make one the first time and then recreate it even better the second time. Sheila is going to be over-the-moon happy. {{Hugs}} Great job. And that chair you two built together - I see a heart shape in it - just perfect to represent the time you two put into it. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  25. Cool pillow. That quilting is fantastic!

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  26. I am amazed to see that the second one really is more dynamic than the first. Both of them are lovely.

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  27. Those are BOTH so amazing!! and yay for you for finding the fabric - I am impressed!!

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  28. Beautiful!!! Love the kaleidoscope pattern, fabric and quilting!

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  29. I am amazed by how wonderfully and precisely you cut the individual pieces from the remnants. It looks fantastic and I do love the orange spikes. It looks fantastic, Sandra! Your friend is going to love it, well, she already does, right?!!

    -Soma

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