Ta-Done! Bright Blooms & Plumes Kaleidoscope

For my 9th UFO finish of the year, we are going to go back, way back, to March 2012.  In honor of International Quilt Weekend, all episodes of The Quilt Show were free and accessible.  Immediately after watching Ricky Tims demonstrate his Kool Kaleidoscope Quilt technique in Episode 403-It's All About Kaleidoscopes, I went into my studio and started to pull fabric!  The tile fabric in the lower left served as color inspiration for the fabric pull.  I reached for mostly tone on tone and small scale prints, along with a few zinger stripes.
Kolorful Fabric Pull

In the video, Ricky walks you though all the steps to draft your templates, creating strata sets and cutting out your units to create dynamic Kaleidoscope quilts.  While I took lots of notes, I also picked up a copy of his book, Kool Kaleidoscopes to reference while constructing my own (he also has a DVD available).  What fun to see my Kaleidoscope grow and bloom unit by unit!!
Kreating my Kaleidoscope

My Kaleidoscope was mostly pieced within a month or so, but more time was needed to audition border treatment options.  I don't remember when I started quilting my top, but it must have been shortly after learning to free-motion quilt feathers.  I will fully admit that I went WAY overboard on quilting a variety of super dense and super detailed feathers into each and every unit.  While this provided excellent practice for learning to stitch plumes that fill different shapes, much of the stitching is difficult to see against the busy and bright fabrics.  But once I started, I just kept going to maintain a consistent density of quilting.
Krazy Dense Quilting

Each of the corners is pieced using a Butt and 2 Wedgies (Ricky's technical terms, not mine).  Using a blue speckled fabric provided an opportunity to showcase more intricate quilting.  One morning I got the idea of quilting feathered hearts into each of the corners.  A heart shaped template was created from a scrap of paper, and loops of blue tape along with a few safey pins were used to hold it into place as I outline stitched the heart and then proceeded to fill it in with Escargot spirals with Red (#2250) Aurifil 50wt thread.  Once all four hearts were stitched, I switched to Pale Yellow (#1135) Aurifil 50wt and echoed the heart and stitched surrounding plums, as well as to feathers leading out to fill in both of the adjacent wedgie sections.  Once I was done, I realized it reminded me of Southwest Airlines' heart logo in terms of color and shapes!
Kwilted Korners

Kool Kaleidoscope Label, Book & Pieced Back

Bright Blooms & Plumes, Finishes 58" x 58"

Almost 7 years later, it is nice to have this quilt on my Ta-Done list!!  There are still a few more UFOs lurking about in my studio, so stay tuned for more UFO finishes. 


  1. I believe one of their ad campaigns was "We Really Move Our Tail." At least you've arrived.

    1. Good memory!! I sure am moving my tail to finish all these UFOs...a few more left to tackle!!


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