This pattern combines the kaleidoscope pattern with the pinwheel pattern for a unique, eye-catching design.
I saw my first kaleidoscope quilt a few years ago hanging in a quilt shop. I remember standing and looking at it and wondering how in the world they did that! The quilt was the traditional 8-piece pie slice pattern. It was made of brightly-colored material on a black background and the kaleidoscopes seemed to just pop right off of that dark background. So the quilt went on my bucket list of “gotta do quilts”.
Then I learned about Stack ‘n Whack. This pattern comes from the Magic Stack ‘n Whack book by Bethany Reynolds. There are a total of 18 full circle kaleidoscopes and 10 half-circle kaleidoscopes in the quilt I have pictured here. The amazing thing about this quilt is that all of kaleidoscopes were cut from the same four-yard piece of material! The trick is to find the right material so you will need to look for material that has a fairly large, colorful pattern that repeats evenly.
The fabric has to be stacked and cut so that each piece of the kaleidoscope is cut from exactly the same place in the fabric pattern. This gives you an exact repeat of the color scheme all the way around the kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscopes are kind of like snowflakes, no two come out to be exactly alike. I used fabric by Kaffe Fasett on this quilt for the kaleidoscopes. The half-circle kaleidoscopes at the edges of the inner panel of the quilt are optional but I wanted to add them to give the quilt more color and carry out the kaleidoscope theme.
Jenny Doan with Missouri Star Quilt has a really good video about the general piecing process for this quilt pattern. The video does not show the stacking and cutting of the quilt pieces but it is an excellent guide to help you through the actual pinwheel block assembly process. Check it out here.
I will also mention that I used the dimensions for the quilt pieces that Jenny gives in her video. The dimensions for the pieces that are given in the Magic Stack ‘n Whack Quilts book are larger than what Jenny uses. Four yards of fabric was enough to cut the pieces for the kaleidoscopes using Jenny’s dimensions for the pieces. You will need additional fabric for all of the kaleidoscopes I used in the quilt pictured here.