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One Block Wonders: One Fabric, One Shape, One-of-a-Kind Quilts

One Block Wonders: One Fabric, One Shape, One-of-a-Kind Quilts

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One Block Wonders: One Fabric, One Shape, One-of-a-Kind Quilts

4/5 (18 valutazioni)
160 pagine
47 minuti
Nov 5, 2010


1 Great Fabric + 1 Block = 1 Stunning Quilt! Brand new technique is all about texture, movement, sparkle, and swirl! Choose hexagons or octagons-you're the designer. Easy random cutting! No planning, no fussy cuts, no mess-ups. Simple piecing with NO Y-SEAMS! Amaze your friends! Maxine shows you exactly how to choose a large-scale print, figure yardage, cut and piece these drop-dead gorgeous quilts. Big pieces and clever short-cut methods make these quilts go together faster than you'd think. Choose one of two projects or use the techniques in any size quilt you can imagine.
Nov 5, 2010

Informazioni sull'autore

Maxine Rosenthal has been making kaleidoscope quilts since 1988. The amazing variety of patterns that different fabrics produce has kept her sewing and quilting ever since. She resides in Woodbury, Minnesota. Her website is

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One Block Wonders - Maxine Rosenthal




Zebras, 64″ × 71″, machine pieced and quilted by the author.

Fabric for Zebras

You will love this unusual method of designing and creating quilts. Instead of starting with a particular pattern or design and then trying to find fabric that will fit that pattern, this approach begins with the fabric: the fabric is the key element. Kaleidoscope blocks—each one unique—are produced by aligning the printed design on several layers of fabric and then cutting and sewing triangles together. Just as the mirrors in a kaleidoscope reflect and repeat an image, each triangle repeats color and pattern to create a new design for each block. Once all the blocks are made, you begin to design your quilt.

Fabric for octagonal blocks

Fabric for hexagonal blocks

Hexagonal kaleidoscope blocks

Octagonal kaleidoscope blocks

This is a serendipitous and adventurous approach to design. One piece of fabric does all the work, because the fabric contains all the colors and all the design elements. You cut and sew one shape—with triangles forming hexagons or octagons—and then design with these kaleidoscopic blocks. Because the quilts feature one repeated block, design merely involves playing with colors and shapes within the kaleidoscopes. The quilt you produce has more energy and movement than the original fabric.

This is a very forgiving process—there is so much motion and pattern in the quilt that mistakes are rarely seen. The idea is to relax and enjoy each kaleidoscope block as it comes to life and the quilt design unfolds.

The following chapters help you find suitable fabric, layer it, and create your unique quilt top using hexagons or octagons. Purchasing and layering the fabric—steps that are common to both hexagon and octagon blocks—are presented first. The elements of design for hexagons and octagons are similar, but because the shapes are so different, the sewing process for each is covered in separate chapters.

There are not very many rules. It is hard to say exactly what size the quilt will turn out to be. The size depends on the size of the borders; the number of hexagons or octagons in the quilt; and whether the quilt is long and thin, almost square, or divided into two or more panels with borders around each.

I have made many baby quilts using this process. In my imagination, I can see a child recovering from the flu, sitting in bed, bored and weary. The quilt captures her attention. She searches for the exact place in the fabric that produced each kaleidoscope. Boredom has been changed to a game that whiles away the afternoon.

Supplies You Will Need

As a quilter, you probably already own all or most of the tools required to make a one-block wonder.


• Rotary cutting equipment: You will need a self-healing mat, long and short rulers, a square ruler for squaring the blocks, and a 45mm- or 60mm-blade rotary cutter. It is a good idea to insert a new blade into the rotary cutter to ease the work of cutting six or eight layers at one time.

• A 60° ruler (optional): Though this ruler is helpful when cutting hexagons, it is not necessary. Most rulers have a 60° line on them that you can use instead.

• Flower pins: These pins lie flat and do not shift when you are cutting.

• Sewing machine in good working order with a ¼″ foot

• Thread

• Iron

• Design wall: This wall is indispensable for looking at a design from a distance. When you design on a floor, some things are closer to your eye than others; on a wall, everything is nearly equidistant. You can actually step back to view your quilt, making it easy to see what is right and wrong about your design as you progress.

I improvised a wonderful design wall with batting and insulation. I used fanfold insulation because it folded into a size that fit into my car so I could get it home from the home improvement store.

I screwed the insulation to the wall,

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  • (5/5)
    "A design in which a single hexagon cannot be easily identified"By sally tarbox on 10 November 2017Format: Kindle EditionDespite doing patchwork for yerars, I'd never heard of this technique till I chanced on a Facebook site on the subject!Unlike normal patchwork, where you use loads of fabrics and want to accentuate the patterns you create, this uses just one piece of cloth. Avoid the normal patchwork fabrics (tiny designs, stripes, checks) and go for big swirly designs, large novelty prints - the sort of stuff you normally avoid!The idea is to line up the pattern repeats, cut six identical 60 degree triangles and assemble a hexagon. You get a sort of kaleidoscope effect (and each hexagon can be assembled in different ways to vary the result.) By judiciously arranging your hexies, you get a totally different look. (Can also use octagons combined with 'sensational squares.'This is a fab book to get started, inspiring photos and clear instructions. There's advice on the fabrics that work (and photos of the original fabric juxtaposed with the quilts she's created - unrecognisable!)I've bought my fabric and am off to try it!