Work in Progress: Kaleidoscope Quilt

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Happy Tuesday! I wanted to chat today about one of my oldest works in progress. I picked it up again last week and am determined to finish it, for real this time.


I pulled these fabrics for a Kaleidoscope quilt in early April 2012. Whoa, 9 years ago! It's a mix of two collections by Tula Pink*: Neptune and Prince Charming. I paired it with Quilter's Linen* by Robert Kaufman. I think the color is Parchment, but I am not 100% sure since I bought it so long ago.


All the pieces for this quilt were cut with a template. I used the Marti Mitchell Kaleido Ruler*.


This is one of those projects that I would go years without working on it. I know I brought it to a few retreats without even taking it out of my bag! To be honest, this is not the type of piecework that I really enjoy and that made me avoid it at times. It's also tough when so much time goes by, your tastes change. This quilt was just never a priority to finish. For 2021 one of my goals is to finish at least one long term work in progress. I listed this quilt specifically because it is such an old one for me.


Fast forward to last week, I didn't know what to work on so I decided to set myself a small goal to finish 10 blocks for this quilt every day. I had 50 blocks total left to make. Having that small goal really helped. I worked on them before lunch each day except Thursday. I have access to our car on Thursday mornings so that I can go do the grocery shopping. I didn't end up in the sewing room that day, so I made 20 blocks on Friday to make up for it.


10 blocks a day was so much more manageable a task than thinking about all 50 blocks at once. It also motivated me to sew almost every day, which is good. I've really struggled with finding a good routine, especially this year. I only dedicated about an hour a day to this project, and I made so much progress. I think I'm going to try to use this system going forward, to try to get back into a better routine of sewing every day, instead of in randome spurts.


It is so satisfying to be done with these blocks! Now I'm just finalizing the layout and I can start piecing them together. I hope to have the top put together by the end of the week. I will probably end up piecing a backing from my stash. At one point I had a matching backing, but got rid of it before we moved. I'm tempted to buy a backing for it, but I know I should just piece something from what I have in my stash. We'll see!


My new goal now is to get this quilt completely finished during the first half of 2021, and tackle another one of my long term works in progress in the second half. That would be awesome, I hope I can make that happen.

Happy Quilting!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

18 comments :

  1. I am so impressed with your dedication in tackling a long term project like this! It's hard to face a UFO that perhaps you have lost interest in and finish it. Take a well deserved bow, and at the rate you are sewing, this one will be over the finish line in no time.

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  2. It's amazing how just breaking things down into smaller bits helps us get them done. It really works.

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  3. Another interesting article on your blog. I commented on your Instagram before reading your article. The wonder of why some projects sit around. It seems like you had to push yourself to complete this project...but it does feel great when it is completed. I've been there having to push myself on somethings and others not. I love to read and I decided that if the book isn't working out I won't continue with it; however, I decided to go ahead and continue reading something that didn't seem too interesting and I'm almost done with it and happy I didn't stop. Anyway, thanks for being honest about your projects etc...its helpful when someone else is going through the same thing and you find out how they resolved it. Thanks Jeni as always.

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    1. Yeah, it is interesting why some projects linger for so long and others don't. For this specific project I just didn't enjoy the piecing, so it was easy to keep putting off working on it!

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  4. Congratulations! I set a timer for 15-20 minutes if I can't get a groove. Usually the timer goes off and I reset it!

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  5. I'm wondering if you use a transformer with your sewing machine or if you bought a new one when you got to Europe? We lived in the Netherlands from 1974-1978 (our youngest was born there in 1976) and Germany from 1986-1989 and used transformers for all of our appliances. They say (and I have no idea if it's true!) that transformers are hard on appliances. It seems as if your family is doing well in Holland and I hope you are always happy there!

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    1. I actually live in Connecticut, have never been to Holland but would love to visit one day!

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  6. This is coming along beautifully. I normally do sew at least an hour or so every day, but I seem to have fallen into a funk lately and haven't done anything at all for about three weeks. I think it has something to do with having just packed up and delivered about ten small donation quilts that I've made over the last few months. It also has to do with a big UFO that I need to finish and I just don't want to do it ... but I know I need to. Perhaps I'll take a page from you and go read the finishing directions and maybe that will get me started. I really like your quilt though. It looks great on your rug, too.

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, I've been feeling that way too. And congrats on your donation quilts!

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  7. That is absolutely amazing! When you are finished with it, if you would like to sell your scraps, I would be interested! I love Tula Pink fabrics, and the older ones are very hard to find. My email is: sandi@ltdquilting.com if you are interested:) Great blog and great pictures! You can find mine at: ltdquilting.com I'd love it if you would visit!

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    1. Thank you! No scraps of this one left, I gave them to a friend many years ago!

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  8. Your quilt has such a soft feel to it - good on you for sticking to it - so worth it. And two UFOs in one year? I say go for it!

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  9. Your handiwork is very beautiful. To me, like done. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. I actually love your kaleidoscope! The linen works well. I had 2 long term projects and a QAL that just weren't doing it for me. Then I heard that my LQS takes donations for our womens' safe house and the answer was clear- make and donate! So that's given me some impetus to finish them and feel good too.

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