Friday, December 30, 2011




I made this little tabletop quilt for my mom for Christmas.  I don’t think she was very impressed.  Which to be honest I’m not totally surprised.  It’s sort of ugly.  It’s the only present I made this year, which is a good thing since it took me waaay longer than I planned.  And that was doing a really sloppy job with it.  I hate to think how long it would have taken if I’d actually used some precision.


You can see my truly awful hand quilting and poorly matched piecing in the photo above.  In case you can’t tell, this is a very small kaleidoscope quilt à la Paula Nadlestern.  I own these two books.

Paula Nadelstern Books @

While I find most of her quilts visually jarring, I think her piecing concept is a little bit of design genius.  Her process suits me because you “design as you go”.  I find this a much more enjoyable type of piecing than “regular” quiltmaking where most of the designing is done at the beginning and then the rest is just production.

Unfortunately, you get pretty sketchy results when you scale the whole thing down to 8”x10” and don’t have hours and hours to spend searching through your piles and piles of stash for the perfect combinations.   Despite, you know, what would at first glance seem like a lot of choices.


I have crazy stash.

I did rediscover just how much blue and white fabric I had purchased six years ago with the idea of making a full-size kaleidoscope/snowflake quilt.  We’re talking dozens of yards.   I collected the fabric and then I put it aside for a “better time” to start working.  Then I got distracted by making clothes. 

Once while I was shopping in the now-defunct local quilt shop one of the women there asked me why I didn’t take a machine quilting class that I’d expressed interest in. 

“I don’t have time,” I said. 

“Why not?  What are you doing?” 

“I make a lot of clothes.” 

She literally “tsked” and shook her head in disgust.  “Why are you wasting your time on clothes?” she asked.  It was pretty funny.

Although she had a point.


  1. Oooooh, this is really pretty! I like to do a little quilting, but I think a whole quilt like this would be A LOT of work. Like you, I'd quilt more if I had enough time to make clothes! Your story about the lady at the quilting shop made me laugh.

  2. I actually really like the kaleidoscope piece. It's also great that you hand quilted it. I think it has a lot of personality and don't think it's ugly at all.

  3. Since we all agree that it is not ugly...

    And see, I feel the same way about quilting, why would I waste my time when I can make clothes???

  4. I have the opposite problem: heaps of fabric and patterns purchased with the intention of making clothes, but I spend all my sewing time on pieced/quilted stuff.

    Impressed that you made a kaleidoscope piece a la Paula Nadelstern! I have one of her books, and love to look through it, but have never attempted her method. I think yours turned out very well.

  5. I agree with KD,MD why would your quilt when you can make clothes? And, I am not falling for the nightmare of pieced quilted clothing of the 80's that sh*t was fugly, really fugly.

    I admire quilts, but I can't understand why someone would spend hours and hours cutting fabric into tiny little pieces and then spend even more hours sewing them back together? Besides there is a limit to how many quilts one can have hanging your house before you look like you are trying to sell them, you can't say the same about clothes, there is no limit, cause they can be hidden in closets.

  6. I totally agree with what Elle C says above.

  7. Anyone who takes the time to make a gift, especially something as involved as a quilt, gets a big thumbs up in my book. I can't believe the thing is only 8"x10"... that's like an A-4 right? The pieces must be super tiny, I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.
    Good on you for completing a project during the holidays. The closest I've come to sewing anything is moving the sewing machine (in its case) from one side of the room to the other.

  8. I like it. It's sort of Native. heh.

    My word ver is anterok. that's as good a description as any. Your kaleidoscope is Anterok.

  9. Why would you make clothes when you could quilt? I do not understand the logic. Clothes can be worn outside the home for maximum compliment-getting. It's an easy choice. Heh.

  10. I had a chuckle at the quilting lady story. Oh those quilters! Tsk! How many quilts can you use compared with the infinite amount of yummy clothes that one can make and wear. No contest at all.

  11. tell me... do you have issues with your mom?


    kind of.

    i like it, it kind of looks like a mini quilt vortex.


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