19 kaleidoscope quilt block tutorial.


Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to be today's stop on the Festival of Half Square Triangles!  I've got a block tutorial for you today that utilizes some half square triangles and a few rectangles to make a fun pattern that reminds me of looking through a kaleidoscope.
We are going to be making a single Kaleidoscope block in this tutorial, which looks like this:

Kaleidoscope Quilt Block Tutorial
Note: all seam allowances are 1/4".

1.  For each block, you will need to cut the following pieces:
Color A:  2 - 3" squares
Color B:  2 - 3" squares
Color C:  2 - 5" squares
Color D:  4 - 8.5 x 2.5" rectangles
Background fabric: 4 - 3" squares
                              2 - 5" squares
                              4 - 2.5" squares
                              4 - 2.5 x 4.5" rectangles
                              4 - 2.5 x 6.5" rectangles
2.  The pieces cut from Color A, B, and C will all be made into HSTs, along with your 3" and 5" squares cut from the background fabric.  Pair each of the A & B fabrics with a 3" background square, matching them up right sides together (RST).  Then repeat with the C blocks and the 5" background squares.
3.  Use a ruler and a hera marker or pencil to mark a line down the diagonal of each of your pairs.
4.  Stitch down each side of your pair, 1/4" to the right and the left of the line you made.  Continue with the rest of your pairs.  This is a great opportunity to chain piece your HST units to finish them faster and conserve thread!  
5.  Use a ruler and a rotary cutter to cut along the line you marked on the diagonal.  Now you have two HST units!  Continue with the rest of your units.
6.  Press seams open.
7.  Trim your HSTs.  A & B units should measure 2.5" square, and C units should measure 4.5" square.
8.  Now, onto assembly!  Arrange your A & B HSTs as shown below, with a 2.5" background square in the middle.  Make sure the orientation of the HSTs is exactly as shown.
9.  Sew each A unit to the left side of a 2.5" square.  Then sew each B unit to the right side of the 2.5" square.  Make sure to keep your units in the same orientation you had arranged them in during Step 8.  Press seams open when finished.
10.  Arrange your C units as shown with a 2.5 x 4.5" background rectangle.
11.  Sew each C unit to the left side of each 2.5 x 4.5" rectangle.  Make sure to keep your units in the same orientation you had arranged them in during Step 10.  Press seams open when finished.
12.  Arrange units as shown, with A-B unit on top, a 2.5 x 6.5" rectangle in the middle, and your C units on the bottom.
13.  Sew the top side of each C unit to the bottom edge of each 2.5 x 6.5" rectangle.  Then sew the bottom side of your A-B unit to the top edge of each rectangle.  Make sure to keep your units in the same orientation you had arranged them in during Step 12.  Press seams open when finished.
14.  Arrange units as shown.  Sew each A-B-C unit to the left side of each D rectangle.  Press seams open when finished.
15.  Now you should have 4 finished units that look like this (sorry for the bad picture...somehow I forgot to take one at this point):
16.  Arrange your finished units into a block by turning each unit 90 degrees with the Fabric D rectangles meeting in the center.
17.  Sew the top two units together, and the bottom two units together.  The sew along the center to join and finish your block.
18.  You're done!
Each kaleidoscope block measures at 16.5" square, which means 16" square once they are sewn together.  Make as many blocks as you like to bring your quilt up to your desired size!  I made four blocks to make this mini quilt, which measures 32" square.  I love the wonky little stars that form when you join these blocks together!  I'll share the rest of the quilt details tomorrow! (Update: See quilt details here!)
I hope you enjoyed this stop on the Festival of HSTs!  Please let me know if you have any questions on this tutorial.  Make sure to stop by at Canoe Ridge Creations to follow along with the rest of the series and make sure to enter your own HST quilts to win some great prizes starting April 16th!


  1. It looks SO GREAT!!!! I loved seeing it develop on instagram...GREAT JOB!

  2. I love it! So bright and Cheery. What a great scrap buster too!
    Thanks so much!

  3. Oh you know I am totally going to make this for the next baby quilt! Your directions are always so clear and beautifully illustrated.

  4. i really love it. the finished block looks so big too! i bet it comes together really quickly!

  5. What a delightful block. Joanne

  6. Very cool block, and I love it in the Running Stitch prints! Thanks for the tutorial.

  7. I just love this and will be bookmarking it for sure. Something totally different!

  8. Beautiful! I love the way there's a different pattern that comes together every time I look at it - kaleidoscope is the perfect name for it! Thanks for the clear tutorial. :)

  9. What a fun bright happy block!

  10. What a beautiful and bright block. I love it. I have not seen those fabrics anywhere before but really do like them. Can you share what they are?

  11. Such an adorable quilt...so bright and fun!

  12. I'm totally going to have to do this! It's truly unique & eyecatching! Thanks for the tutorial!


  13. Super great! Thanks for sharing.

  14. This is such a clever block!!! I love the little star it makes in the center too! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  15. Very pretty! What is the yardage for each of the fabrics?

  16. Love the colors. Thank you for the tutorial.


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