Alexandra Ledgerwood of Teaginny Designs shows you how to make this modern, paper pieced variation of the traditional kaleidoscope block. She has the full PDF Chromascope Quilt Pattern for sale with lots of additional details, but her tutorial below provides you with everything you need to make one quilt block (including the paper foundation templates!).
Alexandra is the author of Improvising Tradition, with 18 quilt patterns featuring strip piecing, strata piecing and slice-and-insert techniques to guide you to the improv quilts of your dreams! We have the Jewel Box Coaster PDF project excerpt from the book here at Sew Mama Sew.
Chromascope Quilt Block Tutorial by Alexandra Ledgerwood of Teaginny Designs
This modern variation on the traditional kaleidoscope block uses paper piecing for precise points. Try a Chromascope block to practice your paper piecing skills, play with color and use your scraps.
With careful color placement, multiple blocks create a rainbow of stars set against a grey and white trellised background. You can find the full pattern, including fabric requirements, detailed cutting instructions, construction diagram and coloring page for the Chromascope Quilt Pattern as a PDF download in my Craftsy shop.
The Chromascope quilt is made from a single foundation pieced template. Each block is comprised of four sections made from that template. This tutorial shows you how to create the block, step by step.
- Basic quilting supplies including rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat, iron + scissors
- (4) Paper Foundation Templates
- (4) 3 1/2″ x 7″ rectangles of different prints
- (4) 3″ x 8″ rectangles white solid
- (4) 4″ x 5″ rectangles grey solid
- (4) 3″ x 3″ square white solid, then cut on the diagonal 1/4″ past the diagonal center line of the square, discarding the smaller triangle
Piece the Block Sections:
For each section of the block you will need one of each of the following: white rectangle, grey rectangle, print rectangle and white triangle.
1. Trim your paper foundation roughly 1/2 from the outer seam line. Be sure to reduce your stitch length when sewing onto paper foundations to make removing the paper later much easier.
2. Center the 5″ side of the grey fabric along one long edge of the white rectangle. I find this easiest to do with the grey triangle on top.
3. Once you have it centered, flip the two fabrics over, holding them together. Now, with the white fabric facing up and the printed side of the foundation template facing up, sew the two fabrics onto the foundation pattern along the horizontal line on the template, pressing the fabrics towards the grey.
4. Line up the print rectangle with the diagonal line on the foundation template, overlapping by at least 1/4″. Holding the unit up to the light will help you get the correct placement. With the right side of the print facing the right sides of the grey and white fabrics, sew the colored print onto the foundation along the diagonal line.
5. Folding the paper foundation back out of the way, trim the seam allowance to 1/4″.
6. Unfold the paper template, and press towards the print.
7. Align the diagonal edge of the white triangle with the remaining interior line on the template. Sew the white triangle to the paper foundation.
8. Folding back the paper foundation, trim the seam allowance to 1/4″, cutting the colored fabric slightly narrower than the white to avoid show through.
9. Unfold the template, and press towards the white triangle.
10. With the printed side of the foundation template facing up, trim the block 1/4″ from the dark outer line, along the faint, grey seam allowance line.
Construct the Block:
1. Lay out the four sections as desired. I like to gently remove the paper at this point before joining the sections together, but you may leave it intact until the block is complete if desired. Be sure to use a full 1/4″ seam as you sew the sections together, rather than a scant 1/4″.
2. Sew two sections together to form half of the finished block.
3. Repeat with the remaining two sections.
4. Join the two halves of the block to complete your Chromascope block.
I hope you enjoy making your own Chromascope blocks. The blocks finish at 10” square, so make as many as you like for the project you have in mind. Experiment with color placement to change the look entirely.
You can preview color and fabric placement using the coloring page included in the Chromascope pattern. If you’d like to recreate the quilt as show here, using your own fabrics, find out exactly how many rectangles of each color you will need on the fabric requirements page of the pattern, and follow the construction diagram for precise color placement.
I’d love to see your blocks! Tag them #chromascopequilt or #chromascopeblock to share with the sewing community online.