Before I started sewing my real kaleidoscope quilt together, I wanted to practice that 12 fabric join at the center. So I took the scraps from my round 1 strata and sewed them together. That’s the photo above. I am used to hand piecing 6-point stars so I approached it the same way. I sewed together 2 sets of 6 and proceeded to put them together. However, with that much fabric, I could not get it under my presser foot and then be able to sew a straight seam so the last two seams I sewed from the outer edge. Then although I did press my seams open, when I got to the lime green fabric, I twirled them like I do my hand piecing. Not feeling any great sense of satisfaction with the result, I decided to read the instructions in the book! Ricky Tims says sew 4 quadrants, stitching always from the center. Then put two quadrants together, then two halves. So I ripped mine out and did it over. I still could not get those last two seams under my presser foot so on those two, I did start from the center but I sewed the first inch by hand and finished the seam on the machine. I still thought all that fabric needed twirling. See photo on left–still not satisfied. The instructions say iron all slice seams open so I thought OK, maybe you are supposed to fold back that extra hump of fabric so I did that. See center photo–with gaping hole. Then I tried to pull the hole together by hand stitching. Photo on right–would have to have a button to hide that mess.
I sent the photos to my friend Carol and she suggested appliqueing a circle over the center and then cutting away the back fabric hump. While I thought that was a good idea, I started thinking that since I had mistakenly ended up with a hexagon shape from my round 1 strata, maybe I could applique a hexagon over middle. THEN I got the brainstorm that I could chop off the tips of the 6 straight sides, replace the two pieces with one piece and end up with a 6-point join. So that’s what I did.
This brainstorm method of replacing 12 pieces with 6 would have limited usefulness unless someone was up for trying some fancy piecework in a small space or just didn’t mind starting their kaleidoscope with a hexagon no matter how the strata lines were configured. Curved piecing could be dramatic but I for one would never go there. I haven’t even decided for sure if I am going to use this method on my real pieces. For now, I’m sleeping on it.