Quilting Kool Kaleidoscope

Using page protectors and a wet-erase pen, I auditioned various quilting ideas directly on top of my piecing.

It would be smart to mark the edges of the page protectors with masking tape so you know exactly where it's safe to draw. 

At one point I had several pages overlapping and, for a brief moment, thought I'd drawn on the quilt...! 

After confirming that all was well (and restarting my heart!) I realized how lucky I was. Next time, I'll be more careful!

Once I had some ideas flowing, I loaded the quilt and got down to business.

Pins hold the top square prior to machine basting.

Since I planned to roll the quilt back and forth as I worked out from the center, I basted across the quilt in a few places as well as around the edges.

See how the top puckers when it's rolled?
Basting helps the fabric lay back where it belongs when it is unrolled again.

As usual, the more thread I add, the better things look. I thought the circles on the green fabric looked anemic until I went around them three times each. Now they look substantial and energized!

I managed to do quite a bit of quilting before I had to abandon ship and head to the city for surgery.

Since having surgery on Tuesday, I've been completely off the grid. This surgery was "stage two" of the reconstructive process after breast cancer. 

"Stage one" happened in November, five years after losing my breast. It was a long wait. Only two surgeons in Alberta perform this type of reconstruction, and it was the only kind I was eligible to have based on my treatment history, so I waited.

If you are interested, you can read about the first surgery here. Be warned: the pictures are graphic, and the post is intensely personal.

Chives in bloom.

I'm not sure what I will post about this part of the journey. I don't want to make people uncomfortable, but I think sharing information is so important. Throughout this whole cancer journey I've been coached and reassured by women who have gone before me, and I've done the same for women following me. 

When I went for the first reconstructive surgery in November, I didn't know anyone who had been through the same procedure. It was disconcerting not having someone to follow, so if I can hold out a hand to help the next woman, I will.

For now, rest and recuperation are in order. And more flower pictures!


Sweet pansy.

Linking up with:
Whoop Whoop Friday, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Fabric Frenzy Friday, at Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Show off Saturday, at Sew Can She
Anything Goes Mondays, at Stitch by Stitch
Show and Tell Tuesday, at i have to say 
Linky Tuesday, at Freemotion by the River

Try, Learn, Grow!

Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for looking around today!


  1. Glad to hear it went well, I have been thinking about you this week.
    As always, your quilting is amazing!

  2. The kaleidoscope look like made with many layers. Interesting. I hope everything goes well for you!

  3. Glad that the surgery is over and I hope the recovery goes well for you. I love pebbles, but I like mine to stand out, too. I usually repeat stitch 2-3 times to get them to "pop" like you did. :)

  4. Your quilt is looking so awesome! I hope you recover quickly and are back quilting soon :-)

  5. Beautiful quilting again! And you nare a brave woman, hopefully your long journey of recovery will go well at this final stage.

  6. Your quilting is beautiful! Also thank for sharing such a personal situation with other quilters. Best wishes on your recover.

  7. If sharing your breast cancer journey helps just one woman, it will all be worth it. Thank you for sharing.
    I'm interested in how you tackle your quilts, as much as seeing the finished product, and your pansy photo is perfection.

  8. Gorgeous quilting and glad to hear you escaped mishap!!! I think you should share as much as you are comfortable with. If it makes a reader uncomfortable - well, that's their issue. They can always just skip that post. :D But this as been a HUGE event in your life and you should feel free to share. This blog is written by a person, things happen to people, and the blogger should feel free to share at will. :)

  9. Your quilting looks beautiful. I am glad to hear you are doing okay. Take care of yourself. Your quilting can wait.

  10. I was more fortunate than you. I lost one of my breasts to cancer October of 2012. Went through chemo and radiation. About 2 months after finishing my treatments I had my reconstruction surgery. However, I was still lopsided as I am fairly big. So also went and got a partial prosthetic which I wear at times. I know what you mean about being "invisible" even with some people that were acquaintances They do not know how to act so it is easier for them to look away.

    As for your quilting. It looks fantastic.

    Take care of yourself and wishing you a speedy recovery.

  11. Your quilt is amazing! WOW! I love the design and the fabrics you used. This is a quilt I can easily and happily spend a lot of time looking at! It is really neat!
    Wishing you a smooth and speedy recovery.

  12. I think it's wonderful that you're willing to share your story. There's an old saying that monsters grow in the dark and too many women are embarrassed or ashamed of having a mastectomy. I've been lucky to have never gone through what you've been through. I had a lump, once, but after testing I was relieved to find out it was benign. I would hope that if I ever developed breast cancer, I would find someone in my life who was as willing, as you, to guide me through the journey. On the lighter side, I could watch you quilt, all day.

  13. Hi Carole, do you have a tutorial for the Kool Kaleidoscope Quilt? I'd love to make one of these babies!

    1. Hi Zenia,
      Ricky Timms wrote the book called "Kool Kaleidoscope" that takes you through the process, step by step. There is a short YouTube video (by Ricky) with some tips, but it doesn't go into details about the "how to". You should be able to get the book from Amazon if you are interested. I got mine for around $15 Canadian.

  14. Hi Carole!

    That's a very clever idea for auditioning quilt designs! I might have to steal it (sometime in the future for sure, I've only quilted straight lines so far)!

    Hope everything went well last Tuesday and you are well on your way to feeling better! Sending out good thoughts and strength to you!

    All the best,

  15. I hope your recovery is going smoothly! Your willingness to share is awesome, having someone who has been there has been so invaluable to my friends who have been through cancer and recovery.

    That quilt is amazing and your quilting is putting it right over the top! Wonderfully beautiful! :)

  16. Incredible quilt and the quilting - well, words are inadequate. It's truly a work of ART !~! Bless you on your health journey.

  17. I like how you audition quilting ideas. Your actual quilting turns out really well too! I have trouble going back along the same line again. Never was good at tracing haha. Glad your operation went well and I wish you well in your recovery.


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