Wednesday Tute 13 – Kaleidoscope Stars

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars


I had something else planned for the tute this week but our fussy cut stars have been such a hit that we are going to show you how to print the diamonds for dozens of stars without waste.

No Waste Fussy Cutting

Kaleidoscope Stars are so beautiful that in the past quilters have been willing to use acrylic templates to cut individual motifs from the fabric.

It is slow and tedious and wastes a lot of fabric.

As Glenda, a quilting teacher in Oregon, wrote:

I have a quilt like this – almost done, but put aside for awhile. It is beautiful, however, it was all done by using a clear plastic template to cut one diamond at a time, then finding 5 other matching areas to cut the remaining pieces. After cutting, I then traced the seam on each diamond before I could begin sewing. Whew! OH HOW I WISH I HAD KNOWN ABOUT INKLINGO BEFORE I DID THIS!!!!
All that work took the fun out of the project, so I haven’t finished it. Someday I will, but my NEXT kaleidoscope will be done with INKLINGO!  In fact, I have been using Inklingo for a variety of other projects, too.


This tutorial walks you through it, step by step.

If you are not familiar with Inklingo, the Quick Start Guide illustrates the basics, so you understand how we print on fabric so easily.

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars


My example uses the 60° Diamond 2 inch shape collection ($15) for Kaleidoscope Stars, but the same principles work for other shapes like Hexagons, Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, other sizes of diamonds, and well . . . .  any other shape.


  1. Use a Window Template
  2. Check the Custom Page Sizes in the Catalogue of Shapes

Inklingo Window Template


Print the Inklingo layout on paper to make a window template you can use to preview fabric in your stash and at the quilt shop.

The window helps you see how much of the fabric will show so you can judge whether it will be interesting when it is cut into small pieces.

I also tried 1.5 inch diamonds on this fabric, but the design looked better with the 2 inch size (above). Some quilters use a folding mirror too, but I have not found that to be necessary.

It doesn’t matter what you call it—Kaleidoscope—Stack n Whack—One Block Wonder—Fussy Cutting:
Busy fabrics WITHOUT large plain areas work the best!

No “background!”

Some of the best fabrics are ones you might otherwise call ugly.

We have shown you the fabulous fabric Jeannette in Australia found for her Inklingo Pie & Tarts. It was in a discount bin for $4/m but Jeannette recognized the potential.

You can also see the colorful paisley Silmara in Brazil found for her Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars on her blog. It looks fantastic when it is cut into 2 inch diamonds.

Now that we have seen what Jeannettte and Silmara were smart enough to see, we all want some!

Inklingo Custom Page Sizes


If you choose a fabric with a repeat that works well with a good suggested Custom Page Size, there can be almost no waste!

One of the reasons I am using 2 inch diamonds in this example is that I can print 12 of them in 7.25 x 12 inches, and 12 inches seems to be a common repeat in fabric designs.

Fabric with a 12 inch repeat is perfect!


Measure the number of inches between identical motifs. In this illustration, I isolated one yellow flower. You can choose any part of the design when you measure.

A “repeat” is the measurement parallel to the selvage from one flower to the next one, when the design starts all over again.

Preview with an Inklingo window template.

The first two fabrics I auditioned happened to have 12 inch repeats.

This was so efficient that I was able to print more than 400 fussy cut diamonds from 2 yards of fabric with no waste! Amazing!

Print 6 identical sheets for 6 pointed stars

Trim the selvages. Print a row like this to get 6 identical sheets of fabric for 12 Kaleidoscope Stars.

6 sheets of fabric fit on this 2 yard piece. (6 x 12 = 72 inches or 2 yards).

Print 6 identical sheets

If the fabric is 42-43 inches after the selvage has been cut off, you can repeat this 5 more times.

If the fabric is a little narrower, the last row might only be wide enough to print 8 diamonds on the 6 identical sheets.

  • 36 sheets of 12 diamonds = 432 diamonds for 72 Kaleidoscope Stars
  • 30 sheets of 12 diamonds + 6 sheets of 8 diamonds = 408 diamonds for 68 Kaleidoscope Stars

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

Each star only takes 10-12 minutes to hand piece, but even 68 Kaleidoscope Stars are enough to keep you happy for a little while, don’t you think? When you see how the fabric comes together in each one, it is a lovely little jolt of pleasure.

4 identical sheets of hexagons for POTCFor Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC), you may only need 4 identical sheets, but this method works if you want 8 too.

The Custom Page Size in this POTC example is 8.25 x 9.5, so there will be a 2.5 inch strip between rows of FP (red outline). That is a useful scrap, and might be perfect for the binding, unlike the Swiss cheese you may get when you use an acrylic template.

Glenda also wrote:

“The fabric I used was amazingly beautiful and I worked long and hard trying to get as many stars as I could – cutting one diamond at a time.  However, it ended up looking like it was a bunch of holes held together with some fabric between each hole.  😮 I also had areas that I couldn’t use because I could only find 4 or 5 repeats instead of the 6 I needed just because I had cut into portions trying to get other diamond repeats. I know my fabric would have gone further, and I would have gotten more stars if I had used Inklingo.”

Thank you, Glenda, for allowing me to quote you here!

Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars


  • no waste (or useful scraps instead of Swiss cheese)
  • no templates
  • no measuring or weird, expensive rulers
  • no need to carefully stack and pin layers of fabric
  • each shape is the perfect size
  • cut several layers at a time OR use scissors
    (Example in several videos on YouTube, including this one.)
  • sewing lines, precision corners, matching marks, and crosshairs printed on each piece so you can get the precision you want
  • sew by hand or by machine


Writing this tute was a last minute change of plan. I have a few more cool tips to add tomorrow or the next day, so please stay tuned. You can subscribe by email (top of right sidebar) if you don’t want to miss it.

In the meantime, you can see how I sew Kaleidoscope Stars by hand in two very short videos on YouTube.

Part 1 (6 minutes)

Part 2 (4 minutes)


You can catch up on our other Wednesday Tutes while you are waiting:

There has been more activity on Facebook lately. We would love it if you like the Inklingo FB page too.

Thanks for visiting. See you again soon!

Linda & Monkey

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

8 thoughts on “Wednesday Tute 13 – Kaleidoscope Stars”

  1. Great tute Linda. Thank you so much.
    Like Conchita I also think it would be fun to have Pink Inklingo shirts…fun to wear to sewing groups, retreats and quilt shows. I’d love one. Sign me up!!

  2. LOL Cathi! I know how you feel. Thanks for this thorough tute Linda but I miss seeing Monkey helping you pick the fussies which I am sure he did!

  3. Humanna, humanna, humanna! I’m loving it. I think there’s just one thing missing on the Inklingo online shop…. That’s right…. PINK “Keep Calm, Inklingo On” T-Shirts, anyone else agree? 🙂

  4. I love kaleidoscope stars. I love your tutorials because they are easy to follow and “pieceful”. I will be giving this a try for my evening sit and sew. Thank you!!

  5. I’ve been trying to resist, but it’s inevitable that some kaleidoscope stars are going to be made here and soon!
    Your stars are so beautiful I just can’t possibly not jump in and play!


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