Quilting Gallery Blog

The Kaleidoscope Community Quilt Project

Let me just start this blog post with this: I am REALLY excited about this project, and hope that many of my quilting friends around the world will participate. It is going to be so much FUN!

Some background: every year, since 1953, Ottawa (Canada’s capital and where I live) is transformed into Spring beauty with thousands upon thousands of gorgeous tulips. The Canadian Tulip Festival is the beginning of our festival season and the return of the tourists to our gorgeous city. Here are a few pictures that I took in year’s past:

More pictures available here: 2008 Ottawa Tulip Festival.

The Kaleidoscope Community Quilt Project

This year at the Festival, visitors will be making blocks for a quilt. The Kaleidoscope Quilt is the Canadian Tulip Festival’s visual celebration of Peace and Friendship through Colours, Culture and Community. This unique piece of textile art will be created by the Canadian Tulip Festival’s 25,000 community members, in partnership with the Moon Rain Centre and the direction of textile artist Gabby Ewen.

The Kaleidoscope Community Quilt Project is a hands-on intercultural, intergenerational participatory art activity that will be set up on the festival site for the duration of the Canadian Tulip Festival. Participants are invited to personalize a piece of fabric or ribbon by contributing a positive message of Peace and Friendship. These messages will be recorded and displayed, and all participants will be invited to sign, along the border of the quilt. The incorporation of these signatures into the art piece creates an active "living" record of all the community contributors and attests to the iconic quality of this legacy project.

Invitation for the Quilting Gallery Community

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to talk to Gabby and asked if my readers could be invited to participate in this wonderful project, and she said yes. Like I said, I’m so excited!

More about the quilt: The Kaleidoscope Quilt will be created using appliqu̩, crazy quilting and contemporary textile techniques, working with satin ribbons which will be hand-sewn into the image of a radiant tulip in full bloom with a background of brilliantly coloured fabric diamonds, which will be pieced, embroidered along the seams Рin the crazy quilt style Рand embellished to form a radiating kaleidoscopic image.

How to get involved: I’m inviting my readers to send me either a diamond of fabric or a piece of ribbon with a message of peace and/or friendship to be included in the quilt. I just love the theme of this project, Peace and Friendship through Colours, Culture and Community, as it fits so nicely with what I strive to accomplish here on the Quilting Gallery site.

The fabric should be cut to a diamond shape: 45 degree angle with the straight sides measuring 5″. Download the diamond template [PDF file]. Make sure the print set-up is set to "borderless printing" and scaling at 100%. Once printed, measure it to make sure it is correct before cutting your fabric. Please leave a 1/4″ seam allowance around the diamond for sewing (indicated on the template).

The fabric diamonds may be embellished with embroidery, beadwork, paint, dyes, felting, or anything that the imagination can conceive. Use fabrics and/or designs that symbolize your own country, if possible. You can also send a plain piece of fabric representing your home cut in the diamond shape if you like.

The satin ribbon may be any colour, 1/2″ – 1″ width. The Peace and Friendship message can be written using an indelible marker – or other writing implement – directly on the ribbon.

Gabby has asked that participants please sign their names to a piece of green fabric measuring 4″ wide by any length and send this along with your block and or ribbon. These signatures will be pieced into the border of the quilt.

Deadline: The TulipFest starts May 6th, and I’d really love to have some of the blocks by that date so they can be shown off for the entire festival. However, the festival runs for three weeks, so if you can’t get me your block/ribbon until later in May, that’ll work too.

When shipping, please put the block in a plastic bag so that it doesn’t get damaged should the envelope get wet. I’ll be taking photos and posting them here on the blog. Please be sure to write me a quick note with your name and email address so that I can let you know when your block has arrived. My mailing address is available on the contact page.

Interested? Please leave a comment below or send me an email so I know to expect something from you. I’m looking forward to seeing what my quilting friends from all over the world send in for this project. Thanks for your contribution!

Download Five FREE Quilt Block Tutorials:

Five Free Block Library Tutorials

Stay in touch ... Join my NEWSLETTER:

This post was published on April 7th, 2011. Post topics: Charity Quilting, Site News.

7 Responses to “The Kaleidoscope Community Quilt Project”

  1. Mary B says:

    Sounds like a fun community project. Count me in, Ohio loves Canada.

  2. I’m in, neighbor! As a close neighbor here in Minnesota, I have traveled and camped a lot in Canada, even as a child, and would love to contribute.

    And I will share this on my blog, so perhaps more people will take part. Looking forward to seeing what comes of it.

  3. Katie says:

    just a question – Are the messages to be written on paper and sent with the diamond/ribbon or written on the diamond/ribbon?
    This is a wonderful idea – count me in!

  4. Gen from Pa. says:

    I would like to participate. The project sounds interesting.

  5. Mishka says:

    Hi Katie,

    For the diamond, you can include a message on it if you like, either with permanent marker or embroidered. If you send the ribbon, the message should be written with a permanent marker right on the ribbon. You can also send a signature block on the green fabric too. These signatures will form the border of the quilt.

    I’m looking forward to what you’ll be sending. :)


  6. !Me gustaria participar!

  7. Jenn Vallimont says:

    I’ll have a block in the mail to you this week!

Comments are now closed for this blog post.
Need help? Contact me!