Grandma’s Surprise: A Kaleido Quilt Top

My quilt top based on the kaleidoscope block Grandma’s Surprise is finished:

2015-4, Currant Affairs 57in sq
Dawn’s Version of Grandma’s Surprise, 57″ with Borders


It’s the result of a recent class I took from Joyce Gieszler, author of Then and Now Quilts (Kansas City Star Quilts, 2014). The Grandma’s Surprise quilt in Joyce’s book was made of Civil War reproduction fabrics:

Grandma's Surprise, Joyce Gieszler, 1 of 3
Grandma’s Surprise, 36″ square, made by Joyce Gieszler (2013)


My version, with just three fabrics, looks quite different, doesn’t it? It was inspired by this three-color version, also created by Joyce:

Grandma's Surprise, Joyce Gieszler, 2 of 3
Grandma’s Surprise, 36″ square, also made by Joyce Gieszler (2013)


I put my red fabric where Joyce put her black because I wanted the red to dominate. And dominate it does!

My red fabric reads as a solid but it’s actually a blender from Timeless Treasures. I wish the texture of the red showed up better in my photos, as well as the very pale mottled grey, which looks white in the photos. Perhaps this close-up will help:

Grandma's Surprise, fabric detail
A Closer Look


On my computer screen the red fabric has an orange cast but it’s really a true red, like a currant. The print fabric with the red flowers is part of the Black, White and Currant 5 line from Henry Glass. My friend AnnMarie gave me some large scraps from that line, including this wonderful print, which I will incorporate into the back:

Black, White and Currant fabric from Henry Glass
Black White and Currant V by Color Principle for Henry Glass Fabrics


I’m going to call this quilt Currant Affairs.




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14 Responses to Grandma’s Surprise: A Kaleido Quilt Top

  1. Rosalee says:

    Dawn, I love your colors and the name for it! Great job–Beautiful!!

  2. Nancy B. says:

    Beautiful quilt.

  3. Vickie says:

    Wow! You do such a great job with your fabric choices! That top seemed to go together very quickly. Looks great!

  4. Thelma says:

    Perfect name for that quilt! I love your version and am mulling around my fabric options in my head.

  5. Auntie Em says:

    What an amazing quilt!

  6. Colleen says:

    Absolutely gorgeous my friend!

  7. I love your quilt names – nearly as much as I love your quilts!

  8. VirginiaH says:


  9. AnnMarie says:

    Oh my goodness, it’s lovely! That is my favorite quilt in Joyce’s book and how happy I am that you were able to use the fabric in yours. Love the name also.

  10. Joyce says:

    Dawn, your quilt looks fabulous! I love the red… of course, I have to force myself NOT to put red in every quilt. 😉

  11. Diane says:

    How can I possibly have a new favorite “Dawn Quilt”??? Not possible! But yet . .

  12. Kristi says:

    I love your version of Joyce’s quilt! It is one of my favorites in her new book.

  13. Linda Dyer says:

    It is absolutely beautiful. and the close up of your points is amazing….

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