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Kaleidoscope tip in Issue 117

sewingbj | Posted in Talk With Us on

I missed the opportunity to meet another Threads subscriber in person the other day and answer her question, so I thought I’d post it.

My husband owns a toy store and called me Wednesday to ask “what’s this about a kaleidoscope and a Threads magazine article?” It seems someone had come in for a kaleidoscope after looking at the article, but both my husband and the customer were confused.

The tip does clearly state that one needs a kaleidoscope that doesn’t have the color chips in it and yes, they are readily available. Unfortunately the picture accompanying the tip is of a kaleidoscope that has the color chips — not the kind needed – but identical to one my husband happens to carry! This seemed to be the point where confusion set in for my husband and the subscriber. The kind wanted usually looks very different – a mushroom or teardrop shape in wood are common versions I’ve seen.

I truly enjoy the magazine – and find it is helping me learn new skills as I really am only an advanced beginner who finally has more time to devote to sewing. As we relocated to this area recently and am still searching out other sewers, I’m glad to know there is at least one other Threads subscriber nearby and perhaps next time I’ll be there when she comes in and get to meet her!


  1. marijke | | #1

    Yes, the type the article refers to usually has a glass ball at the end.  I think it's technically called something else, but I forget what.

    I bought two of these for my daughters at a children's museum on a very recent trip.  When we got home, the new issue of Threads instantly gave me a reason to borrow the kaleidoscope!

    One more reason for my daughters to check out what I am doing in my sewing room (ehh..  it's supposed to be the dining room, but it's usually not usable for that purpose...).


    1. kayl | | #2

      A quick and dirty form of kaleidoscope can be made by taping three mirrors of the same size together to form an equilateral triangle.
      Frameless pocket mirrors will do nicely. Put the reflecting surface
      toward the "inside" of the triangle. Here's a giant version: http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/duck_into_kaleidoscope.htmlHere's a different version, a little more complex than it has to be:
      http://www.kaleidoscopesusa.com/makeAscope.htmAnd even more complex possibilities:http://my.pclink.com/~jhaug/howto.html

      1. DavidCoffin | | #3

        The word you're looking for is TELeidoscope, my personal favorite kind of kaleidoscope. You can get little cardbaord ones in toy stores sometimes, but here's a nice little one that would fit neatly into a sewing kit:
        http://www.kaleidoscopestoyou.com/minbrastel.htmlDavid Coffin

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