by Dian Stanley
Are you fascinated when you look through a kaleidoscope? When you see a kaleidoscope quilt do you wish you had the patience to make one? Then Kaleidoscope Kreator is just the program for you. I am always intrigued by technology and probably haven’t met a technique I didn’t want to try. I saw Kaleidoscope Kreator at The International Quilt Market several years ago and suddenly ideas just flooded my head! I bought the program a few months later and have been playing ever since.
Kaleidoscope Kreator was upgraded to Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 in the winter of 2009. Kaleidoscope Kreator 3 allows you to take your own photos or other digital images (copyright free of course) and turn them into kaleidoscopes made from fabric, paper or whatever your choice. It is fascinating to take a photo and see it change in this program. The kaleidoscopes can be used for postcards (of course), quilts, home decor, art to wear, your imagination can run wild. This is not a program that you have to be super computer savvy to be successful. It is very user friendly and uses the same procedures as many of the image-editing software programs you may already be familiar with (i.e., Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, JASC Paint). Whenever I have had a question or problem the support has been very responsive and helpful! The new product (Kaleidoscope Kreator 3) is outstanding. New features include faster image preview and full size viewing, my favorite; undo and redo so you can experiment and reverse the change if you liked something else better, and now it will support 20 segments.
How it Works
1. Open a digital image in the program by either choosing File > Open Image… menu item or click on the Open Image toolbar. (Click on images for larger view.)
Select a segment shape by clicking on the Select Kaleidoscope Shape (blue wedge) toolbar button or choose Edit > Select Kaleidoscope Shape. The program comes with 65 segment shapes and you can add more shapes with Template Packs.
You can adjust the size of the image by clicking on the corners and pulling or pushing until the chosen section of your image fits within the segment. You can also rotate the picture by clicking outside the image and moving the mouse. You can create a pinwheel effect (all images going the same direction) by clicking on the pinwheel shape on the toolbar. The hardest part of this program is getting used to moving the image to fit in the segment. Play until you get the design you want (undo and redo are available). Some images that I am sure will be wonderful turn out to be a bust and some of the most unlikely candidates make the best kaleidoscopes. Don’t be afraid to experiment! I also save several versions and go back and look for the best one. There is no right or wrong, just lots of fun and surprises!
2. Once you have the image you like with the segment shape you like, use the eyedropper tool found on the right-hand side in the background area to add a background color from your image so it matches exactly. Then you can add a texture (marble, spirals, starburst to name a few) to the background to add interest (found on the right side).
3. You can print your kaleidoscope in several different formats such as: one image on the page, in quilting segments, pick a specific size, print multiples in multiple sizes, and poster size, to name a few.
4. You can print on fabric, paper, vellum or whatever your choice is.
You will find many uses for this program from postcards, quilting, scrapbooking, mixed media, and art quilts. You can find the program at http://www.kaleidoscopecollections.com.