Magic Mirrors (and tooth kaleidoscopes)
Magic mirrors are made for especially for quilters. They consist of two mirrors, with a strip of tape forming a hinge. Because they are special magic mirrors for quilters they are quite expensive, but there's nothing to stop you from taping two square mirrors for regular people together and ending up with the same product accompanied by the warm glow of thrift. However, finding two frameless square mirrors can be tricky and so the purchase can be justified by these being slightly safer for being made from acrylic - in a workroom which can quickly become a chaotic mess of unfolded heaps of fabric (which the mirrors may take to hiding beneath) and heavy scissors and rotary cutters being tossed about over the cutting table, this seems like a good feature.
With the magic mirrors, you just need to cut the smallest sampling of pieces and then place them on your fabrics (see above), and your selection will grow into a fully-formed round and you will see this:
What would normally require the cutting of many pieces, much careful blurring of eyes, indecisive nose-wrinkling and intense imaginings to try and picture the whole effect, is reduced to an entirely painless process. I was able to take comparison photos of several different completed colour schemes all laid out with no imagination required for proper analysis. The green one won. The fabrics are all from Bari J's Petal and Plume range for Art Gallery Fabrics, by the way - sent to me in one of Hantex's care packages (in reality, they're marketing packages, but they always seem to arrive on a day when a surprise parcel of fabric is just what I need, so I've come to see them as 'care packages'). Annie stocks a few of the prints here.
Sewing was undertaken in the evening sun, I already knew what the completed cogwheel would look like (which is good, as it's still yet to be fully stitched) and all was well with the world. But stop the clock! There's more.
For anyone* who, the moment they're faced with triple mirrors, feels delighted by the opportunity to be the Beverley Sisters for a brief moment, there's a treat in store. Yes, these magic mirrors for quilters aren't just for quilting. They're also good for making tooth kaleidoscopes.
I did consider not telling you about this. But in the end, I felt it was too good not to share. Enjoy.