Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A project in hand...

In the evenings, we typically wind down with a little TV. It is very hard for me to sit still, so I usually work on something else while I'm in my recliner. I was pretty hooked on Sudoku, but would get distracted and mess up completely if the show was any good. So I needed something I could just blissfully do without too much thinking. I've been wanting to hand piece a good old-fashioned hexagon quilt for ages. The little pieces are portable and easy to handle, and the finished product has such a sweet, intricate look.

There are gobs of great tutorials about making hexagonal quilts. There are even whole blog posts like this one that explain and give links to the different methods. I initially thought I was going to go with traditional piecing, but was overwhelmed by the idea of cutting out lots of paper templates. Plus, I knew I'd get bored halfway through the basting step and it would turn it a massive UFO of a project.


I ended up going with a paper-free technique from Snippets and Blabbery. It is a very straightforward method that involves tracing hexagons on the wrong side of the fabric and stitching through the markings. She gives an excellent tutorial, and a comparison with the traditional method. It is working so well for me! I love that I can put it down and pick it back up without too much thought (or mess).


Of course, I'm using all Sis Boom fabrics. To get started, I would take a pair of coordinating prints and cut 7 hexagons from each. I'd surround 1 of print 1 with 6 of print 2, and vice versa. That gave me lots of pretty flowers. I did the math and figured out how many hundreds of little flowers I would need for a queen sized quilt, and decided to expand my existing flowers.


To keep things interesting, I decided to use contrasting fabric for print 3. I really tried to make the inner flower stand out without overthinking the combo too much. After all, this purpose of this project is NOT thinking. So far so good...I've made around 60 small flowers, and about half of them have grown into big flowers.


I keep my supplies right beside my easy chair in a Basic Box from my Case Studies series (I need to come out with some new patterns for my family's newfangled electronic devices...but I digress). Can you find my needle? The foam core makes it so the box doubles as a pincushion!


I keep a stack of small flowers with fabric 3 strips at the ready. That way, when the mood strikes, I can trace (usually on a cookbook), cut, and sew. The little ironing board is nice for sitting on the floor and pressing seams.

I haven't totally decided on a layout for the quilt. I'm torn between piecing the flowers together or separating them with a solid. If I do go with a solid, I'll probably go with something dark so the flowers pop. Decisions decisions. For now, I'm quite content with the piecing process.


Cathy said...

Wow...this is so fabulous!!! Love all of the colors and how the hexegons play off of ezch other! Great idea for downtime in the evening! Now to get off of facebook and get busy!!! lol!

judy said...

I have always wanted to do this, maybe after a few other exciting things I am working on, I will be a hexy sewer too!!!

Andrea said...

The main reason I haven't tried quilting is exactly what you said about getting bored & creating another UFO.... This is intriguing, though. Thanks for the link, I'll take a look.

Denise said...

That's a great idea for those quiet times. I'll have to follow your links and check them all out. Your box reminds me that I bought that pattern ages ago and have yet to make a box yet. What's a few more things on the "to-do" list?

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Flowers in the Window said...

Hi Carla, I did a similar thing last year. I wanted something to do whilst watching tv so I used to get my lap tray with pen, paper, fabric, templates, pins, needle and thread. I managed to make two cushion covers. I'm a bit daunted by the thought of making a big quilt by this method! Maggie xx

Abi said...

Hooray! Your hexagon flowers look great - thanks so much for the link back to my blog.

Melissa, SoChick! said...

Loving the fabrics and colors. Such a cute box, too!