Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Easy Hexagons & More

Hi everyone. I hope you're sitting there with a cuppa and biccy or even a cut lunch cos this post is a long one.
I love to quilt. I also love to make it as easy and as quick as possible. How do I do that? I strip piece when I can, chain piece, use starters/stoppers and I looooove to use tools; sewing machine(of course), rotary cutter & mat(of course) and specialist rulers & templates.

The ruler I have been using a bit lately is the one you can just see on the top, the Hex N More ruler. This ruler has been developed by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts. It is designed so you can easily cut hexagons and other shapes from 2.5, 4.5, 6.5 or 8.5 inch strips and sew them together on the sewing machine. Machine pieced hexagons, yes. I bought one before Christmas and it sat in my quilting  accessories drawer until I could decide what to do with it.

This year I have decided to use my stash particularly the older fabrics as much as possible. I have been quilting on and off for about 13 years so I have collected quite a lot of fabric. When I started the colours were vintage & muted; reds were maroon, yellows were mustard, greens were olive, blues were greyish, and checks/plaids were very popular too. I want to use up some of these older fabrics to make way for some of today's new vibrant colours and designs.
A fraction of the stash
 So what to make with Hex N More? Firstly I thought I would try hexagons with a heap of floral scraps about 5"x8" that I bought years ago as a scrap bag.

Floral Hexagons - 59"x51"
I tried to alternate darks and lights with each round of hexagons. It is more obvious in the inner rows than the outer but overall I'm happy with it. One knee quilt made without having to buy anything. The fabric for the triangles, borders and backing also came from my stash. I even joined two off cuts for the batting.
Next I thought I would try the trapezium shape with checks. I have a drawer full of checks and stripes that I bought mainly for doll dresses in my doll making faze. So let me introduce you to "Spin Your Partner & Let Go"
Spin Your Partner & Let Go - 63"x46"
Some of my quilts get more creative names than others. This one was telling me two names. The original design from Jaybird Quilts is called "Tiny Dancer" so with that in mind and the checks, I thought of a country or bush dance. The two different checks in each block look like they're spinning so the quilt was named "Spin Your Partner" very early on. The bush dance idea also influenced the choice of green for the background triangles to represent a paddock. The second part of the name came to me when I was quilting. I was trying free motion quilting for the first time and found I had to "Let Go" of my need for perfection. Another good name for the quilt. I debated over the two names until I realised they actually made sense together.
Wonky quilting
I wasn't loving this quilt when I first put it together. I think that was because it didn't turn out as I had expected. The individual blocks are not defined enough and its not as ordered as most of my quilts. Anyway I grew to love it while I was doing the quilting. I have recently bought a walking foot which has made quilting easier and quicker so "Spin Your Partner & Let Go" has more quilting than I have ever done on a quilt before. I now love this quilt; the checks, the busyness, the wonky quilting, the feel, even the backing which is preloved sheet, that I bought at the op shop ages ago. 

For the third quilt I used Hex N More to basically fussy cut triangles for a kaleidoscope quilt. I have had the sunflower fabric put aside for this purpose for a while and I knew I had a stripe that would go with it but I couldn't find it until recently.

This is the second kaleidoscope quilt I've made and I enjoy the mystery of them. You're never sure what pattern you're going to get until you've sewn the triangles together.  Aren't all the patterns pretty and in some of hexagons you can hardly tell that the original fabric was sunflowers.

Sunflower Kaleidoscope - 40"x28"
Generally I don't like to over quilt my quilts as I think it takes away their warmth but as this is a wall quilt I took the opportunity to do quite a bit of quilting on it.

Hex N More is certainly very versatile. Three totally different quilts using one ruler/template, that's good value. All three were made without having to buy any extra fabric so that's good too. And these aren't the only stash busting quilts I've made this year but the others can wait for another day.

Next time will be something different so I hope you join me then. Toodles


1 comment:

  1. Love your hexi quilts the florals and plaids are wonderful I look forward to seeing more of your quilts