I began to lay out the hexagon quilt top! I am about halfway done, but rapidly running out of floor space. I may have to extend the hexagons out on the left side. I need 17 columns from left to right, and I have 8 and change now. I am going for a systematically random design, trying to balance the colors and shapes that emerge. So far, so good, but it’s pretty difficult not to obsess about each hexagon’s placement.
My plan is to stack the hexagons in order from top to bottom within each of the 17 vertical columns, label the stacks from 1-17, left to right so I know which column they belong to, sew each of the stacks into vertical strips, and then sew the strips together. I haven’t marked any of the sewing starting/stopping points on the hexagons yet, but I will probably do that on a strip by strip basis.
I will also need to add the half-hexagons to each of the shorter strips at the top and bottom. I plan to lay those out after laying out the whole hexagons. I have extra whole hexagons that I will cut in half to use for this purpose.
The pattern I made is shown below. I can see it coming together now!
amylouisesandsblog asked: Hi, I love the alphabet blocks you made your niece! I am wanting to make some for my son's 1st birthday in September, I was just wondering how big they were. Could you tell me how big you cut each square of fabric? Thanks.
Hi, and thanks! I think I cut 3” squares, so that the finished product measured 2 1/2” on all sides using 1/4” seam allowances. They were somewhat difficult to turn right side out just because they are small, but it’s doable, and I think the size is great for a 1 year old. You can download a pattern here for free, if you sign up with your email address. I hope you enjoy making them!
I may live to regret this decision, but I have chosen to make a patchwork hexagon quilt as my first ever quilt!
I have dabbled in quilting before, but only in small amounts and straight lines. I am not stellar at joining corners using my machine sewing, but I got better at it while making the plush alphabet blocks a few months ago.
I couldn’t find a pattern that was exactly what I wanted to do for this quilt, so I made one up. What I was really thinking was, “Hmm, how can I make this project as complicated and difficult for myself as possible?” and starting from scratch without a pattern seemed fitting for this oh-so-rational approach.
Indeed, developing the pattern took some serious thought. “Should I make several measuring errors at first?” Of course. “Leave out the seam allowances, too?” Absolutely. Several recalculations and struggles with Microsoft Word shapes later, I have a sound quilt pattern.
Challenges aside, I am happy with what I have come up with. I ordered a 6” hexagon ruler to make my life a little easier (no template making!), and have completed cutting hexagons from 14 different types of fabric. I need a total of 298 hexagons and 16 half-hexagons for the quilt. What I have now is a pile of 24 x 14 hexagons, which equals 336. I am thinking of using some of the extra hexagons for practice, and I can possibly make another small project out of them (a bag, potholders or some such thing).
I have probably spent a good 20 hours of my life on this project thus far, just making the pattern, picking the fabric, washing the fabric, pressing the fabric, and cutting the hexagons. I was able to cut 6 hexagons at once, but I think it may be time to replace my rotary blade.
Major successes so far:
- Obtaining a hexagon ruler: best decision ever.
- Not excessively over-buying fabric. True, I overbought in the sense that I bought more types of fabric than I really needed. This is about an $8 loss, and I can use the extra for much needed practice, so I’m good with that.
- Not cutting myself with the rotary cutter (not even once!) and actually turning out some quite accurate hexagon cuts (thanks to the ruler).
Part 2 will begin with marking all the 1/4” cross points on the backs of the hexagons so that I know were to start and stop sewing each seam. Oof, that’s going to take a long time. Next, I will attempt to lay out the hexagons on the floor to determine what the pattern will be. I want it to be sort of strategically random, if you know what I mean. Then, it will be time to sew the top.
To be continued with my next burst of inspiration…