Last week I decided to create another table runner with the express purpose of doing a half hexagon border and bias binding. The piece started out as a series of rows made up of random units I had pieced for previous projects. I had every intention of making this fast and simple just so I could get to the half hexagon border and the binding.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, this piece soon took on a life of its own. I started to focus on the yellow batik fabric. I had a handful of these units at my disposal, and I thought it might make some sense to use those units to provide a small sense of unity and symmetry for the piece. I thought I might build the rest of the piece around the strategic location of the yellow units.
After creating a strip with two yellow units placed at positions number two and four (in a five unit strip) I noticed that I had quite unintentionally made the strip entirely symmetrical. I did this by finishing off positions one and five with the same fabrics. From there is was a matter of designing some three unit strips to go on either side of the five unit strip. I used the hunter green as the center point for those narrower strips because I wanted to incorporate some of the border color into the main design. I finished the ends with the same fabrics as used in the five unit strips. The results can be seen below after the strips were joined with solid maroon, which worked in a wonderful way with the maroon batik that made up the center of the five unit strip. I found that I had quite unintentionally created overlapping grandmother’s flower garden units, which would surely become the centerpiece of the design, especially if I find a way to emphasize them with my quilting.
Once I had gotten to this point it seemed absolutely shameful to consider abandoning the symmetry of the piece, so I looked to see what units I had available to me, and found that I would be able to repeat the five unit strip two more times, and repeat the three unit strip two more times as well. That would be enough to create a piece with the angles I desired. I now show the joined strips on the same bed of flowers I used as a showcase for my previous table runner. It may be interesting to note that I had to remove the four maroon hexagons closest to the corners of the runner in order to finish off the angle in a pleasing manner. Sometimes working spontaneously requires some ripping.
I joined my strips with the red hexagons to continue to create the flower garden units, but left empty spaces behind because I was not totally committed yet to using the hunter green to finish the connections.
Viewing the piece against a wooden surface shows the areas to be completed more clearly. I did decide to finish those areas off with the hunter green. I’m quite happy with the way this piece is turning out. It is a departure for me in terms of brightness and contrast. I attribute that to the strong contrast among the yellow batik fabric and the solid maroon and hunter green. Notice the four missing maroon hexagons in the final piece.
I had initially thought that I would add an additional border of hunter green hexagons and finish off with a half hexagon border. However, this piece had taken on a life of its own, and I wanted to do what was best for it, and not just use it as a sample for the border I hoped to use on the Diamond Quilt. I decided that adding a full border of green was going to make the piece too wide, and also add too much green. Therefore, I needed to decide if the half hexagon border would be sufficient. I put out paper pieces of the correct size to help me decide.
I came to the conclusion that I wanted the larger partial hexagon border. I suppose you might call that a three quarters hexagon border rather than a half hexagon border. It will, in fact, look exactly the same as the border that I made on my previous table runner. However, it will not have not have pieces of whole hexagons folded over to achieve the effect. The pieces will be made to size.
In retrospect, I think this new table runner might have been okay with the half hexagon border, but it will look fine with the border I gave it. I think I made the right decision for the piece. I do fully intend to try the half hexagon border on a small piece before I make a final decision on the Diamond Quilt. The 3/4 border would be easier to piece because the pieces are larger, but I think the 1/2 hexagon border is actually the right way to go on the Diamond Quilt. I just want to see how difficult the smallest pieces will be to work with before I commit to it. I also want to see if the binding looks awkward in the narrowest area of the border.
Here are some more photos of this table runner showing the edge from the front and the back.
This piece will always hold some sentimental value for me because one of the yellow batik units is the first thing I ever pieced out of hexagons. The thread I used was too heavy, and wasn’t even the right color, and those stitches show on the front. But for me that will be a reminder that this is where I started my hexagon stitching journey.