After a happy experience with layering I decided that I wanted to cut and layer more of my large horse head print. Rather than isolate just one repeat I decided to do a slice clear across the width of the fabric. This would cut the drop repeat in more than one location.

Here is the resulting stack.

If you have enough yardage to allow for it, I believe that cutting clear across the width is the simplest way to cut pieces to layer. It is easy to understand. It eliminates the need to make vertical cuts in the yardage. It cuts down on wastage along the edge of the repeat which is where a good deal of waste resides. This method works especially well with a small repeat, like the one I am using, because there isn’t as much fabric to wrestle with as there would be with a larger repeat. I am not sure that I would try this with my Feathers fabric, which is a large repeat, but I might.

In assembling the layers, I started pinning at the center of the width of the fabric. I then added pins at approximately 5 inch intervals running to the left and right of my first pin. After that I put another row of pins along the top and also along the bottom.

In addition to creating the six layer stack pictured above, I decided to make a three layer stack as well. There are times when I really only want to cut three of a shape and would just as soon not have an extra three pieces hanging around waiting for a home. It will be nice to have both stacks to work with as I select cuts for future hexagons.

I have recently gotten interested in selecting cuts that create more abstract arrangements in the finished blocks, and am enjoying the challenge of making blocks from one fabric and making them uniquely different from each other.

A little trick I discovered to help with the placement of the initial two pins in the stack is to anchor the first pin with a piece of material designed to hold pins in place while doing machine quilting. These little devices are made by a company called Pinmoor.

You can stick the Pinmoor into the end of the pin as pictured above or you can actually catch just the edge of the pinafore and slip it up near the head of the pin to hold the layers more securely while allowing for a bit of movement. I found this useful to allow for adjustment of the vertical and horizontal orientation of the layers as I was adding my second pin. Adjusting the layers while adding those first two pins is the hardest part of layering, in my opinion. Anything I can do to make that easier helps me get started with my stack.

I’m really enjoying layering and fussy cutting. I am getting a lot faster at putting a stack together. I am now on the hunt for more Embracing Horses fabric, as it has become obvious to me that I am going to need a lot of it as I move forward.