QuiltCon 2017: Handwork

While walking the show floor at QuiltCon I decided to take photographs of the quilts that were displayed in the category of Handwork. This is a relatively small category. It is the one that I will be most likely to enter under if I create something using my Glorious Hexagons. Following are photographs of these quilts along with the information that accompanied them, which I also present as photographs of the labels.

Here is how the quilts are presented. Prize ribbons first, documentation second, full quilt third, then any detail photographs. Enjoy.

First Act Friday: Alternate Grid Log Cabin and Machine Quilting

Long ago, a little over forty years ago, I created my 5th quilt from my First Act In Fiber Arts. It was a version of a log cabin block. I am calling it an alternate grid variation because I did not make all of the blocks the same size, and I did not make all of the blocks square. Rather, I created a grid of larger squares, and smaller squares along with rectangles.

The photograph above shows the alternate grid design and also some of the machine quilting that has since been added.

I hand quilted this piece when I first made it. Then I used it, and used it, and used it some more. As time passed the quilting started to rot away. Forty years is a long time to use and wash a quilt repeatedly.

I found, upon my return from QuiltCon 2017. a desire to do some machine quilting. I had spent a lot of time testing out mid arm quilting machines on the show floor at QuiltCon, and I thought that it would make sense to see what I could do with my domestic machine before considering such a large purchase. I had only done a small amount of machine quilting up until this time, mostly using a walking foot. I had created some end table covers using a walking foot. I had also done a little experimentation with free motion quilting when I took a class to learn how to use my Janome Skyline S5.

Here are a few views of the full quilt:

Though the quilt was traditional in design, some things about this quilt were fairly modern for its time. First of all there is the alternate grid. Second there is the scale of the blocks (fairly large and made on only a few pieces), third there is the emphasis on solids, and forth there was the way the dark blue squares and rectangles were allowed to transverse the two sides of the log cabin blocks. I decided to make this very slightly modern quilt even more modern by machine quilting it. I would use it as a canvas to practice quilting with the walking foot and also using free motion quilting. While doing so I decided to leave the rotting hand quilting in place. There was no need to remove it. I would simply work around it.

I started with the walking foot by stitching in the ditch from one side of the quilt to the other in both both horizontally and vertically to mark where the blocks meet. Then I echoed the large dark blue squares and rectangles using the walking foot.

The photo above shows the contrast between the original hand stitching running through the center of a large dark blue square and the machine stitching. The machine stitching emphasizes a dark blue square using machine stitching 1/4 inch away from the seam lines. These stitching lines occur on both the inside edge and the outside edge of the square. Given that there are 35 blocks in the quilt this meant that it was necessary for me to wrestle the bulk of the quilt through the throat of the machine 70 times. I like using the walking foot. It gives a great deal of control and a wonderful result, but I am not a fan of wrestling the bulk of a full sized quilt through the throat. I can see using the walking foot for stabilization before doing free motion quilting, but doing a lot of work with the walking foot doesn’t seem to be a good idea to me unless it can be achieved by going the full length or width of the quilt.

I decided it was time to try some free motion quilting. I watched an Angela Walters video from Craftsy and jumped right in. I tried some pebbles with limited success.

Then I decided to play around with some freestyle overlapping curvy lines. They didn’t look very good, but I decided that I was not going to be critical. It was my plan to try a lot of different things and to get a feel for what it is like to try to control the bulk of a big quilt on a little machine. I’ve got quilting gloves and I am learning how to use them. I am finding that stitching vertically is easier for me than stitching horizontally. I am also having some difficulty with stopping the machine with the finger control in front of the needle that I customarily use, so I think I am going to switch to a foot pedal for free motion.

I’m enjoying the process, and I am ending up with an old favorite that is going to last a lot longer because it has been reinforced with machine quilting.

Now here is the big question. Do I share it at the Modern Quilt Guild after I have finished quilting it? I think maybe so.

QuiltCon 2017: Impressions of a First Time Attendee

I’ve wanted to attend QuiltCon ever since I watched some of the lectures from the first QuiltCon that took place in 2013. Craftsy offers some of the lectures for free on their site. This year I finally decided to make the investment in my quilting future by going to QuiltCon. I’m glad I did. One of the things that kept me from attending QuiltCon earlier was that I felt as if I wasn’t going to have anyone to hang out with. I felt as if I needed to build up a sense of community first. Since my first dreams of QuiltCon Attendance I have participated in three quilt retreats with my guild, plus taken two forays to “Quilters Take Manhattan”. As a result, I felt as if I knew a few people in the guild well enough to feel that I would have company with me at this event.

Eighteen members of the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild were in attendance this year at QuiltCon in Savannah Georgia. I did manage to spend a bit of time with some of those wonderful folks, especially over dinner, and I ran into others briefly during the course of the day.

The photograph of the quilt below, which won Best of Show, gives a bit of an idea of the size of this show, but the show is much larger than any one photograph could possibly depict.

Chigwell, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmanian Modern Quilt Guild

The following information is from the paperwork accompanying the piece:

It is made with a foundation paper piecing method entirely of solid fabrics. The inspiration for this quilt was a princess cut diamond. Techniques: Machine pieced, machine quilted without a frame – the quilt moved under the stationary needle (such as a domestic machine or mid-arm that is not on a frame), paper pieced.

The piece was offered for $2,000 and sold. I think she should have asked for more, and I think she could have gotten it too. However, at the time she priced this piece she had no way of knowing it would be such a winner, and that makes a difference.

Notice that this woman lives in Tasmania. She was not planning to attend QuiltCon, but she did manage to book a flight and get to the event in time for the awards ceremony.

Here is a closer look at the front,

and a close up of the backing fabric. Nicely chosen.

The really big winners in the show are displayed so it is easy to see both sides of the quilt. You can walk clear around them.

I really enjoyed walking through the quilt show. There was plenty to see. Not having been terribly organized in my approach to viewing the show, however, I am not completely certain that I saw every quilt, even after four days of viewing.

I had bought an all access pass to the lectures. Lectures were held in an auditorium perhaps 100 feet away from the exhibit hall. Lectures occurred throughout the day starting at 9:00 AM and going until about 6:00 PM with breaks between lectures lasting from 45 minutes to as many as 75 minutes. This was good because it encouraged me to alternate between viewing the quilts and listening to lectures. Straight lecture viewing would have been very tiring regardless of how riveting the individual lectures might have been. The lectures were good by and large, but I did find myself nodding off occasionally.

Next time I don’t think I will get the all access lecture pass because I ending up missing the opportunity to have breakfast with guild members at 9:30 AM on the other side of the river because of that lecture pass. Since I’d paid for the 9:00 AM lectures I felt as if I should attend them. I could have skipped them, of course, and I did end up skipping some lectures throughout the later days, but I think I still got my money’s worth on the cost of the pass because the pass was less than cost of all the lectures added together.

The show floor (quilts and vendors) opened each day at 10:00 AM after the first lecture. After a quick trot though the exhibit the first day, I decided to do some deliberate viewing, and documentation, of two specific categories in the show. These are the two categories I would be most likely to enter with my English Paper Piecing Glorious Hexagons work.

The first category is Handwork. I found this to be a small category which was composed of a variety of approaches to handwork. It seemed that any form of hand embellishment would qualify a quilt for inclusion in this category. Many of the quilts were machine pieced and machine quilted with some hand work added on, often just some big stitching. I’m not sure that even one of the pieces in this category was entirely done by hand.

The second category is Modern Traditionalism. This was quite a large category. Due to the size of the category I think it would be in my best interest to submit under Handwork if I do something modern enough to submit next year.

I am planning to show these two categories from the show in future blog posts very soon. I want to document them for myself so it is easy for me to skim through them rather than referring to the photographs in my camera roll.

A quilt that particularly caught my eye was in the “Nine Patch Challenge” category. I had actually seen this in advance in a blog post. I was particularly drawn to this quilt because my area of expertise during my fine arts degree was weaving. From the accompanying paperwork:

Warp and Weft
Cheryl Brickley
Greer, SC USA
Greenville Modern Quilt Guild

Inspired by some shot cotton fabric where the different colors are used in the warp (machine direction) and weft (cross-machine direction) “Warp and Weft” creates a 9-patch block using woven strips of fabric having different colors in the warp and weft direction. The woven strips are on a background of Yarn Dyed Essex Linen which also uses different colors in the warp and weft of the fabric.

Techniques: Machine quilted without a frame – the quilt moved under the stationary needle (such as a domestic machine or mid-arm that is not on a frame). Category: American Patchwork & Quilting Challenge Quilt Challenge.

Another quilt that caught my eye was the first place winner in the category of Improvisational Piecing. I was subjectively drawn to this piece because of my dismay over what is happening in the current political landscape. From the MQG website for the show winners:

Pieced and quilted by Kim Soper
Huntington, NY, United States
Individual MQG Member
48 x 60 inches

“This quilt (passion project) developed out of a desire to create an entirely improv-pieced recognizable image without use of template, paper-piecing or appliqué. Using an iconic image of Lincoln that had been converted to WPAP (vecor-based geometric pop art) by Ihsan Ekaputra, it was constructed using 6-inch blocks. The backing fabric is a repeating pattern of the original image of Lincoln. The binding is a nod to the vector-style of art on which the quilt is based. The end result is a quilt that is both identifiable as the intended image, and distinctly my own.”

Following are a few close ups of the details of Lincoln:

There was another quilt that particularly touched my heart on a very subjective level. It was a quilt in honor of Hillary Clinton. It earned one of the Judges Choice awards. I also happened to vote for it for the People’s Choice award, though I was not displeased with the fact that Lincoln took that honor. I knew it was a subjective vote, and that the piece was unlikely to win. Going through my pictures from the event I can’t find one of the Hillary quilt, so I stole this image from the MQG website along with the accompanying information:

Still With Her
Pieced and quilted by Liz Harvatine
Burbank, CA, United States
Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild
60 x 55 inches

“I made the basis for this quilt, a giant Hillary logo, the day before the presidential election. I felt so much hope and excitement and I channeled it into my sewing. The day after the election, all of that energy and feeling of promise was gone, yet it seemed so sad to leave this quilt unfinished. I decided to cut it apart and add to it; put it back together. I want to keep that feeling of hope. I want to build off of what could have been and create something even better in the future.”

You can see “Still With Her” and all of the other award winning quilts here.

I really had a wonderful time at QuiltCon. Going into this I was afraid that I would be pretty much on my own even though many of our guild members were also in attendance. I had scheduled a workshop for the same night as our guild chose to get together for dinner. I took Victoria Findlay Wolf’s 15 Minutes of Play on Thursday night so our guild dinner was not an option for me. I know that many of our guild members are quite active in the virtual realm, and I assumed that many of them would have dinners scheduled with virtual acquaintances for other nights, so I was planning to be independent throughout QuiltCon if necessary. Independence during the day is easy, but once the day is over you kind of want to have dinner with someone, and a bit of conversation.  Luckily I was able to have dinner with someone from the guild every night except the night I had the class. I also found out that many of the guild members were meeting on the other side of the river for breakfast at 9:30 AM before coming over to the convention center on the ferry. Some were even going over by ferry to join in for breakfast even though they were located at the Westin right next to the convention center requiring them to take the ferry back and forth before beginning their day at QuiltCon. Two years from now in Tennessee I will hope that people will want to meet for breakfast, and I will not schedule 9:00 AM lectures.

The photo above shows the view from the ferry. It was very easy to use the ferry and it was free. I selected a room at the Westin to avoid the need to use the ferry though I ended up using it in the evening to meet people for dinner. There were many times during the day when I was pleased that I could retire to my room between lectures rather than walk the show floor. However, having a room on the other side of the river would not have been the headache that I imagined it would be.

The weather was mostly pleasantly warm, and you could swim in the outdoor heated pool if you wanted to. One of our guild members messaged at 8:00 PM one night that she was swimming in the pool incase anyone wanted to join her. A few of us walked over to see if she was still there later, but she had already left. I had planned to use the pool on Sunday afternoon after the lectures were over, but the temperature had dipped, and I decided against it. If the temperature had remained steady I would be a richer woman today because I took one final expensive walk around the show floor where I made a major purchase.

Christine from Martelli stopped me as I passed her booth. She is pictured above. She asked, “Can I show you something that will change your life?” I thought, “Yeah sure”. At the time I didn’t realize that she was going to sell me a table. Although the cutting system was nifty, it was really the table that drew me in. She had me at, “It goes up and down.” I had been planning to purchase an Ikea table to serve as a cutting table in my sewing room. But I am very short waisted and tall, about 75% legs, so normal height counters don’t really serve me well. I can use an extra two or three inches of height on any counter, but you just can’t get that unless you get something custom built. So “up and down” was a very big deal to me. Christine also showed me how the table could be angled so your arm did not have to extend in an uncomfortable fashion to make a long cut across the fabric. Then she showed me how you could put your machine at the end of the table and angle it so the view of your work is more comfortable as you sew on your machine. I had to have the Martelli Advantage Work Station, and I had to have quite a few optional accessories which were available to me at 50% off at the same time as I purchased the table.

Martelli also has a mid arm machine with a table that raises and lowers for free motion quilting. I didn’t try it, but the idea appeals to me. I like the thought of being able to alternate between sitting and standing to quilt. I did check out quite a few seated mid arms with and without stitch regulators. I spent a great deal of time trying these machines for someone who does not machine quilt even on her domestic machine. Upon returning from QuiltCon I decided to do some machine quilting on my Janome 5S. I took a quilt that I had hand quilted 40 years ago whose stitches were rotting away from loving use. I am currently quilting it again using both my walking foot and my free motion foot on my domestic machine. More about that in a future post.

Next year QuiltCon will be in California, and very few of my fellow guild members are likely to attend, which would make attendance far less fun for me. I do have a plan, however. I’m thinking that I should do just three nights and two days. That will be short enough that I won’t feel lonely even if I don’t have anyone to hang with. I won’t schedule any workshops or lectures. I’ll just enjoy the show floor, document my favorites, and be on my way.

If you are thinking of attending a QuiltCon, stop thinking. Just do it.





Glorious Hexagons: Table Runner

I decided that it was time to start putting together some of my Glorious Hexagons to create the first finished piece in my series from the fabric of The Embracing Horses collection.

As I was assembling large hexagons I noticed that there were some blocks that got passed over time and time again. I thought it might be a good idea to try putting these together to make a table runner which I will use on the chest of drawers in the master bedroom.

I worked on this project throughout the day of the January 21st Women’s March on Washington D.C. I felt unable to attend the march myself so I had made a donation to allow a college student to obtain a ride to the march for free. To that extent I felt as if I was represented, yet I wanted to feel even more connected to the event. So I worked on my needlework while the women marched and watched the event on YouTube. Every time I look at this finished piece I will be reminded of how it had its inception during the Women’s March.

I started by laying out some of my “reject” blocks. Actually there was nothing wrong with any of the blocks. They just had not been chosen to play with others up until now.

I sewed the blocks together and then considered how I was going to flesh out the edges. My first thought was to appliqué the entire piece to a solid background of brown. There was no point in making border pieces because the width of the runner was so narrow that very little fabric would be saved by cutting border pieces, and much work would be created. Unfortunately, I felt that appliqué would have been difficult because I had used glue to baste my pieces and wasn’t sure how I was going to handle maintaining the crisp edges for appliqué as I removed the paper pieces. I got the idea of finishing off the edges with more piece work, but using thread basting for those paper pieces.

Having made that decision I was able to add brown half hexagons to begin fleshing out the edges. These pieces were glue basted because I only needed to have one piece of thread basting between the glued work and the finished edge in order to achieve my goal of removing papers with crisp edges intact.

Next came the thread basted pieces which would make up the finished edge. I needed an edge wide enough width to accommodate binding without the risk of it touching the edges of blocks. The path I chose turned out to be rather labor intensive as you can well imagine from viewing the photo above. Part of what I needed to do was to baste diamonds in both clockwise and counter clockwise directions in order to tame the tails. I also needed to be aware of how tails were positioned on the other pieces. In the photo above you can see that I had not yet learned those lessons, but I figured it out quickly after having to hide tails in the section above.

This is how the border looks after the basting threads have been removed, and tails have been hidden.

The piecing actually provides a bit of interest on the border.

One thing I noticed while doing this first piece with Glorious Hexagons is that you simply CAN NOT screw it up. When the pieces are placed next to each other they look good almost miraculously even if they are pieces that had been previously passed over time and time again. Then when they are sewn together they look even better. I had noticed that with my large hexagons, but it was even more obvious with these random blocks.

I’m nearly done with the borders. I’ll report back soon with the finished top.

I feel as if I have learned a lot help me decide how I will handle borders moving forward with future Glorious Hexagons projects.

My Year In Review

2016 Was a busy year.

I started out working feverishly on the Farmers Wife Quilt. I was pumping out about two blocks a week. I was printing the blocks onto card stock, cutting my own paper pieces, thread basting, and doing the entire quilt with the English Paper Piecing technique. I used a two color theme of violet and green Kona solids. The Farmer’s Wife project is pictured in part below. It was not long, however, before I found a new obsession.

A month into the new year I discovered a group on Facebook for the Glorious Hexagons project. I tentatively dipped my feet in the water with a couple of blocks using a piece of fabric I had hanging around from the Embracing Horses Collection by Laurel Burch. Before long I was all in. Little did I know that the Embracing Horses collection would become as much of an obsession as the Glorious Hexagons project. I have spent a lot of money searching for this out-of-print collection online.

The previous year, 2015, I had gained a lot of positive feedback by being a part of a group that posted their weekly English Paper Piecing progress on the website of the author of a book about EPP. Her weekly sharing was called the “Monday Morning Star Count”. I had found it highly motivating to participate in the star count. However, for personal reasons the star count was discontinued by its creator, and I needed to find a new way to interact positively with others in the quilt world. For awhile the Farmer’s Wife Facebook group served that purpose.

My new found obsession with Glorious Hexagons provided me with a new means of interacting with others and of gaining positive feedback. It is a smaller group and more welcoming to individual blog posts. I started to create content for my blog that I thought would be of interest to the group and posted links to my posts. They were well received. I found myself posting each and every individual hexagon I created to the Glorious Hexagons Facebook group, and I found myself commenting on many hexagons that others had created. It was, and still is, a very rewarding place to hang out.

Eventually I started to join my hexagons, I found myself posting each and every combination of seven hexagons to the Facebook group. I call these combinations my large hexagons. It is a method of construction that some of the other group members are also using.

My addiction to the Facebook group has served me well in terms of positive reinforcement. It’s been great, but one thing that has suffered just a little bit as a result is my posting here to my own blog. There’s more effort involved in writing blog posts, and there is less feedback. Now I know why people like Instagram. It is quick and easy. Yet, blogging is a more permanent record of my achievements, and for that reason I must continue to publish. I have tried to keep up with it, but it is not easy. One of my goals for 2017 is to blog more often.

My mother died in March. I managed to visit with her shortly before she passed, and I took this picture during our last visit.

During the election cycle I changed my profile image on Facebook to the image above. This image is based on one of my favorite large hexagons, and I thought it was a good way to show my support of Hillary Clinton.

Post election my blog posting fell off dramatically. I haven’t been here very often. One of the reasons that my posting came to a fairly abrupt halt was my sense of despair at the results of the United States presidential election. I’ve never felt this kind of despair about a political outcome. I can’t make sense of it. I had loved Bernie, but after he lost the primary I campaigned for Hillary.

I thought for sure she would win, and I can’t imagine a world in which Donald Trump is the leader of the free world. I imagine that some of my readers might be Trump supporters, and I respect your right to have made the decision to vote for him. I can respect it without understanding it. Here, in the world of quilting, we can agree to disagree and move on with our needlework. It’s what keeps me sane these days.

What does the future hold for me this year?

I’m hoping to quilt two quilt tops that are completely pieced. I have my Diamond Quilt top finished and also my Batik Flower Garden quilt top finished. I’m planning to send out the Diamond quilt top to be professionally quilted, and I am planning to hand quilt the Batik Flower Garden.

I am attending QuiltCon for the first time ever this year. That will be in February. Amazingly, 17 members of the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild will be in attendance. Two other members of the Lambertville Ladies with be at QuiltCon, and at least one other member of the Glorious Hexagons group will be there as well.

I’ve signed up for Mid Atlantic Mod in April, and I have just committed to attending a gathering of Slow Stitching Movement people who attended the first ever Slow Stitching Movement Workshop with me in 2014. It will be great to see some of these women again. We are planning to meet in April.

As for Glorious Hexagons? Here are the stats for 2016. 328 hexagons pieced. 217 of them joined into large hexagons to form 31 large hexagons. 110 hexagons remaining to be worked with and much more fabric to cut into.  My plans for Glorious Hexagons for 2017 include piecing a queen sized bed quilt joining 21 large hexagons with brown triangular pieces as shown below. Notice the cool brown stars that emerge.

I plan to keep making more large hexagons and to join them into another queen sized quilt but without the triangular joining pieces as shown below.

I’ll think about how to make use of the remaining hexagons after I’m done with the two quilts. perhaps I will simply join them side by side without any joining triangles as shown below.

I hope your 2016 was good, and I hope your 2017 is even better.


Glorious Hexagons: Progress at CJMQG Retreat

Last weekend I attended a quilting retreat that was put on by the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild. It was a wonderful experience, and this was my third year in attendance at this event.

It turned out that I was the only person in attendance who did not happen to bring along a sewing machine, but I was pleased to see that one other attendee brought her Glorious Hexagons work with her, and that she spent some time working on it. She is using Kaffe Fassett fabrics exclusively, so the feeling of her work is very different from mine. I loved seeing the beautiful blocks she had created and the way they worked together as she was assembling them. She had put together the entire quilt design on a design wall before coming to the retreat and was working on assembling portions of the design. I definitely must obtain some Kaffe Fassett prints and must do another quilt using his wonderful bright colors.

It has been a long time since I have shown the overall progress of my work. The last time I did I only had 15 large hexagons to show. Now I have 26 of them. I took the opportunity to place them randomly on the floor at this retreat. Here they are.

I also took the opportunity to lay out the single hexagons I have made so far that have not yet found a home in a large hexagon. Here are those hexagons.

Having taken these photographs I came to to the realization that I especially enjoy seeing the green and blue stars in the centers of my large hexagons. That inspired me to spend my remaining time at the treat putting together a few green and blue hexagons to serve as centers for large hexagons.

Below are the hexagons assembled during the retreat. Some of them are duplicates owing to the fact that they are Kim blocks cut from six layer stacks.

The above blocks will be introduced individually in a future blog post.

Glorious Hexagons: What Goes on in My Head

It  might be a little egocentric to think that anyone really cares what goes on in my head, Be that as it may, to explain that phenomena is exactly why I blog. I do it to share my process as I tackle a particular project.

The other day I found myself wanting to put together a big hexagon composed of blocks that had a bit of green in them. I had a limited number of blocks of that nature and found myself feeling that my proposed arrangement just wasn’t cutting it. One of my blocks seemed out of place. It was drawing too much attention to itself for a block on the periphery of a big hexagon.

Which block feels out of place here?

It is the one to the far left of the configuration. It just seems to be “trying too hard”. It wants to be in the center of a big hexagon, not along the periphery.

I decided to pull it out. This meant that I needed to go back to one of my layer stacks from the panel fabric to find a cut that would make a block that would play well with the others. To use a musical metaphor, I wanted a block that was willing to sing backup.

I searched for an area of the panel that had some green. I found a slim area of green between two honking big horse heads, and there I made my cut.

Above you can see a basted kite piece inserted into the space from which it had come,

and the resulting Doris block attempting to hide in its natural environment.

Another delightful Doris is born,

and auditions for her part.

Here is the big hexagon sewn completely together and photographed on the front porch in my usual staging area. The audition photograph above that was taken on the back deck. I needed to do that because the morning sun makes taking photographs on the front porch impossible. It’s good to know now that I have a place to take photographs regardless of the time of day during sunlight hours.

I didn’t want the block I had pulled to feel rejected, so I set about immediately making it the center of attention in its own big hexagon

The two large hexagons above are numbers 25 and 26. Up to this point I have only displayed big hexagons 1 through 15, so I definitely have some blogging to do to get the rest of these pieces out there.



Glorious Hexagons: Big Hexagons 11 through 15

Here are the next five big hexagons.

The fabric for the central star was chosen to harmonize with the orange emphasis of the central hexagon. For the hexagons on the perimeter I chose to alternate blocks that had a rust colored emphasis with blocks having a blue colored emphasis.

The fabric for the central star was chosen to emphasize the rust color in the cuts of fabric used in the central hexagon. For the hexagons on the perimeter I chose to alternate blocks that included the same green as is used in the central hexagon with blocks that are primarily brown in hue.

The fabric for the central star was chosen to emphasize the color of the diamonds with the horse eyes making up the outside shapes of the central hexagon. For the hexagons on the perimeter I chose to alternate blocks that used a good amount of the mottled yellow fabric with blocks that were primarily rust colored.

In retrospect I would have saved the bird block that appears in the lower right for a different large hexagon. That block seems slightly out of place, not because of the subject matter, but because the block is significantly darker than the other blocks in this large hexagon.

The fabric for the central star was chosen to harmonize with the darker elements in the central hexagon. In retrospect I think I might have been better off matching the lighter elements for the star. I’m not completely pleased with the result.

For the hexagons on the perimeter I chose to alternate blocks that had a blue/gray emphasis with blocks that are primarily rust/blue in emphasis.

This is probably my least favorite large hexagon so far. It may not make it into the final quilt after I have many more large hexagons to choose from in the final layout.

The fabric for the central star was chosen to harmonize with the lighter elements in the central hexagon. That particular hexagon is one of my favorites with its nearly perfect circular ring of horse mane fabric.

For the hexagons on the perimeter I chose to keep the color and value of the hexagons very close to each other. There is a bit of alternation taking place. Alternate blocks are linear in nature.

I really enjoy the high contrast between the light value of the central star and the consistently darker value of the surrounding hexagons along the perimeter. Find this large hexagon in the image below. You will see how the central star really pops when the large hexagons are placed side by side.




Glorious Hexagons: The 23rd Decade

Here are Glorious Hexagons 221 through 230.

#13 Judy

The hexagons in this Judy were cut from a scrap portion of a layer stack. It isn’t a cut that I would have made by choice. I think it worked out rather well, however, paired with the mottled yellow fabric to finish off the block.

#13 Judy

The hexagons for this Judy were also cut from a scrap area of a layer stack. I joined them with some diamonds for the central hexagon that would bring in more of the light blue color into the final block. Diamonds with ark swirls on the rust yellow fabric finish off the background allowing the light blue circle to take center stage.

#23 Dawn

I love the way the Hexagon Thirds work with this Dawn block. I especially like how the cheek and eye nestle in one half of the shape. I also like the way the rust color melts from the central hexagon into the adjoining outer shapes. I also like the white mane circle. Dawn has become one of my favorite blocks, especially using the Hexagon Third shapes for the the center.

#9 Doris

I really like using the Doris block to show off the various horse heads in the Large Horse Head fabric. In this block I like the blue circle in the background. I also like the way the horse snouts become a decorative element in the center of the block.

#9 Doris

This Doris is similar to the one above. There will be more Doris horse head blocks in the near future.

#54 Kim

Here I am back to my favorite block of all Kim with the horse head mane airplane propellor effect taking center stage on this block.

#23 Dawn

The outer shapes of this Dawn are cut from one of my favorite parts of the Panel Fabric. This block is going to be matched up with two other similar looking blocks in a large hexagon unit.

#23 Dawn

What is interesting about this Dawn is that I was forced to use triangles to make the central hexagon for the block. I had wanted to use the Hexagon Third shape, but the birds in this fabric are so densely spaced that it was impossible to place the template without overlapping part of a bird.

#1 Marie

All the little birdies go, “Tweet, tweet, tweet.” The Marie block is composed of three hexagons and three diamonds. In this Marie the hexagons are made up of two half hexagons facing each other. I was going to make the triangles out of the yellow background of the fabric, but decided instead to use additional birds. The block ends up with a a vacant center and three swarms of birds circling in the thirds of the block.

#10 Kelly

I had initially planned to face the pieces that make up the thirds of this block in the same direction. Then I got the idea of facing them toward each other with the blue stripe on the outside. I like the result. This block is likely to be used along with the similarly colored Dawn three blocks above.


Glorious Hexagons: The 22nd Decade

Here are Glorious Hexagons 211 through 220.

#8 Marena

#2 Carol

There is a story behind this Carol. I had originally put this block together in a different way. It was nagging me though, because it was very reminiscent of a German Swastika, albeit one with six rather than four legs. I didn’t want any block of mine to conjure up that vile image though, so I ripped it apart and put it back together in much nicer way.

#1 Maria

The hexagons get lost in this Maria, and a triangular element emerges and takes center stage in this block.

#34 Christie

The Christie block is going to be a nice way to show off the various horse heads in the large horse head fabric.

#10 Kelly

When I first made a couple Kelly blocks, much earlier in the project, I didn’t really like the block that much. It just didn’t speak to me. That all changed when I combined these two fabrics to make this Kelly block. I see more Kelly blocks in my future. This is one of my favorite individual blocks. I really like the way these two fabrics play together here.

#23 Dawn

If I had this Dawn to do over again I would have chosen a brown that more closely matches the background color of the outer shapes. Those shapes are cut from one of my favorite portions of the Panel Fabric for the collection. I feel that the color that I selected for the center dominates too much and draws attention away from the outer shapes. This block may actually get ripped apart and redone.

#10 Kelly

Moving forward with those Kelly blocks… Initially I was planning to make the horse heads in the diamond shaped thirds of the block face in the same direction. Then I got the idea of flipping them. I like the way the cheeks appear to grow from the necks of the facing horses. This is a little bit bizarre, but for some reason or another when I look at this block I am strangely reminded of the Sistine Chapel. I know it is weird. It must just be me.

#2 Carol

Each large triangle of this Carol is made up of four small triangle segments cut from the Birds on Black fabric. Initially these six large triangles were going to be paired with another Birds on Black hexagon to make a star in the center of a big hexagon. I thought that the end result was too busy though, so I repurposed the triangles into another Carol block which will become the center of another star in another big hexagon.

#38 Sonja

I like the way the Mane Fabric swirls and the way the horse cheeks become the dominant elements in this Sonja block.

#35 Sharon

This Sharon is very dimensional. I like the Sharon block, but I have not made that many of them. I am planning to make more. Taking advantage of the sharp edges of some of the stripe like elements in the Panel Fabric seems like a good way to do this. That division down the center of the diamond shapes makes the final design really pop.