Tuesday, January 17, 2017

More of Those Hexagon Blocks from Katja's Calendar

Do you have yours yet?
Yes, I'm back with some more blocks from Katja's calendar. I absolutely love working with hexagons and all things based on the 60 degree angle. This next block combines two units I have used for over 20 years in various projects. My Seven Sisters quilts (pattern on Craftsy; click the link) use one of those:

My Seven Sisters quilt
Can you see the units? I think it's easier when you see one of the stars. First, the parts:

Diamonds and triangles
For a lovely star:
Seven of these make up the Seven Sisters quilt
Now let's see the January 17 block from Katja's calendar done in Kaffe Fasset fabrics:

Three of those diamond/two triangle units
I started out with a different fabric for those 3 half-hexagons and I really didn't like it:

It's always good to audition your fabrics before you sew all the seams!
And I made another one using that beautiful Sgrafito Collection by Benartex:

January 17 block in the Sgrafito Collection
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 3

I love what Patricia B. of Australia did with my patterns. She brought them to life with her choice of fabrics. But, it's beyond amazing how she photographed each one of them. And she did this every. Single. Day, of 2016.

Here is the 3rd week of blocks made by Patricia:

January 15, Birthday Cake

January 15, Birthday Cake: 12"
January 16, Indiana Puzzle Variation

January 16, Indiana Puzzle Variation: 12"
 January 17, Ladie's Aid Block

January 17, Ladie's Aid Block
 January 18, Louisiana
January 18, Louisiana
 January 19, Patch as Patch Can

January 19, Patch as Patch Can
 January 20, Patience Corners
January 20, Patience Corners
 January 21, Right Hand of Friendship

January 21, Right Hand of Friendship
I hope you enjoyed seeing this set of 7 blocks. Hope to be back next Sunday for another set. Thanks, Patricia!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hexagon Wreath of Blocks

Another post about The New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar by Katja Marek (published by Martingale).  This is part of the Perpetually Hexie Quilt Along. The January project is taken from the January 13 block. First, here is the block:

January 13 block from the calendar using Kaffe Fassett fabrics
And the block in Sgrafito fabrics from Benartex:

January 13 block using Sgrafito fabrics from Benartex
Wow. That's a lot of funky angles. How did I sew it? For my years working on the editorial staff of Quilt Magazine, we were advised to always "look for the long seams." Allow me to show you.

First, the parts as shown in the Benartex block:

Two triangles, two diamonds and four half-hexagons
Step 1: Sew the center two triangles together
Sew two triangles together
 Step 2: Sew one half-hexagon to the bottom triangle
Adding one half-hexagon to the bottom triangle
 Step 3: Sew one half-hexagon to the other side of the bottom triangle
Second half-hexagon sewn to bottom triangle
 Step 4: Sew a diamond to a half-hexagon twice and then join to the top triangle.
Adding the last half-hexagons and diamonds
See?! No y-seams. All straight seam sewing.

Then, in a show of how much of a renegade I am (because these are NOT EPP - English Paper Pieced), I chose to add setting triangles to each of the six blocks instead of appliqueing each block to a huge background triangle. Saves a lot of fabric, btw.

Simple triangles added to 3 sides of the hexagon block
And my version of the January project:
January wreath of six January 13 blocks. Mine is a bit larger at 18" tall.

Hope you enjoyed the show! I loved working with these fabrics and the ease of stitching using my rotary cutter. The size of my blocks is only slightly larger (by about 1/4").

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seven Sisters with English Paper Piecing

The Seven Sisters quilt is vintage. It is traditionally composed of ONLY 60 degree diamonds. That means there are a LOT of y-seams! Lots of diamonds. Lots of y-seams.

60 degree diamonds
More diamonds cut from the Sakura Collection by Benartex
I simplified the pattern to include triangles and there are no y-seams - only straight seam sewing. Let's start with units:

Diamonds sewn with triangles

More diamonds and triangles
Now let's see what happens next:
6 Pointed Star, where the double triangles take the place of a diamond

Another star
Now let me show you my two class samples (but not from these fabrics, because I use these units and blocks as teaching steps.)
Seven Sisters scrappy
 And one more using batiks. The outer black prints, though in the shape of 6 large diamonds, are really two triangles in disguise. All of the yellow confetti print are also triangles masquerading as diamonds.
Seven Sisters with batiks
Didn't I start off by talking about English Paper Piecing? I'm getting to that, ok?
I bought a pack of 2" diamonds last year, then used a hole punch so I could anchor my pin. I rotary cut fabric diamonds; folded the fabric and pressed with an iron so I could have REALLY sharp creases. Love those binder clips. Ready to stitch.
2" diamonds prepped for hand stitching.
Yes, y-seams. But these are small and the card stock keeps everything crisp for joins.
Yes, we are using y-seams! But not as many if I didn't have a plan.
I am teaching English Paper Piecing at the Atlanta and Lakeland Sewing Expo in March. I have included diamonds with hexagons so my students can go beyond the standard Grandmother's Flower Garden block. What does that look like?

Grandmother's Flower Garden with added diamonds
OK. Can we get back to the Seven Sisters? Of course! Here are 3 of my needed 7 blocks, hanging out on my deck last summer when there wasn't any snow (unlike today, sigh.)

What are all those pointy pieces of fabric poking out? That's the way the fabric is wrapped around the paper shape. They get tucked under when all are put together. My students also get pre-cut fabric diamonds and seven 2" diamond EPP papers to try their hand at all diamonds. (They also get packs of hexagon papers, bundles of fabric, lots of illustrations, needle and thread, etc)

Three of the seven blocks I need for my Seven Sisters quilt
I finished all 7 of the blocks, but I wasn't sure about the placement of my orange and blue triangles setting triangles. So, I took a picture of each and mulled it over for a few weeks.

Seven Sisters with blue center triangles
Seven Sisters with orange center triangles
And which did I choose? First, let me show you the back side (not THAT back side!)

My EPP Seven Sisters from the back, trimmed and ready to remove papers
And here is my final Seven Sisters using my Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I chose the blue triangles for the center.
Finally finished! Whew!
Well, not quite finished. I added batting and backing (which was wrapped around and tucked under the folded edges of the quilt and then stitched down). NOW she's done! What do you think? I used the Kaffe Lotus Leaf fabric for the backing (which also becomes the binding when wrapped around.)

Seven Sisters in the snow.
This measures a whopping 24" high (from flat side to flat side). This will be a awesome teaching sample for my students.

You may notice that my machine stitched quilt (near the top, done in browns) and the batik one look different than this one. It's all in the assembly of the star blocks. Either way, both are real Seven Sisters quilts (though technically, they are actually only ONE block). Try a Pinterest search for Seven Sisters quilts. You will see the most amazing work! For now, I'm getting in from the snow and drying off. Brrrrr!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week Two of the Calendar Blocks by Patricia B of Australia

Week Two from my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar as sewn by Patricia B of Australia:

Double Arrow
January 8: Double Arrow, 12"
 Duck and Ducklings
January 9: Duck and Ducklings, 10"
 Five Spot
January 10: Five Spot, 18"
 Four Crowns
January 11: Four Crowns, 12"
 Game Cocks
January 12: Gamecocks, 15"
 Greek Cross
January 13: Greek Cross, 9"
 Hayes Corner
January 14: Hayes Corner, 12"

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hexagon Spiderweb Hot Pads and FREE Pattern

The current issue of Make It! Patchwork Magazine is on the newsstands and my hexagon hot pads are being re-run. There are only two process shots in the magazine (for space) and I think you need to see all of them.

First, here is one of the hot pads. It's the only shot I have, even though I made four of these. My daughter owns the set, or I would take a few more pics.

Hexagon Spiderweb trivet: 12" x 13-3/4"
I used the Bella Collection by Lotta Jansdotter (for Windham Fabrics) and chose two colors: blue and yellow.
Yellow Spiderweb trivet
You can download the pattern with photos and templates at the end of this post. Here are a few of the steps to entice you.

Two strips cut 3-1/2" x wof are sewn together. Then cut into 60 degree triangles using the 6-1/2" horizontal line on a ruler.
Strip set cut into 60 degree triangles
Six of the wedges make a whole hexagon:
Sew the strip sets together into sections as shown
Use the pieced hexagon to cut out the backing:
Press final seam open. Cut out backing using the pieced hexagon as your guide
Add a piece of batting and stitch around the six sides, leaving a 5-6" opening for turning.

Sew through all layers, leaving an opening for turning.
Clip the corners:
Clip corners
Turn right side out:
Turn hot pad right side out (this is the backing) and press well
 Topstitch 1/8" from the edge all around.
Would you like the free pattern? Of course, you do! Hexagon Spiderweb Hot Pads Pattern