I decided to put aside the Liberty fabric hexagons for a while as when I placed the hexagons on my design wall I realised that it was going to look stunning but I would need a lot more navy fabrics. I could have done a smaller quilt but to get the contrast between the colours I needed the quilt to be larger than I had originally anticipated. Here is the layout as I have arranged it so far. The outside needs a lot of navy so that there is enough contrast with the greens and the blues and purples.
I was very happy with the design but decided to research hexagon quilts online for my new one. I googled hexagon quilts and clicked on images and narrowed it down to about ten quilts…mostly museum quilts from the nineteenth century. I finally settled on an antique one from Maine which had clearly defined contrasts between light and dark and light and medium fabrics. It also had a stunning secondary pattern running through it. The design was originally known in the nineteenth century as “Hexagon Mosaic” and then in the twentieth century there was a resurgence of interest in the design and it was renamed “Grandmother’s Flower Garden.”
Part one: the finding of the fabric
The next thing for me to do was to sort through my scrap boxes. I needed lots of pale pink as well as lots of cream with soft coloured flowers on them. When I had those I needed soft florals in those colours but slightly duskier or richer in shade. Then I needed darks, both bright darks and dark well… darks….in navy florals. Next came even darker florals with predominantly black backgrounds. Then as contrast floral brights in the colourways of the black florals. Whew this is probably confusing but as am not writing a pattern or anything it will have to suffice….it just adds to the mystique.
Part Two: the cutting of the hexagons
Okay….next came the template bit. Thank goodness for those recently sharpened scissors is all I can say. I then placed the half hexies in graduated rows starting with light cream with pink through to mid pink and dusky lilac. The other row was the deep navy and black florals and the bright florals. I actually forgot to take a photo at this stage, but I remembered toward the end of the placement so took one then.
Part Three: the placement of the blocks
I draped a flannel sheet on our seven feet china cabinet as my temporary design wall and started to arrange the hexies in rows …bearing in mind I was after a mosaic effect …even though I was not using the same colourway as the one on the website I wanted to achieve the balance of light and dark both within the quilt and within each row. After some hours I had achieved the look I was aiming for and I photographed the design to see if anything stood out. I decided a few areas needed tweaking.
Part Four: the sewing of the strips
I removed the first two strips and placed each individual half hexy from each strip in its own pile…
and somewhere along the hallway between the loungeroom and our bedroom I reversed one of the strips….only had two piles in my hands so have nooo idea how I did it but let me just say….it did not happen again!!! I then removed each strip of half hexies as it was pinned together on the design wall and sewed it together that way. Worked perfectly!
Here is one of the strips….see its quarter inch seam…
Part five: the sewing of the top
I decided to do this in another step or week from Aneela’s as due to my arthritis I cannot piece the blocks and the top in one week. I try not to overdo things and as long as I take breaks away from the machine I can manage, however there is no way that I can sew at the pace of other people. I think this is why I take such care with getting my colourways right, I do not mind putting something away if it is not working. Sewing is exquisitely painful for me and as it hurts so much I am determined to make the pain worthwhile! If that makes sense!!! So I will soon have completed the top…am halfway through and am finding as Aneela said… it is very easy to make sure the points match up…a gentle tug and perfection…must be the bias edge.