I finished the custom portrait quilt, and it’s on the way to its new home. I made lots of notes and took lots of photos of my process, and I will be posting some tutorials later this month, including a new process for facing a quilt. I think these are the squarest corners I’ve ever achieved with a facing finish.
My next project is an entry for this fabric challenge from the La Conner Quilt Museum. When I saw the two green fabrics, one dark and one medium value, I was reminded of the Tumbling Blocks quilt pattern which requires the careful selection and placement of dark, medium and light values to create an optical illusion. Here’s a tumbling block quilt I made in 2001.
Then I remembered a more complex quilt pattern that I’ve wanted to make forever, but couldn’t figure out how to machine piece it without dealing with set-in seams. (If you look closely at my tumbling block quilt, you’ll see I found a way to piece it all with straight seams.) I’m not sure what the name of this block is, but I find it fascinating. It occurred to me that since this block is made from half-hexagons, I could use Jacquie Gering’s really cool method for sewing hexagons by machine.
So I cut my fabrics into half-hexagon shapes and arranged them on my design wall. Then I sewed them together into hexagons. I’m trying to keep this quilt to 18 x 18 inches, and I wanted to have 4 of the shapes across, so my hexagons are each about 3 inches unfinished. I don’t have a hexagon shaped acrylic template, so I cut a hexagon from freezer paper just less than 3 inches. I ironed my template to each block and trimmed the edges with scissors to ensure they are all the same size.
To sew my hexagons in columns as described in Jacquie’s technique, I have to sew them diagonally. I started in the upper right corner to make sure I understood the instructions. So far, so good. I have a couple of tips – you need to see your stitching lines, so don’t use black thread on black fabric – after I switched to dark gray thread it worked much better. I really don’t like back-stitching, so instead I’m leaving long threads at each end of my seams, pulling them to the same side of the fabric and tying them off.
As always, I’m linking up with these blogs for WiP Wednesday. Click on the buttons below to see all the people participating and check out their projects.