I have never tried English Paper Piecing, but have been intrigued by it for a very long time. Even as a small child, I adored the Grandma’s Flower Garden quilts made from hexagons. To me, their simple geometry is very satisfying. They are almost abstract in design, but a recurring pattern in quilt history at least as far back as the 1700’s.
Like many quilters, knitters, and crafters, I like to have a small “take-along” project that can be done on a car trip, bus ride, or just moved about the house easily. I am strongly considering starting a hexagon project. No deadline, just something to pick up when I have a chance, and set aside when I need to. I certainly have enough fabric scraps to make one. And it seems to fall in quite nicely with my love of scrappy quilts and postage stamp sized piecing. Do not remind me that I have tons of WIP’s and UFO’s already. After all, what difference would it make having one more make?
After scavenging books and searching online, I found a massive volume of good ideas for just such an undertaking. I also found some stunning examples of hexagon quilts, and a ton of great inspiration. Special thanks to each of the quilters whose work is pictured here, for motivating the rest of us, and for letting me use their photographs. Click on any of the photos to see more of their work. And scroll down to see a list of hexagon quilt-related links.
Now, will you please help me out?Have you done hexagon projects? What size pieces seem to work the best for you? Did you use plain paper, vellum, freezer paper, or something else? Are the pre-cut paper pieces a good investment? How have you used your hexagons—in quilts, coasters, clothes, or something else? Should the fabric be starched? Does the thread and needle selection make a difference in ease of joining? And just how tedious is it to remove the paper bits later? Please comment and share your experiences with these questions, as well as any other hexagon advice you may have. And if you, too, are considering doing your first hexagon project, I hope you will let me know. We can take on this quilting adventure together!
Thanks in advance for all the great suggestions that I know you will be sharing.
Some fun paper-piecing and hexagon sites to check out include:
- Patterns From History: Grandmother’s Flower Garden
- Paper Pieces, pre-cut paper pieces and lots of ideas
- Paper Pieces also includes a photo log of Deborah’s king size quilt being made from 1/4 inch paper hexagon templates. Now that is tiny!
- Quilter’s Cache: Grandmother’s Flower Garden instructions
- One Crafty Mumma: Wednesday Hex-Alongs
- Sew, Mama, Sew! Paper Piecing Hexagons
- Thimble Blossoms, Hexagon Quilt Tutorial
- Kaye Wood’s video tutorial for a different method of cutting and machine-piecing hexagon quilts
- Postcards From Panama, hexagon quilt tutorial
- Sunshine Creations: Tutorial on English Paper Piecing
- Jaybird Quilts! Sew and Flip Hexagon Tutorial, not paper pieced, but quilt-as-you-go
Lilac Watch Wednesday, Week 3 – update
But Tuesday brought a sunny day, and all the growing things perked up instantly.
A week with warmer weather would work wonders on our dispositions as well as on the tulips, lilacs, and apple trees. My fingers are crossed.
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