Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Stash Busting Stars" - progress continues with star #1

I've started a new hand-pieced project, Esther Aliu's "Stashing Busting Stars".   You can read about the first half-star I made here.

I thought that I would proceed on a 'one star a week' basis.  After all, once the fabric pieces have been cut out, all you have to do is wrap them around the templates and sew them up, right?

Bwahahahahaaaaa!   Yeah, right.

Seems that I forgot about how Life Gets In The Way. :-)

Right after I finished that half-star, I immediately plunged into my scrap bins and pulled out some fabric to make my first full star.  It took me slightly more than a week ... as I missed last Wednesday's linky on Esther's blog ... but as of today (Saturday, 9/24/16), I *have* finished it!  Woo hoo!


This is just the circular star portion of the block.  It finished at 19" diameter, which is less than the 21" dimension of the full block .. but that's because I have NOT determined what my background fabric will be.  The background fabric will make up the difference.

I don't intend on even thinking about the background fabric until I have more stars made .. a LOT more stars.  Since I plan in making these stars without regard to color planning, I can certainly defer decisions of the background fabric until much later.  Or until I find a Really Good Deal on an Obviously Suitable Background Fabric. :-)






Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I need a new Forever Project™


A "Forever Project™" is a handwork one, that I can do while I am away from home.  When I'm home, I'm using my sewing machine.  So, when I'm away from home .. appointments, road trips, whatever .. I want to still be productive and creative.  I get antsy and feel as though I am wasting my time if my hands aren't busy with some sort of handwork.  My Forever Projects™ sometimes really DO feel as though they are going to last "forever" but eventually they become completed. On the other hand, if it gets put aside and never gets done, that's OK with me also.  After all, it *is* a "Forever Project™"!

I've just finished a Forever Project™ and need a new one.  I have discovered that I absolutely adore English Paper Piecing (EPP).  It was in 2013 that I first began my tentative exploration of EPP and hexagons.  My first hexies were HUGE .. like 2" on a side huge!  When I realized that I really did like this procedure, I dropped the size of my hexies .. although I've never gone to the extreme of making 1/4" hexies. :-)

All the while, almost the only shape I did was hexies.  Three years and many projects later, even I will admit that hexies are getting a little stale.   Although, having said that, I have a zip pouch of fabric squares, hexie templates and supplies as my "grab bag" for working on something in the car .... hexies are absolutely mindless creativity for me these days.

I have been thinking that it would be nice to work on OTHER shapes for EPP projects.  So, it was rather fortuitous that I read Esther Aliu's blog of September 5, 2016 where she launched her newest pattern, "Stash Busting Stars".  Eventually, I succumbed to it's siren call and purchased the pattern.

Let me preface this next part by saying that I *DID* read the pattern before making the templates.  Apparently, I glossed over the fact that a full star block is 21".  Let me repeat that .. TWENTY-ONE INCHES square.  It just didn't register ... at the time!






From my stash, I pulled out a lovely piece of black background with hot pink polka dots.  This would be *perfect* for the center star.

But .. hmmm ...  I only had enough to cut 3 star pieces (out of a total of 6 needed).  Not to worry; I'm certain that more of the fabric is in my scrap box.

Only, I don't.  I up-ended my scrapbox and there was simply no scrap of this fabric in sight.  And neither did this fabric exist in my yardage inventory.  Oy vey!

So .. hmmm ... what to do.   Well, the pattern DOES call for a certain number of half-blocks and with only 3 star pieces that is exactly what I could make!  Continuing onwards, I pulled out some compatible fabrics for the other block pieces and happily stitched away.

Do you know ... really KNOW ... how BIG a 21" block is???  Good LORD .. it's HUGE!!   (insert picture of my hitting my head on the wall).  After working with the small hexies, these pieces felt incredibly awkward in my hands but I'm sure with repeated use, they will feel less so.

The round star block is designed to be inset into a square block .. or alternatively, you could applique onto a background square.  But, I am worlds away from making a decision on what the background fabric should be.  So, what I did was to simply baste, with big, galloping stitches, the folded under edges of my half-star block onto a piece of muslin ... just to keep those pesky seam allowances in check!

I am really, *really*, REALLY pleased with the way this (half) block came out!  I can see why this pattern is perfect for scrap busting ... you really only need a little bit of four fabrics to make the block.   Sure, you'll need a whole bunch of yardage for the background .... but you can defer that decision for a LONG time ... as you continue to make bunches of round stars.  :-)

Thank you to Esther for coming up with this pattern.  I'm looking forward to this being my next Forever Project™!!  :-)



Sunday, August 28, 2016

"Reaching Out" - my Forever Project™ top is finished!

YES! the top is finally done.  Borders and everything!.

My own "rule" for Forever Projects™ is that they are handwork and done only when I am away from my house .. doctor's appointments, Little League games, road trips, vacations.  I don't work on them at home because when I'm at home, I using my sewing machine to work other projects.

But, because I was just a tad paranoid that I had underestimated the border fabric (and the store only had a little more AND it wasn't even a local store for me), I plunked my rear end down in a chair and stitched away until I was done, *done*, DONE!  

It feels very, very weird not to have it around to work on.  :-)

All of the hexie flowers were hand-stitched.  All of the applique was hand done.  The borders that connect to the hexie flowers (the sides) were hand stitched/appliqued but the top/bottom borders, which were straight lines, were machine stitched on.

I wanted to be able to have all of the applique pieces "complete" before I ever stitched them to the base fabric.  This is because, if left to my typical practices, I will keep picking ONE color and then I'd have a concentration of THAT color in ONE spot rather than it being scattered all over the top.  In order to have that apparent random scattering of color, for me, it would be best if all the applique shapes were prepped before hand.

To do that, I used a fusible, water-soluable stabilizer as my applique template.  These come in sheets that can be fed through your ink jet printer.  So, I scanned all the applique shapes, put them into a graphic and then *printed* the applique shapes onto the water-soluable sheet.  Afterwards, I cut the template shapes out, fused them to the wrong side of the appropriate fabric and used a washable glue stick to adhere the seam allowance to the back of the template.  

THEN, I could plop the appliques wherever I wanted and rearrange them easily before stitching them to the base fabric.  I also used a swipe of washable glue to stick the applique to the base fabric, instead of using pins .. because I just do not like getting stuck with pins when I am sewing!

Eventually (egads, is *that* a vast understatement!), all the applique shapes were stitched to their columns, the hexie flowers stitched to the edges of the columns, the columns were sewn together and the borders sewn on.  Whew.  1 year and 4 months of work.  I must add that I wasn't steadily stitching that entire time.  I was a lamer as I put it aside to work on other projects. :-)
The size is weird .. due to my hexie flower columns and the width of the borders; it's 75" wide and 101" long.   That makes it slightly less wide than a double/full but as long as a queen.   It is what it is. :-)
The jagged sides of the hexie flower columns were hand stitched to the appropriate base fabric (the border print or the white background fabric), while the straight line of the top & bottom borders were machine stitched.  Obviously, you can't tell the difference from a casual look, but *I* know just how much hand work went into it!
I didn't even TRY to match the pattern of the border lattice print!  While all the borders were cut with straight of grain, the sides were oriented vertically and the top/bottom borders were oriented sideways.  There is simply *no way* you can match up printed fabric when they are placed 90° to each other.




Here's my favorite hexie flower, the fabric is compliments of a quilting buddy.  It's a fussy cut hexie flower featuring piles of poo.  :-)





Some of the hexie flowers were fussy cut, some were just plain fabric and *some* were .. "oops.  I ran out of this fabric.  Let's see if I have something that coordinates."  :-)
As for the quilting .. well, that's an entirely separate project.  Although I'd be lying if I said I haven't been thinking about it.  I'll probably do a SITD around all the appliques.  Ugh .. yes, that a lot of SITD which is *not* the easiest thing to do with a longarm.  BUT, it will certainly stabilize the quilt and make the appliques more defined.  The background (white) will get some sort of filler but not a stipple.  I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with the hexie flower columns.  The borders could get a swag quilted design.  I like swags and although they may not be readily seen due to the lattice print, once again, it's my quilt and I can quilt whatever (inappropriate) design I want. :-)

But that's for the future.  Right now, I'm taking a break from quilting by attempting to get some household chores done.  After the HOURS of sitting required for the hand applique, I really, really, really feel the need to be moving around!  :-)

And yes, I do have another Forever Project lined up.  Details at 11. :-)




Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Reaching Out" - has a light at the end of the tunnel


My current Forever Project™ has the end in sight!  This layout alternates columns of hexie flowers with columns of vines & floral appliques all surrounded by a slab-o-border.

I've been working on this hand-stitched project since .. well .. Forever.  (Actually April 2015).  I recently finished stitching all the panels (columns) together, since all the applique work was FINALLY done.  Oh, woo hooo ... I tell you, I am rather tired of those flowers and leaves.

I've been worrying about what to do about the border.  Generally speaking, I don't care for slab-o-borders but in this case, I think that is exactly what the layout calls for.  Any pieced or appliqued border would be just way too much when combined with the "busy-ness" of the interior.

When I was on a recent vacation, I hauled my Forever Project™ in to a local quilt store.  I was quite gratified when my applique column was ooooh'd and ahhhh'd over.  :-)    The employee, Lindy, helped me audition various fabrics, after I explained what I was .. and was not .. looking for.   I even entertained the notion that I wouldn't find anything.

left: edge to be appliqued.   Right: edge appliqued onto border fabric
So, it was with some surprise that I discovered a basketweave/lattice print that worked very nicely with the floral appliques and hexie flowers.   We calculated what we thought was a reasonable/correct amount for the border ... and I added on another half yard.    Being that I was on vacation, this particular quilt store was nowhere near my usual haunts and I knew if I had miscalculated and ran short of this print, I would be hard-pressed to find it locally.

So, after the last stitch was fastened off, which connected the last columns together, I took a HUGE breath and cut my borders.  And hallelujah!!  I will have enough.  Whew!

To be sure, there is more appliquing to be done .. as that is how I am going to attach the columns to the borders ... but ya know?  .... IT'S ALMOST DONE!!!  woo hoo!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Tale of Two Rotary Blade Sharpeners

Caution: this is a LONG product review of two different rotary blade sharpeners but I wanted to give y'all the full description.  I purchased both of these items on my own; neither manufacturer offered me anything to review and in fact, they have no idea that I even bought their units!  So, this is *my* experience and I wanted to share it with you.

Like every other quilting these days, I have an inventory of rotary cutters.   I have the original 28mm (excellent for zipping around small curves), the 45mm and the 60mm blades.  I've more or less settled on exclusively using the 60mm because you can cut so much faster (or so it seems to me) than with the small blade.

I try to be VERY careful and not run over pins or other obstructions but just the other day, doggone it! a pin was hiding from me and, sure enough, I nicked my blade.  I was really, really, REALLY annoyed because I had only recently replaced that 60mm blade.  That size is *expensive*.  Ouch.  

Being the stubborn person that I am, I was NOT going to replace that blade for one silly, annoying nick.  So, I carried on.  Every time I was cutting a length of fabric, that little nick would cause ONE LOUSY THREAD not to be cut.  That meant I needed to either snip that one lousy thread with scissors or run the rotary cutter again.  Sigh.

At that time, I didn't have a rotary blade sharpener.  They're expensive and I just didn't want to lay down that kind of money at one time.  (Oh hush!  Don't judge me on spending that much (and more) on fabric!  TOTALLY different scenario!)

Well, after being annoyed once too often regarding that one lousy uncut thread, I decided it was time for me to *invest* in a tool .. a sharpener that would allow me to use my blades just a little longer.

I did some basic research .. not any great depth or nit-picking .. but I looked at a few, read the reviews and the one that caught my eye was the "TrueSharp Power Rotary Blade Sharpener".  It looked like it was quite well throught out.  It was electric, would sharpen *all* my blades .. the 28mm, 45mm and 60mm .. so it was versatile.  It had a hinged lid that would exert the same amount of pressure every time, so there would be no guess work as to how hard should I be pressing down.

Amazon delivered the unit promptly (YAY, Amazon!) and I promptly put it to the test.  Remember that my 60mm had just ONE little nick in it.  The rest of the blade was as sharp as ..well .. a razor.  :-)   I must say, at this point, that the directions *did* explicitly say that nicks in the blade might not be corrected.  Hmm .. oh dear .. the one thing that I wanted the rotary blade sharpener to do.  But .. nothing ventured, nothing gained.  (I did bite the bullet and purchase a replacement 60mm blade, so using the nicked blade in the sharpener to see what it could do was not going to do irreparable harm.)


So I thought.  The thing to remember is .. the blade was basically 99% good.  It cut wonderfully, other than that annoying little nick.

I followed directions explicitly.  It said that you might need to sharpen a blade a couple of go-rounds the first time .. fair enough.   I ran the blade through the sharpener for the specified amount of time.  Then I ran the newly sharpened blade over a piece of quilting cotton .. which is normally what I'm cutting.  HOLY MOLEY, the blade was AWFUL.  The blade actually cut WORSE than when I started.   I was shocked .. really dumbfounded.

OK ... they had addressed this possibility by saying you might need to do the first sharpening a couple of times.  So, I did.  And each successive "sharpening" made the blade worse and worse.  I ended up with a completely DULL blade, whereas I had a mostly sharp blade to begin with!

Conclusion:  Do NOT NOT NOT buy the "
TrueSharp Power Rotary Blade Sharpener".  It is a worthless piece of machinery that not only does NOT work as advertised but actually leaves you worse off than when you started.    Fortunately, I was able to return it and get a refund.

But .. that left me in the same position I was before .. if and when (because you KNOW there is going to be a next time) I nick a blade again, I still won't have a sharpener.  By now I was determined to have one.  


The next sharpener on my list was the "Dual Rotary Blade Sharpener" by Colonial. Now the downside is that this unit is a manual one ... when you put the blade in the unit, you must manually twist it against the sandpaper 10-20 revolutions.  If you have hand/wrist mobility issues, this could be a problem.   The other downside is that it is made for a specific size blade; the unit you buy for your 60mm can't be used for the 45mm and vice versa.  BUT, I really did want a sharpener, so I ordered it.

When it arrived, I decided to use the ruined 60mm blade as a test.  Honest to goodness, it couldn't be made any worse than it already was.  Once again, the directions did explicitly say that nicks might not be able to be corrected.   Oh dear .. what *is* it about nicks?  Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I put the dull blade in the unit and twisted it manually 20 revolutions on the sand paper.  When I tested the blade on a piece of quilting cotton ... HOLY MOLEY!  It was sharp again!  Not completely sharp, but realize that the other sharpener had made it completely *dull*.  So, I repeated the sharpening procedure once again ... 20 revolutions .. and cut another piece of fabric.  HOLY MOLEY!!   I had a completely SHARP blade again .. and the nick was gone!


Conclusion: I enthusiastically recommend Colonial's "Dual Rotary Blade Sharpener" unit.  It does exactly what it says it will do.  BE SURE TO GET THE SIZE FOR YOUR BLADE!!    Look around and you'll see different price ranges.  Do take into account that a lower base price might not include postage, so beware.   It also looks as though Dritz makes a similar unit, although I did not buy the Dritz and have not used it.   

I hope this is helpful to anyone who is looking at buying a rotary blade sharpener.


Friday, July 01, 2016

UFOs completed in June 2016

Now, bear in mind that these "completed" UFOs are *only* tops.  They are NOT quilted (yet).  I have been making a truly concerted effort to sew the UFOs I have laying around .. whether they are commercial kits, projects kitted by myself (i.e. contains the pattern & fabric), or bagged works in progress.   The actual *quilting* is a completely different effort to be done at a future date. :-)

I previously blogged about the trailer placemats, the 4-patch Posey One Block Wonder, the self-mitered baby blanket and Shadow Box quilts, so this post will be for the tops I have completed since then.   I really have been on a roll and feel pretty doggone good about it. :-)


* "Majestic Mountains", designed by Ray Steeves of the 3 Dudes Quilting in Phoenix Arizona
Every year, I attend a quilting Retreat in Phoenix to meet up with my online Delphi forum quilting buddies.  Our hotel is just across the intersection from the shopping center where the 3 Dudes Quilting shop is.  The Dudes are always very nice and devote one evening of a demo or something just for us.

In 2011, Ray showed us his newest (at that time) pattern, which he called Majestic Mountains.  The pattern calls for sewing strip sets from jelly rolls but for our demo, he wanted to show us the shortcut .. using striped fabric instead of making a strip set.  We got a sheet of instructions.  

In our Retreat goodie bag, we had received a gift card to the Dudes and it was burning a hole in my pocket.  So, I looked around for some striped fabric.  (Realize that this was back in *2011* and this being 2016, my thought process at that time isn't all that distinct).   I found two striped fabrics and bought enough to make the pattern. 

Upon my return home, I prompted put the pattern and striped fabric away.  It emerged just now (June 2016).  In comparing the pattern photo and the striped fabric that I bought, I was thinking that perhaps the striped fabrics were just a little too similar to offer a nice contrast to each other .. but it is what I had bought and I certainly didn't have another use for them ... so I simply made up the pattern.

I'm not *thrilled* with it but that could be because of the striped fabric I chose.   It certainly was an easy enough pattern to construct.

* "Beyond Horizons", designed by RaNae Merrill for Blank Quilting
This pattern features using ombre/gradient fabric.  It's a striking modern/contemporary design that caught my eye not only for the unusual layout but the use of gradient fabrics.  I have a nice stash of that kind of fabric simply  because the color changes were so pretty!  I had no idea HOW I was going to use them when I bought them, but this is the pattern for sure!

This pattern *used to be* a free download from Blank Quilting.  However, it's not there any longer.  Neither is it available at the designer's site.  BUT ... due to sheer, doggone persistence, I *found* an archive site where it *is* still available.  Soooooo ... if you like this pattern, I strongly suggest you download it from the archive site NOW and just file it away for future use. The archive is here.

What I really liked the most about this pattern is the optical illusion of the way the stripes flow from one edge back around to the other edge.  I'm going to do a faux trapunto behind the circles, to give them a little bit extra dimension.

 The circles are appliqued.


 

* Hexagon One Block Wonder

The progress of this quilt was previously blogged about but now the top is done. 

I had made all the hexagons that I possibly could from the fabric that I had but when I sewed them all together, there were quite a few "void" areas ... I couldn't create a rectangular interior but needed to have one.  From another online quilter, I read where, in a similar situation, she simply appliqued the base fabric onto the hexagons until she *did* have a rectangle.  Because the base fabric is such a large scale floral print, unless you looked VERY closely at the edges (of the interior rectangle), you'd never, ever be aware that the entire thing wasn't made of hexagons.

After the yellow stop border, I put a white, wavy resting border and *then* the piano key border.

That white wavy border is constructed in a VERY sneaky way!  I didn't think of it, but saw it demonstrated in a Fons & Porter You-Tube video.  What you do is to sew a plain, standard (in this case, white) border next to that inner yellow border.  The edges of this border *will be straight* at this point.  You create/draw the wavy edge on a long strip of paper and trace that wave onto the outer edge of the white fabric.

Then you put the piano key border (or whatever border you want) UNDER the edge of the white border, making SURE that the raw edge of the piano key border is completely covered by the wavy border of the white strip.  Then you BASTE the wavy line down, connecting the two border fabrics.   You then APPLIQUE the wavy strip to the piano key border!!  Isn't that the sneakiest technique ever???  I love it. :-)

I have enough of the yellow fabric to make the binding from it, so it will match the inner yellow stop border.

* "North" a pattern and fabric from The Cloth Shop, Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia

Mr. Pirate & I recently took a 2+ week road trip with our new-to-us small travel trailer up to the Pacific Northwest and even further north, into British Columbia.  One quilt shop that we visited was The Cloth Shop on Granville Island in Vancouver.   The shop itself is tiny-tiny but has just a whole lot of interesting things to see.  I was looking specifically for some fabric that would remind me of this part of our trip. I had already purchased a Canadian Maple Leaf design, so I didn't want that.
What I did find was a pre-packaged set of coordinated fabrics ("North") and a "pattern" to make a horizontal strip quilt.  These fabrics were reminiscent of the Canadian northwest and their indigenous peoples.

I also found the most AMAZING "fleece" fabric.  It's polyester on a knit backing, so it's not going to ravel and is the most luxurious, soft and cuddly fleecy stuff on the front.  Not quite like Minky or Cuddle but similar.  I bought enough to be the backing of a personal sized throw.

In fact, because of the width of the pre-packaged North fabrics, it turned out that I could actually make a self-mitered blanket with the fleecy stuff, instead of doing a traditional binding.  So that's what I did.  Whoa .. this throw is seriously soft!  :-)





* Beads of Courage bags

Say what?  What is this?  Well, Beads of Courage is an organization that gives "milestone" beads for kids undergoing cancer treatments.  It's tough enough when you are a child to have such a terrible disease and every little thing that can distract them  or make them smile is welcomed.  The milestone beads are threaded together to make a necklace.  Sadly, some kids acquire a LOT of beads and their necklaces are very, very, very long.

The kids need a place to store their necklaces and/or loose beads and that where the bags come in.  Beads of Courage has directions available to make bags in two sizes.   They are simple-simple to make, even beginning sewers can make them.  While the samples I've seen show bags made from a single piece of fabric, I used up orphan blocks, strips and pieces to make the bags .. making sure that the bags fit within the stated size criteria.

On the aforementioned road trip, I was able to make 10 bags and here are the ten bags that I was able to finish ....

 Sharp eyes will notice that the bag on the far right has a woven label on it.  These are specific labels that Beads of Courage will mail to you  .. these are their own labels.  There is no cost to you for getting the labels and each bag needs to have one of these labels on it.






and this is how they look when the drawstring is gathered up.

If any of you would like to make a small difference in the life of a child undergoing cancer treatment, please consider making some bead bags for them.  They are quick, easy and very gratifying.

Beads of Courage website

bag directions (and label ordering)














Saturday, June 18, 2016

Catching up with completed tops


Since we returned from our road trip to the Pacific Northwest, I've been looking at the piles (yes, *piles*) of laundered fabric that was my haul from all the shops we visited.  Some I purchased with specific projects in mind, others were bought "just because".  But NONE of them were on my existing UFO list ... the list I have been steadfastly trying to reduce for lo, these many years  (no kidding on that, either).

Effectively, what I did was increase my list of Projects To Do.   Sigh.  But the fabric was so pretty!  :-)

In any case, here are the completed TOPS ONLY (quilting is a completely separate project) that I have done since we returned (um, which would be 1 week and 2 days ago).  These tops were made (mostly) with fabric I obtained on our road trip ... the fabric never even made it into the General Population.  :-)

* 4-Patch Stacked Posey  (or a One Block Wonder/4-patches)
original fabric
I knew, *knew*, KNEW that I had this pattern someplace.  I had previously looked in all the usual places without success.  Then, I rediscovered a storage box tucked into a low bookcase and TA DA!  there is was ... along with a LOT of other patterns and supplies that I had kinda/sorta forgotten about.  Quite literally .. out of sight, out of mind.

The pattern is "4-Patched Stacked Posies" from HD Designs.  They haven't got their act together with respect to their website but you can see the pattern itself over on Amazon

I wasn't real *thrilled* with the outcome of my version.  The pattern calls for
sashing, which I didn't want to do.  But I had seen some absolutely fabulous versions with the 4-patches just smooshed up against each other. 
4-Patch Stacked Posies top only


Maybe I didn't group them as well as they could have been grouped.  Maybe my fabric wasn't the greatest choice to begin with.  Whatever the reason, the center part of the top, where all the 4-patches are, looks like an incredibly busy mish-mash.  I could have achieved this same look by simply using the fabric as-is.  Eh .. whatever.  It is what it is.

The red inner border fabric and the black setting triangle fabric came from my stash.


* Shadow Box / Illusion
I've made this layout before; it's a great optical illusion of 3D boxes with shadows.  The pattern is "Shadowbox" by Mountainpeek Creations.  Interestingly, I couldn't find *my* pattern on their website .. really weird ... but you can see a version of it on Kaye Woods' site.

My "focus" fabric was the ADORABLE green & blue sheep fabric.  There was also a coordinating blue dot fabric.   My original intent was to make a self-mitering baby blanket for an upcoming baby shower .. which I did.  Hooray!

(and then I found out that the gender of the yet-to-be-delivered baby was female and this blue/green version looks more masculine to me (although blue is MY favorite color and I'm not masculine at all!).  So I made another self-mitered baby blanket, using more "girly" fabric.  Heh .. I get to keep the sheep blanket!)

But, I had quite a bit of the fabric leftover, which is where the Shadowbox quilt came in.  Although I had many leftover sheep and blue dot rectangles, there weren't enough of them, by themselves, to make a Shadowbox quilt.  I augmented with a green flannel.  The black shadow, the white sashing and green flannel fabric came from my stash.
Shadowbox version 1




















Shadowbox version 2
When I got done with that one, I STILL had some leftover rectangles.  I had gotten carried away when cutting the green flannel fabric.  :-)   In order to use it up, I made ANOTHER Shadowbox quilt.  To make the quilt top a useful size, I used some more compatible blue fabric from my stash.















* which leads us to my current, in-progress quilt top: another One Block Wonder but this time with hexagons.

original fabric
Now THIS version is what I had in mind when I was making the first one (with the 4-patches).  Maybe the original fabric (a Kaffe Fassett print!) was better suited.  Maybe the hexagon shape is a better choice.  Whatever the reason, I'm very pleased with the way this one is progressing.

I had bought the rest of the fabric available at the shop, which was about 3-3.5 yards.  I thought SURELY this would be enough for a One Block Wonder (of some sort).  Well, what I hadn't remembered is that the length of the pattern repeat on the fabric plays a HUGE role in how much fabric you need to make the hexagon version.

For hexagons, you need 6 triangles ... i.e. you need 6 repeats of the fabric print because you are going to stack those repeats vertically on top of each other to get your 6 triangles.  From the fabric that I bought, I *was* able to get 6 repeats (whew!) and 2 more .. which means that all the hexagons I was ever going to get would be from that single stack of 6 repeats. 
green outlines the "voids"

Depending on how you sew the triangles together, the look of the resultant hexagon will be wildly different.  The predominant color will change as the position of the triangles change.  You never know how many hexagons of a particular dominant color you are going to get until you sew all the hexagons.

So, with the colors that emerged from my hexagons, I moved them all around .. repeatedly! ... until the final result was something that pleased my eyeballs.  There is no right or wrong way to group the hexagons; it's whatever looks good to you.  When I was satisfied with my final arrangement, there were quite a number of "voids" ... areas where I didn't have any hexagons to be used.

Googling what others had done with their One Block Wonders, I saw where one enterprising quilter had simply appliqued the hexagons on top of the original fabric to fill in the "voids"!  WONDERFUL idea!  I even had enough leftover to do exactly that!  I was very, very pleased!

voids filled and 1st border
So, here is the version where all the hexagons are sewn together ... the green dashed line shows where I need to fill in with the original fabric.

And here is the filled-in version, along with a narrow stop border.  This is where I am right now.  Since I don't have a substantial amount of original fabric to use as an outer border, I need to think a while to figure out what kind of outer border to put on it.