Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Little Slow on the Up-take

Have you heard of Framed Hexagons?

I sure hadn't. Apparently they are one of the latest trends on the quilting scene and, once again, I'm behind the times.  :-)

I do know about regular, plain, ol' vanilla hexagons and about all the variations of Grandmother's Flower Garden.   I know what a great take-along project hexagons are.

But all the procedures I've seen are a little on the fiddly side for me.  It's not that I don't like small scale projects or that I won't attempt projects that are detailed, but there's just something about making hexagons with the paper or plastic templates, the basting,  etc, etc that just doesn't float my boat.

And although I appreciate the time, effort and skill that goes into Grandmother's Flower Garden, I just don't care for that setting.  BUT ... when I was at Pacific International Quilt Festival (Santa Clara, CA) this year, I saw a terrific Grandmother's Flower Garden variation that I really liked ... but guess who didn't take a picture of it and now I can't remember what it looked like!   Oh the "advantages" of growing old(er)!  :-)

However, ... back to the hexies ... on Quilted Delights' blog, she talked about a "FRAMED Hexagon".  OMG ... look at that!  That's *awesome*.

Apparently this is a swap block, being hosted by International Friendship Quilters and is something that you sign up for.  I'm not doing swaps these days (heck, I haven't done a swap since 2000 or so) simply because they generate more UFOs and projects for me and I have enough of those on my own list!

But, I sure do like the look of that framed hexie.  I wandered on over to the IFQ site and read the following:

"Putting them together is easy and fun. You'll end up with something that is automatically reversible since the back will be completely different from the front.

The block is made by cutting one large hexagon from one fabric and cutting a smaller hexagon - one each - from a contrasting fabric and from batting / wadding. Place the smaller hexagons in the center and fold the edges over twice and stitch! That's all! And your mitered corners happen naturally!"      (Their hexagon measures 5' finished)
Now, how easy is that???  (If you have one of those nifty die cutting machines, cutting out the hexagons would be a snap.)    You can fussy cut the smaller hexagon and showcase it. (I-Spy, anyone?)  You could use a plain fabric for the smaller one then embellish it in some manner (embroidery, tatting, applique, beads).  You can hand-stitch the folded over edge or use decorative machine stitches to hold it down.

Best of all .. in my book .. this is rather like a Cathedral Window quilt ... each block is completely finished (back and front) when the block is complete.  Whip stitch the blocks together and your quilt is DONE.  Careful use of fabric for the back and specific placement could yield a lovely design on the back .. otherwise you could disregard placement altogether for a totally scrappy look on the back.

What an awesome Forever Project idea! 

Now to be fair, to get the pattern, you need to become a member of the IFQ group and sign up for the swap, BUT the experienced quilter wouldn't necessarily need the pattern to reproduce this block.   I bet any one of my Dear Readers could do this block without having the 'official' pattern.

However, Mary in Orlando, FL (one of my quilting buddies on's Quilting forum), did some internet sleuthing and found directions on the Australian site, Oz Quilts Patchwork & Quilting  Yes, they are also selling hexagon templates on the site but the directions are in the middle of the page.

Jonna in Texas (another quilting buddy) found this French site, which has excellent photographs.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, you can just disregard the French text if you don't parlez vous.  :-)

One of the blogs that appears in Google Reader (my aggregator), showed a video of a fabric origami technique with a hexagon demonstrated by Ane Matos.   The You Tube video is in Spanish, but the demonstration is self-explanatory (and I suggest muting the playback so you can pay attention to the demo).

AND THEN .... it was a Light Bulb Moment (tm)!  If I could make the origami hexagon the proper size for the framed hexagon, it could be a very cute variation for a framed hexagon!

The paper templates that I had were for an inner 5" hexagon and an outer 7" hexagon.  I had absolutely no idea how much shrinkage the origami process would create, so I arbitrarily drew a 10" hexagon template.  Using that for my origami practice, I was astonished to find out that the finished hexagon was 5"!  Exactly what I needed for my own templates!

Here's my grand total of 3 framed hexagons ... the pink framed ones were my first practice ones and I tried out some of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine.

The maroon framed hexagon is obviously the origami one ... and turned out doggone cute!  :-)  I made a Very Small yo-yo to put in the center of the framed hexie ... an alternative would be a cute button or a small pre-made flower.

This isn't going to be my immediate next project; I have too many things already lined up for that BUT all my practice pieces and documentation have been filed away for future use.

1 comment:

  1. Just put new ink in my printer. Guess where I am going for some instructions on these hexies. Thanks for condensing the sleuthing activites of you and your friends. I am not a hexie fan either, but these sound promising.