Thursday, January 23, 2014

HexDen Flower units

Am I the only one in the quilting universe who didn't know about HexDen flowers?  Wouldn't be the first time that I'm behind the curve. :-)

I read about these cute little units on a Craftsy blog entry from September 2013, although the link I came through was from a list of links. I assume the name HexDen comes from the combination of Hexagon and Dresden plate templates.

My current Forever Project (™) happens to be ginormous hexagon flowers which will be put together into a double-size top (I think .. I kinda forget the final size), so when I saw this unit, I was captivated!

It occurred to me that it wouldn't be very practical to use the HexDen flower units in the same way one uses the Grandmother Flower Garden block because of the curved edges ... BUT .. they would be absolutely AWESOME as appliqued flowers!

For this unit, I used a 1" hexagon template.  As you can see by the ruler measurements at the side and bottom, this flower unit is *about* 5" square.  Kinda/sorta.  More or less.

It is cuter than a bug's ear!

I must say, though, it did take me a bit longer to make each hexagon/Dresden Plate unit than the hexagon-only unit.  For the hexagon-only unit, you simply flip the fabric over the sides of the template and quickly put in some basting stitches to hold the folded corners in place.

But the petal units are a bit trickier ... to have that curved edge nice and smooth, you hand-stitch a row of gathering stitches so you can pull them up.  It takes more time to put in those gathering stitches as you stitch down the folded corners. 

I also discovered, at least for me,  that you really need to *press* each hexagon & petal unit after you've basted it.  That pressed edge is critical when it comes time to stitch each unit to each other.   When I did the first petal unit, I pulled out the template before pressing and .. ooopppsss ... the curved edge really didn't stay in place.  But once I did press it firmly, the folded curved edge behaved nicely.

AND THEN ... the quilting gods must have been smiling upon me because in Piece N Quilt's blog (by Natalia Whiting Bonner and Kathleen Jasperson Whiting) that I read yesterday, they showed a quilt with alternating columns of Flying Geese and a wavy vine with appliqued flowers.

How absolutely serendipitous! 

Can't you just SEE using the HexDen flowers instead of the country flowers?

Additionally, I think the vines and leaves are going to be an excellent venue to finally use my Leaves Galore ruler, something that I've been waiting to use for quite a while.  It will be the *perfect* tool to use to cut the wave vine and uniform leaves!  :-)

So, now that I've made my little sample HexDen flower, I can tuck it away with my instructions, templates and inspirational photo so that when I get back to it (whenever that may be), I will know exactly what I had been thinking. 

Well, hope springs eternal that I will be able to figure it out again. :-)

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