Tag Archives: hexagon quilt

Hexagon Star Quilt – Tutorial

This is the quilt you can read all about in the previous post. Here is a quick tutorial on how to cut, sew a block and assemble this design…

This is the basic layout – it is exactly what I used but you can change the number of columns, or the number of blocks in each column to change the size to what you like to be… but I am jumping ahead of myself.

I have made only one quilt, the very first one many years ago, following a pattern. It is not that I don’t want to buy a pattern, or a book (I actually own several quilting books)… it is that I find it challenging to figure out how to cut fabrics and assemble pieces into a design… either something I saw somewhere, or a design I thought of myself. When I saw this design I was intrigued. Would I have to use paper piecing (probably wouldn’t do it then)? Would I have to do some crazy sewing? Is there a shortcut for cutting?

To answer the first and second one – no paper piecing, no hand sewing… Actually the basic block – made up from a hexagon and two triangles is a diamond. So all you have is straight stitching… Here is a diagram of how you assemble blocks into columns and finally columns into a quilt. The basic block is A, blocks B and C are just versions of A, for the edges of the quilt. There are two columns – I and II, that alternate to get the final design (actually there is only one column – I, column II is the same as I, just rotated by 180 degrees).

So what about cutting… You will need to cut hexagons and diamonds. No triangles. Since I don’t like cutting so much – except for squares and strips, I like to minimize this step. I particularly dislike cutting using templates. So nothing like that here. So… for this particular layout, you will need 130 hexagons and 130 diamond. Dimensions are shown below.

Both of these shapes are cut from strips. Hexagons are cut from 4.5 in wide strips, and diamonds are cut from from 2.5 in wide strips – these will be the triangles in the finished block. This is a very rough sketch of the cutting…

I cut my hexagons with the hexagon “ruler”, but there are ways to cut hexies even if you don;t have a template.  Many tutorials have been written about this: this one from the modern quilt guild, then this one from the blue chair, and there is a tutorial on how to cut hexagons from a strip if you do have a template from jaybirdquilts.

So, once you have the pieces cut, this is how you assemble block A:

Step 1: align a hexagon and a diamond as shown, and sew along the dashed line. Step 2: Press (fold towards hexagon) and trim as shown. Now you have another triangle – this you use in Step 3: Align with the opposite edge of the hexagon and sew together. Press and trim if needed. The diamonds as cut are 3.5 in “long” (see diagram above). That is a little bigger, for two reasons – it is much easier to cut a diamond at 3.5 in long, as opposed to 3.3 in long. And this way you have a little bit of room to work with. I found that I had to trim only a few blocks… This was quite fast, and I think faster than if you had to cut all your triangles in the beginning (unless you are exceptionally fast at cutting, or have one of those gizmos with the right template)

Blocks B and C are assembled in exactly the same way – except you do only one triangle and then cut the hexagon as shown (for block C, cut about 1/4 in below the corner).

That’s it. I have to say that it was pretty fast going, considering you are working with hexagons and triangles. I hope this helps and some of you out there are inspired to make one of these. I would love to see what different combination of prints and/or solids would make…

Hexagon Star Quilt – Finished

I have many quilts in my head, some in my sketchbook. This one was not one of those. This one went from idea to finished quilt with only a few distractions, even with a few quilts waiting in line to be finished. It is not an original design (in symmetry it is known as Trihexagonal Tiling), but what drew me to it, was a challenge – of figuring out how to cut and piece it without too much trouble.

I saw this design/block in two books, basically at the same time. The first book was Kaffe Fassett’s “Quilts en Provence” (specifically the Sherbet Quilt) and the second a book of Japanese quilt blocks which I flipped through in a bookstore. What I disliked about either was that cutting/sewing the block seemed to be very complex – Kaffe’s method actually involved foundation piecing – way to involved! I also wanted to avoid cutting triangles…

So I came up with my own method, which I will describe in the next post. And I truly will because I already made up all illustrations, so it’s ready to go. It involved cutting a bunch of hexagons and a bunch of diamonds. And the piecing wasn’t too bad at all (straight line only, even with the hexies).

The colors I chose were a bit different from what I’ve done in the past – but I seem to be continuing with the “no white” theme I started later last year. Definitely a challenge.

But I like how it turned out. The colors are mostly orange, red and brown, but they are bright enough not to make the quilt boring. I stayed away from any blues, even green-blue – which was another challenge since I was working from my stash, didn’t want to buy anything new, and wanted to have many different fabrics. I ended up using 40-someeting different prints.

If I get to it, I might make another one of these – this is a very versatile pattern, which can be made into many different designs.

For the back I used a thrifted cotton (organic!) sheet. I like the look of pieced backs, but generally I feel I have no time for that…

Tutorial here.