Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Bubbles and Hexagons

Sometimes what's old is new again. I made this little quilt 22 years ago (1996) and it was published in Quilt Magazine in 1997. Nothing new to this even at that time.

Half Hexagon Jewel, 1996
The beauty of this is the vertical row piecing using a half-hexagon shape. This is a small quilt and my template was also small. It's one of my "oldie goldie" quilts and I treasure it.

You've seen all the tutorials around on the internet hailing a "new" way to make whole hexagons with no y-seams. As you can see, there are whole hexagons in my little quilt; they're just made up of two half-hexagons!

Here's my latest quilt that I call Bubbles and Hexagons. The Bubbles part comes from all the circles in the fabrics! I used a jelly roll (2-1/2" strips) and cut them using my new 2-1/2" half-hexagon template. I added the squaring off of the top and bottom of the quilt center so I wouldn't chop off the points of those beautiful hexagons! And can you believe that awesome border print I've had hanging around in my stash for about 8 years?!

Bubbles and Hexagons: 41" x 51"
Trust me: this was pieced in vertical rows using only half-hexagons. Just compare it with my vintage little Half Hexagon Jewel at the top. Nothing new here!

I'm teaching my Half Hexagon Braid quilt this week to a Virginia guild and they wanted to make it using 2-1/2" strips. I started to make another Braid quilt and then realized I didn't want another one! I had shared my little Jewel quilt on my Facebook page last month and so decided to make these fabrics work for whole hexagons.

Here's my Half-Hexagon Braid quilt (I've made quite a few). I've taught this close to 2 dozen times. I'm hoping this is my last time. I want to turn my samples into a real quilt!

Half Hexagon Braid using my 3" half-hexagon template. 35" x 49"
And here's the one that was published in Fons and Porter several years ago. They still sell the pattern (and I get no royalties). This was made using a 2-1/2" half hex template. There is NO trimming of the vertical sides; the short sides of the half hexagons form the left and right sides of these rows! Look closely and you'll see what I mean.

Batik Braid Quilt: 49" x 54"
I'm just finishing up another Bubbles and Hexagons quilt using 4-1/2" (cut height) half-hexagons. Of course, I cut those using my multi-sized 60 degree triangle ruler. I don't have a half-hexagon template for that. This is PERFECT for Layer Cakes. You can get two of these half-hexagons from each 10" square.  Here is the quilt center: 48" x 51". I have to think about a border.

Batik Bubbles Quilt: 48" x 51"
This will be a new class/workshop that I will offer for the Fall. I will get the pattern up on my Craftsy site. You probably don't have a half-hexagon template, but you can cut ANY size half (and whole) hexagon with a multi-size 60 degree triangle. My pattern for these quilts will, of course, include a paper template and clear instructions for cutting these shapes with a triangle ruler. I've blogged about this technique many times here. Once you see the technique, you probably don't need the pattern!

Hope you enjoyed my show. Remember, there's almost nothing new under the sun, especially when it comes to quilting. I've seen it all in my 26 years in the profession and I never get tired of seeing updates with today's fabrics!


  1. Love the braided quilts. I've always said I would make one. Don't understand why you don't get royalties from F&P though. Great quilts!

  2. Hi Debby,
    Oh wow - I love all of these! Especially the half hexi and the braid. I do not need another temptation - I have too many projects as it is. Note to self - stay strong - close the website page but PIN it for later. HAHA! Thanks for sharing this today! ~smile~ Roseanne


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