Flashback Windham Wednesday: Free Pattern and Tutorial

This post was shared in 2013 on the Windham blog and I thought it would be fun to share this pattern and tutorial here for my followers. While these particular fabrics are no longer available, this is very scrap friendly - and fat quarter friendly. Enjoy!

We recently sent off a bundle of fat quarters of our recent collection "Downtown" by LB Krueger to sewing teacher and quilter, Debby Kratovil and she came up with an inspired project to warm your holiday table.  Read on to find out more!

Q: Debby, what do you like about these fabrics?
A: They have a wide range of prints in a variety of scale, with the addition of "tonals" (fabrics that read solid, but are a single color print). The challenge was in putting them all together into a project that wouldn't scream BUSY, but modern and traditional at the same time.

Q: How did you come up with your design?
A. I am in the midst of working with 60 degree shapes these days and making a lot of hexagon projects. In fact, I've lined these up for a possible future quilt book called: Turning 60 - The Joys of Sex (this will be G-Rated, I promise). I saw hexagons. I also made a project with the Rebecca Collection this past Spring and wanted to make it again with this collection. Here is a picture of what I did with those fabrics:

Q: But Debby, that looks like a lot of inset seams (y-seams). This has got to be an intermediate project, right?
A: Not so! This is ALL straight seam sewing (no kidding). It's just that the rows are sewn along the diagonal, as you will see in the following pictures. We start with two simple shapes which can be cut from one 60 degree ruler.

Q: You can't cut a hexagon from a 60 degree ruler, can you?
A: Well, let me show you!

Debby's Hexagon Cutting Method

1. I chose 16 of the 21 fat quarters and cut a 6-1/2" x 18" strip. I folded each strip in half lengthwise and lined up the 3" horizontal line of my 60 degree ruler with the RAW EDGES. This is  because the hexagon will finish to 6" and 3" is half of 6. The widest part of the triangle ruler is at the FOLD.

Align the 3" horizontal line with the RAW EDGES

Full hexagon unfolded. Cut a total of 16 hexagons in various prints.
I was able to get two complete hexagons from the 6-1/2" x 18" strip. See, I told you we could cut hexagons - and easily, at that - from a 60 degree ruler! How easy was that?!

Now we cut the small, cream setting triangles. I used a fabric from the Collage Collection. These triangles are HALF the finished height of the hexagons (6") plus 1/2" for seams, so we align the 3-1/2" horizontal line on the multi-size ruler and cut out the triangles. Note that we can flip-flop the ruler after each cut (you can't do that with the hexagon cutting above).

Cut a total of 30 triangles. Yes, you can cut two triangles at a time.
First, it's important to lay out the 16 hexagons as you wish. I kept the orange hexies on the inside row because I am using orange for the inner border. There are five hexagons in the two outside rows and six hexagons in the center. All the open space on my design wall is where the cream triangles will go.

Here is how we join the cream triangles to the hexagons. Note the placement of the triangles at the very top and bottom of the rows; not all hexies get two triangles and not all get two triangles in the same place. That's why it's crucial to put all your hexagons on a design surface (or a floor or bed).
Join the cream triangles with the hexies

Add triangles and sew units together.

What do the rows look like? We have been sewing ONLY straight seams and then diagonal seams. Note that the three-row center is ready for joining.

Three finished rows with orange inner border (cut 1-1/2") on two sides.

Sew and trim the 1-1/2" inner borders at the top and bottom.

Sew and trim for the naturally pointed ends formed by that center hexagon on the end.

Going Downtown Table Runner: 29" x 54".
 The inner borders are cut 1.5" (you will need 1/4 yard) and the outer borders are cut 5" (you will need four strips from a 5/8 yard piece of fabric).

Now you can see why I have made this table runner more than once. And you have to know this is not the last time, either. It is my new "go to" pattern and I love, love, love it in these Downtown fabrics.


  1. Brilliant way to create the rows! Thanks so much for sharing this.

    1. We were always advised to "look for the long seams" when I worked for Quilt Magazine. An old trick that still works!

  2. Quite an eye-catcher! Thank you!

    1. I have made two larger quilts (ie, lap sized) using this same technique and they are getting quilted. Will share them soon. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Debby, how do you press your seams when you work with the hexies and triangles? I like nesting seams when I can but open seams sometimes prevents bulk.

  4. Hi Debby! Here's a hexie pattern before hexies were all the rage again. Thank you for sharing the pattern. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. I love it. I've not done these but love this way of putting them together.

  6. That's a great pattern. Love the border print -- so fun and bright.


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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com