Back to School!

Well, not ME, of course! I spent my share in the classroom - both as a student (thru a Master's Degree) and as a high school teacher. I much prefer teaching adults how to quilt.

Here are some pics of a recent quilt finish from an older Benartex fabric collection: Head of the Class. First the quilt, which I call Big Block Hexagons (a new workshop).

Big Block Hexagons
No y-seams. All straight seam sewing. Makes great use of a Layer Cake (10" squares), though you can use smaller squares to start with. Here are a few of these school-themed fabrics.

Head of the Class fabrics (2014)
Any fabrics will do for this project. I like themes, because it makes choosing fabrics easier.

Lots of hexagons!
For the quilt above, I used strips. In my class, I will make it Layer Cake friendly (but we will have to trim those 10" squares down a bit.)

I've explained this before, but basically I cut a strip (7-1/2"), folded it in half. The finished height will be 7", so I find the 3-1/2" horizontal line (half of 7 - remember that from school?!) and cut both sides. Notice that the fold is AT THE BOTTOM.

Cutting whole hexagon from a strip
Open it up and there's your whole hexagon. Now that's what I call awesome math!

Whole hexagon
I wanted to fussy cut a motif in the center of my hexagon, so I used the same technique to cut a freezer paper template, ironed it on and then cut out around the outside.

Fussy cutting a motif
I did this for the buses, too.
Peel off and re-use the freezer paper
I began to place the hexagons on my design wall. I also then cut a bunch of 3-1/2" 60 degree triangles. For the sides, I cut larger 30 degree triangles.
Auditioning the hexagon placement
Now I have to write the pattern! I sew first, take a few skimpy notes and THEN I write the pattern. I do NOT use Electric Quilt. I calculate yardage the old fashioned way (in my head and sometimes with a calculator). I do all my artwork using Adobe Illustrator. If I'm unsure of how many cuts I can get from a strip of fabric, I use construction paper and whack away!

I also made a few sample blocks. For the life of me, I can't find these since my move in November. But as you can see, the hexagons and triangles form two half-hexagons. I sew them together and then interface the center hexagon and zigzag stitch it in place.

Two halves to the hexagon
Add the corner 30 degree triangles and I've squared it up. But, remember, a hexagon block is never square. A hexagon is always wider than it is high (some more math for you!)

Hexagon ring
I hope I can find these blocks. I like to bring a variety of samples to my classes other than the project. I think my students like to see what else they can do with the patches they cut, don't you?

You watch: I'll give up, make new samples, and IMMEDIATELY find the originals! Does that ever happen to you?

Happy school year to you. Three of my four grandchildren are in school. It's a wonderful time for kids in elementary classes (except for a few bullies on the bus from time to time).

And you teachers out there: I LOVE YOU! I have always appreciated my 3 daughters' teachers through the years and tried my very best to show it with notes and baked goods and little gifts. You truly are awesome and change the world!


  1. Love the folding hexie technique. MUCH easier than Y-seams, which I don't do! LOL This might inspire me to make a hexie quilt! Thanks!!

  2. You made an article that is interesting.You are so amaz


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