Thursday, April 30, 2020

Twisted Hexagon Week, Day Four

Really? I have MORE? Ha, ha. You don't know me, do you? I shared on Day 1 a lovely, fussy cut cardinal. Remember? Because I'm not afraid of weird numbers, I decided to make this the center of a 15" finished Twisted Hexagon block. That meant that the center is half that (7-1/2" finished), so my template is cut 8" high.

Fussy Cutting this awesome cardinal motif
And I shared the lovely half-hexagons I cut to surround this lovely creature. I got carried away with cutting so many, but I was able to pick and choose my fabrics from this pile. Next week I will share what else I made with the leftover half-hexagons. Hint: it will be Half Hexagon Week!

Half-hexagons cut from 4-1/4" strips
Huh? Where did that number come from? A half-hexagon is half the finished height of the whole hexagon it surrounds. Half of 7-1/2" = 3-3/4". Add 1/2" for seams = 4-1/4". See what I mean about not needing a set of templates? You can get ANY of this using your 60 degree triangle ruler with markings every 1/4".

Here is the beautiful two block wall banner. It's beautiful mainly because of these fabrics. All I did was to find a way to showcase them!

Festive Season wall banner. 35" x 47"
And, yes, I made one more Twisted Hexagon banner with a fussy cut cardinal and more of those half-hexagons. ONLY the first round of strips are true half-hexagons. I added the second round of strips like a log cabin.

Round and round the strips go!
And I finished this using my ruler again, cutting the 30 degree green print side triangles. And I quilted it.

Finished table topper
Yes, I know it's only April, but Christmas comes too soon for many of us. This technique works with any fabric, any theme, and works so well with motifs you can fussy cut (center inside a patch).

How do I square up those Twisted Hexagon sides? Again, using my multi-sized 60 degree triangle ruler. You may be asking: OK? What does it look like so I can go see if I have one like it in my sewing room? This is my 6-1/2" ruler. It can cut shapes for blocks up to 12" finished height.

6-1/2" height 60 degree triangle ruler
This is my larger, 8-1/2" ruler. This can make blocks that finish to a 16" height!

8-1/2" height 60 degree triangle ruler
 BOTH rulers come with a tip sheet that shows how to cut ANY SIZE:
  • Triangle
  • Hexagon
  • Half-Hexagon
  • 30 degree setting triangles
And here is what the Creative Grids ruler looks like:

8-1/2" Creative Grids ruler (Retail: $21.00)
Up until recently, you were only shown how to cut whole triangles. Now they show how to cut the 30 degree side triangles the way I showed them in 2014. Hmmmmm. But they don't show how to cut whole hexagons or half-hexagons. (I guess they want you to buy one of their other specialty rulers; but even then, they can't cut ANY size)

I hope to have my rulers up at my Etsy shop in a few days (which will have a free quilt pattern included), but I want to show you one more step in "squaring up" a hexagon.

Fussy cut hexagon with 6 surrounding half-hexagons
I also had a black center. This is a finished block:

Twisted Hexagon block
Now, I wanted to "square it up" with 30 degree triangles.

Adding 30 degree triangles to "square up" the block
The fabric is folded with wrong sides together so you get a left and a right side at the same time.
Using a 60 degree ruler to cut those triangles
And here is my table runner:
This is the bonus pattern that comes with my Twisted Hexagon Sockey quilt
I'll be back tomorrow with just a few more projects made with these hexagons and half-hexagons. Yes, I've been busy. I hope you are enjoying the show!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Twisted Hexagon Week, Day Three

Today I'm going to use the new collection by the fabulously talented Laura Heine called Potpourri.
And, yes, it is a mix of many things - all of which are beautiful and happy and full of flowers and dragonflies. It is due to be in your local quilt shop in June. As I was working with these fabrics I realized that Laura's fabrics are "low value." Sort of a "blendy" way of working together. You will see this as I share just a few pics.

Do you remember the fabrics I shared in early March? I'm going to continue my theme of Twisted Hexagons with these.

Potpourri by Laura Heine for Windham Fabrics
I ran out of time to do decent photos because I was busy stitching the quilt, so you'll have to come back on Thursday! Here are a few steps of the four Twisted Hexagon blocks that I was ready to stitch.

Cutting the whole hexagons (for a 5" finished height). I used my own 60 degree ruler, though any multi-sized triangle ruler will do WITH A BLUNTED TIP. Do NOT use the pointy ones - they won't work with "normal" numbers.

Cut a 5-1/2" x wof strip; fold with raw edges at top. Cut with ruler and then move over for the next cut. (The numbers on the ruler are in my pattern).

Cutting Whole Hexagons
What happens if you flip the ruler? Glad you asked! The ruler has to always be upright as shown above.

NOT a whole hexagon, right?
And cutting the half hexagons using my half-hexagon template. You CERTAINLY can cut them with that 60 degree triangle ruler, but I pulled this out because it was the right size. 3" strips (for a 2-1/2" finished height). No waste for the half-hexagons.

Cutting half hexagons
Remember, the template above is ONLY for a certain size. Using a multi-sized 60 degree triangle ruler can be used for ANY size.

Here are the parts for one of the four blocks.

Twisted Hexagon parts for a 10" finished block (as in my Sockey pattern)
And the finished quilt top (about 33" x 38"):

Twisted Hexagon Quilt
Yes, I added some rotary cut diamonds and those "squaring up" triangles on the sides. And the cream triangles (which are also 5" finished height).

Believe it or not, those large diamonds are also cut from 5-1/2" strips and you DO NOT NEED a template. They measure 5-1/2" from flat side to flat side! I used the 60 degree line on my ruler to get the angle and sliced off the side. Then I measured 5-1/2" from that first cut and sliced again!

When I teach classes, I always give my students construction paper to practice on! Good idea, huh? Why don't you go try it yourself with a piece of scrap paper.

Remember, I was given fat quarters. The borders are a creative way to make good use of fat quarters!
Go visit the Windham website to see the fabrics and check out the Look Book of some amazing quilts made by Laura using these!

Potpourri Fabrics by Laura Heine for Windham Fabrics
I do sell my multi-sized 60 degree triangles. They come with some of my patterns. I'll get that info up in my Etsy store if you're interested. In the meantime, check in your sewing room to see if you have one of these rulers. I bet most of you do!

See you on Thursday with a few more tips on what you can do with a Twisted Hexagon block and its parts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Twisted Hexagon Week, Day Two

I teased you with my Festive Chickadee Twisted Hexagon block yesterday and I got the borders on yesterday. I used 2 different prints because I didn't want the chickadees to fly sideways!

9 Little Chickadees: 10" blocks. No set-in seams
Yesterday you saw the whole hexagon at the center of a Twisted Hexagon block. You can cut any size whole hexagon using your 60 degree triangle ruler. That info is always included in my patterns and when I teach these workshops. It's not something I came up with; some mathematician discovered it. I'm just happy to pass it along.

Just a hint: it all depends on the finished height of the center hexagon; you add 1/2" for seams and cut a strip, fold the fabric and cut with the ruler. The finished height of the half-hexagons is based on the size of the center hexagon.

This is a Twisted Hexagon using English Paper Piecing. You can see the individual 6 half-hexagons lined up to join with the center hexagon. This is sewn all by hand.

EPP Twisted Hexagon
But what about machine stitching? Glad you asked! (This is my most pinned block on Pinterest with tens of thousands of pins!) One fussy cut center hexagon with 6 half hexagons ready for stitching.

Fussy cut bird using Wings Collection by Benartex Fabrics
Begin with a partial seam on the first half-hexagon. Then press seam up.

Step 1
Then add next half hexagon as shown below. Press up.

Step 2
 Keep stitching as in a Log Cabin technique. Fold first half-hexagon up, join last half hexagon, and then complete first seam.
6 hexagons stitched; seam is ready to be completed
Here is my lovely block:
Lovely mug rug. 12" finished block
And another one using an earlier Chickadees collection by Jackie Robinson. That is not a wrinkle on the chickadee; that's a seam because the warehouse cut a lot of those little heads off!

My Little Chickadee mug rug. 7" height
Here are a few other blocks just waiting for a home in a quilt.

16" block!
As you can see by this next block, this has been waiting for 8+ years. I have several other companion blocks. Maybe I'll pull out the box and put them on the design wall!

Fussy cut center
Maybe tomorrow. And, yes, it will be Day Three of Twisted Hexagons! Hope to see you then!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Twisted Hexagon Week, Day One and Fussy Cutting

I made one more Twisted Hexagon quilt this week using some leftovers from my Technique Tuesday collection of Festive Chickadees. I couldn't resist. Here's that one little block I shared last week. I'm putting the borders on the quilt today and will share that tomorrow.

Twisted Hexagon Chickadees. 10" high block block
I have probably made well over a dozen quilts and placemats and coasters using this very simple pattern. Sometimes I let my rotary cutter do the cutting. Other times, I fussy cut the center hexagon motif. Do you remember some of these steps?

Here are some of the parts, beginning with the center hexagon. To "fussy cut" means to center a motif within a patch shape. I like to use freezer paper for this as it's easy to trace and see through and I can iron it onto the fabric for ease of cutting out the shape.

These motifs are from my 12 block Twisted Hexagon quilt using some motifs from a Kaffe Fasset print.

Fussy cutting by using a freezer paper template. These will finish to a 12" high block
From my post last year: Once I determined the size (height) of the whole hexagon, I cut one out of freezer paper and then created a "window" by leaving 1/2"  of the freezer paper to see through.
Capturing the center motif
And my favorite cardinal! I'll be sharing the beautiful Twisted Hexagon banner with you a little later in the week.
Fussy Cutting the cardinal. This is the center of a whopping 15" block!
And auditioning some half-hexagons to surround that awesome cardinal!

This hexagon will be combined with 6 half hexagons.
One hexagon and 6 half-hexagons for a 12" high block
You do NOT need specialty templates that only cut one or two sizes. I use my multi-sized 60 degree ruler to cut both the whole and half hexagons IN ANY SIZE. Those horizontal lines on your ruler (and I am convinced most of you have one in your sewing room) are magic!

Isolating the lovely motif for a 14" height block
Tomorrow I will show you the next steps of how to join the half-hexagons with the center whole hexagon, all without a y-seam. Here's a hint: we use a partial seam!

And I'll show you a few more of my Twisted Hexagon creations. You can check out my patterns in my Etsy shop in the meantime.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

FREE Pattern Sunday: Olé!

Who says my free pattern day has to only be on Fridays? I'm in charge and I was reminded of this pattern I designed for Windham Fabrics a few years ago (2017). I don't think I ever shared it and it's about time I did.

This is a nod to Cinco de Mayo (that means "The Fifth of May" en Español). No margaritas for me; just some great fabric! The quilt size is 52" x 52". The center blocks are 12" and the Greek Key border blocks finish to 6".

Olé using South of the Border fabrics by Windham
Here is a picture of the first set of blocks I proposed. As you can see, we settled on just the cactus in the center and changed up the coloring of the pieced blocks. Those border corner blocks are paper pieced Greek Key units.

Draft blocks
The quilt uses a block I designed for Quilt Magazine in 2007. It was time I brought it out again! You can see the steps using real fabrics from Benartex in an older post here: Cinco de Mayo. It's really helpful to see the steps with actual fabric, so take a look!

Follow the link for Olé and you will be able to download this 6 page pdf all in color. I wish I had asked for some of this fabric when I created the pattern. It is truly fun. But I think you can adapt it to just about any colorful prints.

Hope your weekend has gone well!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

House Arrest Quilts Day Six

Yes, I have more quilts! These were pieced in recent years and have been hanging in my studio closet. I do a lot of teaching and believe in having a LOT of class samples: blocks, block parts, rows, etc. Then I look at my bulging boxes and see that those quilt parts just want to be put together!

The first is my Textured Leaves quilt made using my Princess Feather pattern. I blogged about this last year. And I gave a link to the first quilt I made for Windham Fabrics - it's a FREE download! I also quilted this on my Handi Quilter - 17, 282 stitches!

Textured Leaves Princess Feather Quilt: 35" x 42"
Here's a look at the plumes up close:

Princess Feather plumes
If you visit that link above, you will see a few other quilts made using this pattern.

Another finish for me has been my class sample for the Flying Swallows quilt. Traditionally this is stitched using y-seams and templates. Not me! That's why it's a fun class to teach. Also quilted on my HQ Sweet 16  with 13,130 stitches!

Flying Swallows Quilt: 38" x 38"
I still have two other un-quilted class samples of this pattern. I like to have at least one so that my students can see what the wrong side of the blocks look like - how the seams are pressed, etc.

Here is one I did in Fairy Frost:
Flying Swallows block
We rotary cut the diamonds:

 With triangles added to the diamonds:

Diamonds joined with 2 different sizes of triangles
Check out my 7 page Flying Swallows Quilt pattern in my Etsy store. You can see two other quilts in this pattern, too! The pattern has several process shots with real fabric, too!

Yes, I have even more quilts I'm working on to finish. I'll be sharing those soon. Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 24, 2020

House Arrest Quilts Day Five

It's Friday. That means that Part 3 of the Kaffe Fassett Field Notes is here. But I also want to share a quilt I designed and finally finished this last Saturday. My Card Trick blocks are simplified from the vintage/traditional version. I've shared about this before. I also wanted to use two different background prints. It is a real scrap buster!

No Tricky Card Trick
There are 4 fabrics in each of the 9 blocks (plus the background solids). It was fun to select all sorts of prints and my only criteria was that there be strong contrast. Check it out in my Etsy shop.

Now here is the designer himself. This first appeared in February 2009!

An Upscale Quilt

An Upscale Quilt
Field Notes: Kaffe Fassett
Having made a name of sorts in many different mediums, I’m often asked by audience members around the world what I’d like to try next. “Scale” is always my answer: I envision covering a large building in tiles, mosaic, or fabric.
Last November I found myself in Friesland, Holland, at a launching ceremony of what must rank among the world’s biggest patchwork quilts. This project was initiated by Henk and Marja Schenk, owners of the Quilt Kabinet fabric shop outside the charming old city of Leeuwarden. Marja had the inspired idea to create a four-story-tall patchwork to cover the front of a handsome 450-year-old leaning tower. My assistant Brandon and I were invited to attend the launch, teach workshops, and give lectures to celebrate a comprehensive exhibition of quilting at the Fries Museum (

A Vision Unveiled

A crowd gathered on the damp grey morning to watch the mammoth quilt (made by 350 sewers) unroll and glide gently up the tower, lifted by a giant crane.
I’d heard about the project for over a year and envisioned a communal project that made up in spirit what it would surely lack in taste and style.
Imagine my profound delight as a very handsome, very together arrangement of squares appeared in a palette that toned beautifully with the old brickwork of the tower. Then it really hit me. Not only was it made entirely of my fabrics, but also was the layout of my first quilt, Rosy. Suddenly it was the most spectacular celebration of all the years I’ve been designing patchwork and fabrics. Tears sprang to my eyes and I hugged the women who inspired and brought about this wondrous happening to encourage sewers throughout the world. My dream of scale was before my eyes.