Friday, February 02, 2007

Quilt Story.

It wasn't once upon a time; more of in a twinkling of an eye the spark of an idea in my brain flashed the minute I saw Anna hand sewing a small lap quilt by making individually backed and quilted little hexagons. She was generous in sharing how it was done and I knew I wanted to go further, use other colours and make it my own. I began with carefully measured cardboard hexagons but was able to move to greater accuracy and precision when I purchased a whole set of plastic (acrylic ? perspex? ) templates and later found a real gem of a marker. Have you got one? They are so fine and never need sharpening. It is a little container of chalk dust applied by a little wheel ( see photo )Mine cost NZ$14.55 . Clover Chaco liner.
I already had quite a stash of suitable fabrics to fussy cut motifs for an I Spy Quilt, as I had made one with little squares ( see post May 2006 ). Black had looked good on it and showed the wee pictures off well so I decided to use black backing with a tiny pattern.I have tried to make it suitable for boys by not including fairies, ballet girls etc, but have some of those saved for my girlie version to happen in future months.If anyone want instructions to make this see my posts back in Aug /Sept 2006.
Briefly though the single bed size has 284 hexagons. ( in rows of 14 then 13 then 14 etc. ) Each hexagon has a picture fabric fussy cut to in a 4.5" hex; and similar size batting hex and a 6.5" backing fabric which is folded forward and doubled and hand sewn onto the top. The corners are mitred all in the same direction.
As I didn't want the quilting to distort the wee pictures I did a single quilting row with the machine about a quarter inch in from the point where the backing was stitched to the front. You can see it in the close up photo. This should be sufficient to hold it in place when washing. It also makes a pleasing repetition of the Hexagon shape on the back.
I have tried to work out just how long it took to make but can't be accurate. I do know each hex took me 20 minutes to hand sew. It needed 5.5 yards of backing fabric. sewing one hex to the next took 6 minutes. Sewing the row to row took about 2.5 hours. Then there was the machine quilting and the cutting and pinning and of course the best bit looking for more suitable fabrics I didn't have! Ihave enjoyed the 6 month creating journey, enough that I will do it again. my quilt is born; I wonder who it will meet in it's lifetime?
Things in favour of this method.
1. It's a very portable project.
2.Could be made using any size hexagons. ( big singles= table mats )
3.When it's finished it's finished; no basting the batting and backing or bindings've done it. all.


Shelina said...

Ali, this is a masterpiece quilt. All that work! I just hated cutting squares for my storymaze quilt, and you not only had to cut harder shapes, but sew them by hand as well. It is gorgeous!

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Ah.. how clever are you-but then i see you are a horticulturist and that may have given you the inside running on my bulbs. We must have an esp link because your comment appeared as I was posting the pic of them out!! Amazing.

Being a big hexagon girl I am impressed. I'm going back now for a detailed read before the computer goes off!!

Bea said...

Thank you for the photos

molly said...

Oohhh! I have some of that![the bluebird in the lower pic]. Love this quilt, esp that there's no basting, binding etc. It's done when it's done. My kind of project.The black is very effective. Will have to keep this in mind for when I finish all my current projects....20 years, maybe?

Jax said...

Well, I'll bow at the feet of the Master! I'm just a novice quilter, as I have yet to complete my 3rd quilt. I go to classes now & then but I haven't heard of this wonderful method of quilting, did you develop it yourself? How ingenious! I'm definitely going to try it your way next time. Thanks a million, O Great One! Jax.