The Storybook Hexagon Quilt is Finished!

This quilt serves as a caution against mindlessly window shopping at online fabric sites.  I had no plans to make this quilt, but as I was clicking through SuperBuzzy’s website during Christmas break, I spotted a fabric…and in a glorious instant I saw this quilt in my mind’s eye.  I quickly closed my web browser and ran away from temptation, telling myself that I had no time for making a quilt like that because I was committed to two other quilts for my children already, both seriously overdue.

But the fabric wouldn’t leave my brain.  I stewed about the idea for two whole weeks, all the while reminding myself that I did not have the time to add another quilt to my to-do list.

But then my heart got involved and started pleading with my brain to reconsider.  It was going to be a beautiful quilt, and it would be like creating art, and if I didn’t give my heart what it wanted, it refused to care about anything else.

Sigh…

Alright.

There are three different fabrics used for the fussy cut hexagons, all of which are from Superbuzzy.  The music-themed one is Trèfle by Kokka, and then there’s a November Books print by Kokka, and a folksy print by Cosmo Textile Company.  My selvages are pretty sliced up on the last two, or I’d give you more information.

Everything else, besides the solid blue, came from the stash.  I think the gray polka dot on the back is a Riley Blake print, and the roses print is years upon years old.  (I’m tremendously helpful, aren’t I?)

The quilting is a mix between free motion and walking foot.  I stippled the string blocks, outline quilted the hexagons, straight-line quilted the white stripes, and then did FMQ scallops around the white stripes and borders of the quilt, with some feather hearts in the corners.

I’m super happy with it.  I still stand by the opinion that I did not have the time to make this, but it’s OK in the end.  Sometimes you just have to give your heart what it wants, despite logic and logistics.  My heart is pleased.

Pattern:  “Cat Tails Quilts” from Hexa Go-Go by Tacha Bruecher.

January = Cutting and basting hexagons
February = Piecing hexagon blossoms
March = Piecing string blocks, appliqueing hexagon blossoms to string blocks
April = Assembling quilt top and back (I could have gone faster on this, but I burned out a bit at this point.)
May = Quilting & binding

And that’s how you make a fussy, fussy, my-heart-won’t-settle-for-anything-else quilt.

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Rocket Age Hexagon Quilt Progress

I’ve been toting this project all around town–I’ve stitched at the park, I’ve stitched at Bluebird’s softball games, I’ve stitched in the car and at doctor’s appointments.  All twelve of the hexagon blossoms are complete, and I’ve moved on to piecing the string-pieced foundation blocks.  I’ve only sewn up two full blocks to applique the hexagon blossoms to, so when that second one is done I’ll have to sit back down at the sewing machine and whip up more string blocks.  Seeing that I’m actively avoiding my sewing machine in order to spend more time outside before the weather climbs into the volcanic range of temperatures, I’m not sure the next string blocks are going to happen anytime soon.  We’ll see.

I didn’t use any of the “advertisement” or “mini figures” prints in the hexagons, so they look extra special in the string piecing.  I love, love, love this fabric line!*  With Michael being the rocket scientist that he is, and doing his best to instill that love in his children; and my love for vintage and retro furnishings, this quilt is going to be so perfect for my little Monkeyboy.

It makes me laugh each time I look at the little rocket boy, stabbed in the head.  Sorry not sorry.

With the size of the full string blocks measuring in at 16.5 inches, I’m feeling a little conspicuous when I’m stitching them in public.  This might become more of an at-home project in the future.  So cute!

*The fabric line is “Rocket Age,” designed by October Afternoon and distributed by Riley Blake Designs.

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Quilting the Storybook Hexagon Quilt

I know, I’m throwing a different project at you each week!  I kept busy over the winter with a couple of things, and this little beauty is one of them.  I started piecing the hexagons in January, after I came across the ridiculously cute fabrics and couldn’t resist the idea of making something with them.

The hexagon blocks are interspersed with string-pieced blocks, and it’s really just so pretty that I waste a good five to fifteen minutes each day just gazing at it and running my hands over the quilting.
Quilting-wise, here’s what I’m planning upon doing:
  • String blocks:  Stippling with pink thread.  (Finished yesterday)
  • Hexagons:  Outline quilting with cream thread.  There’s twelve hexagon blocks and I’m finished with five of them so far.
  • White borders on hexagon blocks:  Straight outline quilting with white thread.
  • Blue outside borders on hexagon blocks:  I’m thinking about doing scallops, maybe with some sort of loop inside them to give the effect of eyelets?  I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to quilt that with blue thread or white thread.  I think the white thread would make it look more like eyelet lace coming off of the white borders.  But white thread would call attention to my quilting, which is mediocre at best…blue would hide the inconsistencies much better.  (You only get better with practice!)
  • Blue borders around perimeter of quilt:  No idea.  Blue or white thread, leaning towards blue.  Feathers?  More stippling?  Meandering flowers?  Interlocking scallops?  So many choices!
  • Maybe doing something with the blue background around the hexagons.  Blue thread, stretchy loops extending from hexagons out the edges.  If I have time and decide it would be good.  I don’t want to overdo the quilting; leaving that alone might make the hexagons “pop” a little better.

This is the first time I’ve quilted something I truly cared about, so it’s been a little nerve-wracking.  I’m still very new to free-motion quilting, so I’m forcing myself to keep soldiering on and not fret over every little imperfection.  “Done is better than perfect,” is my mantra, which I’ve adopted from Christina Cameli, whose book First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting infused me with the knowledge and courage to tackle this skill.  I’ll get better as I practice more, and this quilt is very nice with my skills where there are right now.  Just be happy.  🙂

ETA:  Silly me!  Some of you are asking for a full shot of the completed quilt top, so here it is, via my Instagram account.

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Storybook Hexagon Quilt Update

The kicker about a craft blog is that you need to craft in order to have something worth blogging about.  When I’ve come upon some free time over the past month, I’ve asked myself, “Get ahead on the quilt, or write about the quilt?”  I’ve chosen getting ahead each time.

And it’s been working quite well for me.  I’m in the home stretch of finishing the top!  The twelve blocks above are, as of this morning, complete and sewn together, and I just finished sewing the first strip of sashing to one side.  Unfortunately, I noticed a little twinge of pain in my left wrist as I was helping the bulk of the quilt top along the side of my sewing machine, so I decided to take a break and let it all rest for the rest of today.  And that, my friends, is a great time to start writing about the quilt!

At one point of assembly I got so tired of messing things up
that I started posting reminder photos of the measurements
I was aiming for on my Facebook page.  I imagine my
non-crafty FB friends think I have issues.

I counted up all the different fabrics being used–there are twenty seven different fabrics at play in this project.  The hexagons hail from three different prints I picked out at superbuzzy.com, and everything but the powder blue background fabric are bits and pieces from the stash and random fat quarters I’ve bought as I’ve found them appealing.  The design of the top is almost word-for-word the cover quilt of Hexa-go-go, except with some serious shrinking down–the “full” blocks of the cover quilt measure in at 16 inches, while these are 11 inches.  The hexagons are one-inch hexagons, lovingly hand-basted and stitched by yours truly.

I really should have just bought the entire bolt of the powder blue fabric when I found it, four stores into my quest.  Powder blue is not an easy color to find in shops right now, all the light blues lean towards aqua and turquoise.  I’m being exceptionally frugal with my limited amount of powder blue fabric, despite having already made a second trip to the fabric store and knowing that I could return and get more if I ran out.  It’s become a “thing” now, and I’m dedicated to the idea of NOT needing more powder blue fabric.  I’m even going to do a pieced back in order to conserve some powder blue.  There’s lots of red and pink strings leftover from piecing the blocks, so I’ve pieced a long row of them to break up the back of the quilt.  Depending on how much powder blue I have left, I might piece together some more rows.

Wanna see my favorite photo of quilt progress thus far?  Here it is:

My kids have learned what the term “photo bombing” means, and so now they take any opportunity to try it out, especially when it involves crafts.  (I think they’re trying to send me a message.)

One of my friends stopped to chat with me on the sidewalk this past week, and she mentioned that she absolutely loved watching for update photos of the quilt on Facebook.  She then told me that she had no idea how I was going to be able to choose which one of my girls as owner of the finished project, and that, if it were her, she’d just frame the thing and put it up on the wall as the art it was.  Talk about flattered!

What’s funny about it all is that I was having the same thoughts about it!  Not about who to give it to, because that was already decided when I started, but the thing about it being “art.”  When I saw the fabric at superbuzzy.com, a vision of this quilt appeared in my mind’s eye, and I was a goner.  I tried to talk myself out of it because I knew it would be time-intensive, and I already have some big ol’ time-intensive projects geared up to go in the queue, but I just couldn’t shake this project from my heart.  I had to make it.  So I plunged into it with boldness and a giddy sort of fearlessness that comes to me but rarely.  I feel like an artist, painting broad swathes of color across a blank canvas and being utterly enchanted with the result.  This has been a joy to create.  I totally love it.

Which is good, because the next quilt on my list is this all over again…but on a bigger scale.  I’ve learned some good things working on this rendition that will make the next one have neater seam matches, which I’m glad about.

So I while I feel I should apologize for the severe lack of blog posts that are happening on this lil’ blog o’ mine, I feel like it would be silly and insincere.  I’m busy creating art; which takes time, concentration, and applied effort–which are in short supply whilst juggling the demands of life.

How blessed we are to be able to do the things that bring us joy.

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