Thursday, February 25, 2010

My New Hobby

Uh-oh. I've got a new addiction and it isn't pretty. Well it is pretty literally, but figuratively???
I've always wondered at those people who could make quilts out of one pattern piece. Dullsville.

But as I say: "Uh-Oh."

I started to make a pincushion. Download the free pattern here:

I had a charm pack of my reproduction prints from The Morris Workshop from Moda. Each 5" square was cut into quarters so I had four squares of each print 2-1/2" x 2-1/2".

I didn't use their machine method but used a glue stick to lightly glue a template behind each square. Then I folded the edges over to make a hexagon and whip-stitched them together by hand.

When I got the first ring done I was hooked.
I wondered how many rings I could get out of a charm pack.
Very soon I forgot about the Prairie Flower pincushion and started thinking medallion.

Center of an early 19th century medallion quilt from the Winterthur Museum

Reproduction of a 19th-century medallion by Bertha Stenge 1945

A soldier's quilt of wools

I needed one more light print so I got one from the first Morris reproduction line A Morris Garden.

Now I have to go out in the sleet/snow wintery mix and get more hexagon paper templates.
Once you get an outside row stitched you can take out the templates in the inside row. I can reuse them 2 or 3 times but now I need more. Way more.
Stay tuned. It could get bad.

Albert Small's hexagon mosaic quilt with the most pieces in the world, 1945

See more about Albert Small and his hexagon addiction by clicking here:

And find more inspiration by clicking to see these museum quilts:
Metropolitan Museum of Art:

International Quilt Study Center and Museum


  1. My mother did these hexagons back when I was a kid, probably in the early 60's. When my brother and I emptied the house several years ago, I did not find them, but I know she never finished a quilt top. I am so tempted by yours...love the Morris repro line, but don't own any yet. Yet.

  2. I love how your hexagons are turning out! The fabrics are very yummy! I'm working on a hexagon quilt right now using mostly brown, pinks, reds and creamy tans. They are fun!

  3. When I traveled a lot for work I used to keep a little baggie of hexegons to baste in my briefcase. They are addictive!

  4. Barbara, you made me smile and made my day today. I, too, was a naysayer about hexagons in the past and now am totally fascinated with them. Must be an age mellowing thing! The William Morris prints look beautiful in hexagons I might add!

  5. There's a great product for hexagons- Inklingo- You print lines on your fabric with your printer, so no trips out for template papers. And it works with charm squares. It's at LindaFranz.com (No affilliation, just a fellow hexagon addict)

  6. I've never made the Hexagons, but see so many of them on the quilting blogs. The quilts you displayed today are beautiful.

  7. Lovely! I also started doing some hexagons in batiks. I have been quilting for over 30 years and never tried them. However, I think I will continue on and see where it goes. Could must turn into a tablerunner! I found a website where I printed out the hexagons and cut them myself. Right now I can't find the link but just put something like "hexagons" into the search box and there should be some there - that is if you are interested. Have fun! Kansas has had a real winter this year, I understand. We lived there 28 years and you can have some of everything, I know! Carol

  8. Lovely! I always make a plastic template of my preferred hex size and then cut my own paper templates by tracing it onto those pesky subscrption cards that fall from every magazine. They're the perfect weight and it only takes a few minutes to cut enough for an evening's work.

  9. They are addictive!! But there is a much easier way to prepare them, as Leslie mentioned above -- with Inklingo. No papers, no basting, just lots of lovely stitching!

  10. They are so addictive! I love hexagons. :)

  11. Uh-oh, indeed. I never thought I'd do hexagons even though I had a bag of genuine 3o's fabrics already cut out that I got from a guild member. Then on Kathy Tracy's Small Quilt Talk list at Yahoo, the ladies were talking about doing mini-hexagon quilts. That sounded like fun, so I started one with 1/2" hexes. Then I got out the 30's pieces (1") and started those--have them all basted and about 50 rosettes put together. Now I troll eBay to find more vintage 30's fabric...and I started a 2" one with large florals, and, and, and...! If you go to Linda Franz' site you'll see the Lucy Boston quilt--I want to do that one, too! There's no end!

  12. I'm hexi crazy right now, I just posted about how to organize and join with the pathway. Your photos here are amazing!

  13. Barbara,
    I just print my hexagons from my printer. I use graph paper from this site: http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/hexagonal/
    You can pick any size and it creates a pdf that you can save and print as much as you'd like. I cut freezer paper into 8.5x11" sheets and feed it right into my ink jet printer.
    Love your blog, and BTW, my mom went to school with Albert Small's daughter. He was from Ottawa, IL

  14. Uh-oh is right! The hexies are such a relaxing hand work project. My first quilt was a Grandmother's Flower Garden. I was given a box of hexagons and a couple of pieced blocks. I had no clue what I was doing, and didn't have papers to piece with. The thrill from making that quilt hooked me.
    Your fabrics look great pieced into hexagons...keep going! :)

  15. I have several hexagon quilts started. One of them is the Insanity Quilt featured in a magazine from Australia. All of the quilts with hexagons are from printing directly onto the fabrics and cutting it out. No templates needed, no rulers needed, no paper hexes needed... it is all done using Inklingo from Linda Franz. The best new product since rotary cutters. Love Inklingo for Hexagons.

  16. Barbara, I did a queen size quilt with hexagons using Inklingo. It was so much easier than glue and fussing with paper pieces. If you are interested, go to Linda Franz website for more information. There are other shapes that I know you will find helpful in your quilt making and pattern designing.

  17. Albert Small must have been a very interesting gentleman...the detail of his quilts is sooo amazing! A master of the hexagon!

  18. Hi Barbara,
    I use INKLINGO to do the hexes. Once you try it you will never have to go outside in the cold again. INKLINGO has a freebee on the site for a LeMoyne Star. I downloaded that and that was it. What a wonder.

  19. OK, now Barbara has done it yet again. Seems I will be making a hexagon quilt -- not the tradional Grandmother's Flower Garden variety .. but I will try for the gorgeous mosaic looking wonders.

    Ever try QUILT PATIS? They are flexible but firm plastic hexagons shapes to form the fabric around. Whipping stitching is the way to join the pieces. Sold in quilt shops and online

    I bought a set of 25 plastic pieces several years back for $12.95. Plan on doing mine with these. YOu just pop out the plastic piece when you have several hexagons joined, and reuse it. EAsy, no glue and totally reusable too.

    Julie in TN

  20. Hi Barbara...another Inklingoist here. I love what you are doing, but printing on fabric is a dream and the sewing so much faster...I look forward to seeing what else you do and your progress on the haxagons. I am also doing an Insanity quit .5 hex,s and an Almost Insane which is much the same but with .75 hexs. These are on hold till I get a current quilt done. Wish I had your snow..its SO hot here in the Southwest of Western Australia Australia...not nice. Enjoyed my visit.

  21. I love hexagon quilts, but looks hard to sew together.


  22. Have been working with some hexagons from my grandmother. Also have several other pieced blocks, and a ton of pieces cut and ready to assemble for a block I can't find a name for. If you would like to help me solve the mystery please email me (addy on my blog). Thanks!

  23. Love the Pin Cushion Pattern. Even printed it, although I'm pretty miserly about using ink. Still can't imagine doing hexagons, yet.

  24. Oh Barbara! You poor thing! I know what you are going thru for I too am addicted to EPP (English paper piecing). If you ever decide to venture out beyond the hexagon, I would love to have you join our EPP workshops. We make EPP projects all year around.

    cindy aka MsDesigns
    website: http://www.cddesigns.com
    blog: http://blog.quiltcampus.net/msdesigns/
    Teacher/Owner at http://www.quiltcampus.net
    Owner at http://www.findaquiltpattern.com

  25. Just another Inklingoist here. I have always loved hexagon quilts but hated to have to whip stitch them together. Once I discovered how easy the sewing was using Inklingo I've become addicted.

    Peggy S.

  26. Hi Barbara,
    Aren't the quilts stunning??

    I know what you mean about dullsville, but I was taken by surprise too.
    Now we have 2 whole group blogs of Hexie lovers!!

    Enjoy the ride!
    Robyn xx

  27. I print my Inklingo template onto freezer paper, cut out and iron to the wrong side of my fabric. You could still use the gluestick, but I prefer to fold over the edges and take a tacking stitch to hold the folds in their proper shape. Since you do not go thru the paper, you never have to remove...and it saves the paper for many re-sticks! I use a hole punch for the middle of the template, and only remove the template when it's completely surrounded by "petals".

  28. if you spray your used templates with starch and allow to dry flat again you will get way more that 2-3 uses out them !!!!!! this is what our quilting class does especially since the insanity quilt has over 10,000 hexagons. i have the centre piece already completed and am still using my first bag of 700 templates using this method.

  29. I use "The Creative Memories Collection" Hexagon maker for scrapbooking to punch templates out of freezer paper and then iron onto fabric.

  30. Barbara, for almost 15 years I have been searching for the mosaic quilt made by Elizabeth Van Horne Clarkson! I saw a B&W photo of the quilt in an old book but there was no pattern nor was there any info abut the maker. I made my version of the quilt and designed my own border. Earlier this year I finally found the original quilt. I was so pleased to find a picture on your blog of another version of this beautifu quilt. I posted a picture of my quilt on my blog and hope you might drop by to see it!