Thursday, March 15, 2012

Charming Hexagons from Morris & Company

I had an unopened Charm pack (5" squares) of the Morris & Company prints and I was thinking about making a Charm quilt ----no two pieces alike, featuring all the prints.

First I sorted them into lights, darks and mediums---the packs actually come pre-sorted, which is handy.

I thought about hexagons. Big hexagons. I calculated the largest hexagon I could fit in a 5" square and still have enough for the seam allowance. People tend to measure hexagons by the length of one side and these are 2-1/4". I found a pattern in EQ with a hexagon and fooled around until I got a hexagon that size. I printed a lot of them on freezer paper (I cut 8-1/4" x 10" sheets of freezer paper and backed them with regular paper so they could go through my photocopy machine.)

Then I ironed the freezer paper to the Charm squares

I used a glue stick and folded the fabric over the paper. I didn't trim it.

I used a clamp rather than pins (a trick I learned from Ann Kimble in a recent class on paper piecing) and whip stitched them together by hand.

I started off with the lights around a dark---6 for the first ring.
And then I added a ring of medium shades---12 for the second ring.

Where's that Dottie dog for scale?
These are big.

And then a ring of dark -18.
As I surrounded each piece I trimmed the extra fabric and removed the freezer paper. I didn't have to wet it as I used the glue sparingly. With a little tug it pops right out and you can re-use it several times.
Everybody who is addicted to hexagons has their favorite method. You might want to baste. You might want to buy pre-cut paper hexagons (they come with 2" sides or 2-1/2" sides---I'd go for 2".) You might want to machine stitch these together.
It's growing.
Uh,oh. At this point I noticed I had duplicates. I forgot that a charm pack often has duplicates. It's not a true charm quilt now, but what the heck.

Now I am thinking I will do a (sorta) Charm quilt with every piece of Morris reproduction fabric we've ever done at Moda. (And then there's a big box of Morris reproductions that WE didn't do.) This could be a king-sized quilt. They go together fast. There's a lot of basketball to watch so I need a lot of hand work.


  1. Neat use of his fabrics. William Morris would be pleased!

  2. I just did hexagons a while ago, actually pentagons for a ball and wondered how you attach it to the back, a glue stick seems so much easier than thread that I couldn't get tight enough, I will have to try this... what glue did you use?

  3. I'll be doing hexagons too - black and white and red ones during the games.... go KU! and KSU!

  4. Love the basketball! just made me laugh!
    ok you could always applique over the duplicates and let it be a true charm !
    hexagon quilt is on my to do list, someday!

  5. Glue: Any old water soluable glue stick from the grocery store.

  6. Good luck to KU, maybe you'll get to play VCU!

    I, too, love hexagons and they are such a great project to keep our hands busy during those all important play off games.

  7. Wonder what that basketball player would say about that tricked out basketball? Ha!

  8. What is it about hexagons that are so addicting?? Seriously, I can't stop.

  9. Those look beautiful with the fabrics. I have a go cutter, so I love using precuts for the large ones, works out nicely and then I just sew them by hand. I need to get back to my christmas piece so I can have it finished for next season.

    I am getting your books from the library again, couldn't remember which one has the ladies with flags and have decided I want to make that and i can use the layer cake for some of the dresses.


  10. You make me laugh! Love the basketball visual.

    Your hexagon quilt looks like fun.

    And thanks for the figuring out the wonky Victorian hexagon along with Sujata. That one has been added to The List.

  11. Looks great! I had a friend tell me she used the freezer paper this way but put it shiny side up so when she pressed the ends over they stuck. Thus no glue or basting, I haven't tried it yet but i will.

  12. I love doing hexegons...need to try this method. Whenever I buy repro fabric I cut a 5x5 square and put it in the "hex" pile for my charm quilt. right now it is twin size but will continue to grow as there are still lots of squares in the bag...

  13. LOL - love the bball picture. I'm stealing it...

  14. Comments on the comments
    Why didn't I think of shiny side up-?
    Steal that picture. But if the Athletic dept comes after me they are coming after you tooooo.

  15. Me gustan estas colecciones, son colores preciosos, un gran saludo.

  16. Hooted outloud for the basketball...

  17. Very nice. I just bought a whole bunch of your calicoes from the 70s, love em..

  18. Cool!


  19. Eu sou viciada em hexágonos,tenho 23.000 no estoque e indo.Faço todas as noites um pouco.Em média uma colcha por mês,2.20x2.40.não sei tamanho de vocês,mas a minha é bem grande.Ontem terminei uma de borboletas,ficou maravilhosa.Hoje vou começar uma de estrelas,que tenho que entregar até o final do mês.(as peças já estão no papel é só ir).Obrigada por compartilhar essa ideia.beijos.

  20. If you use the freezer paper dull side against the fabric, then you can iron the edges so they stick on the freezer paper with a little starch. That way you can pop them out before you stitch 'em together. And if you use two layers of freezer paper glued dull sides together you get a nice stiff template that sticks on both sides. No glue stick required!!!

  21. Hi, Barbara,
    I couldn't find an email address for you anywhere so am posting my question here. I have begun making the Civil War block of the week blocks and have found #4 and #6 are coming out at 8" rather than the 8-1/2" of the others. I am being very careful with my cutting and sewing. Are there any others that are 8" that you are aware of? Also, there is an incorrect measurement on #7. 7-1/8" cut should be 7-1/4" for it to fit. I am hoping you find this and reply. Thanks so much
    Sherry Massey

  22. Love your b-ball photoshopped pic!