Saturday, April 30, 2016

Morris Hexathon Introduction

Next week we start the six-month quiltalong, a Morris Hexathon (May to October, 2016 ) on this blog. The posts will appear every Saturday for 26 weeks beginning May 7, 2016.
We'll make various hexies as we discuss a little hexie history. The main theme will be a jog through William Morris's England with stops at places that were important in his life and work. It's a virtual Morris Tour of England.

The patchwork will be hexagonal blocks. Our models will be done in Morris prints, featuring my latest line for Moda Morris Earthly Paradise.

How to describe the size?
I designed the blocks to fit on an 8-1/2" sheet of printer paper.
Becky did the graphic showing that the block is 8" wide at its widest point.
The sides are 4" long, so in hexie terms these are 4" hexagonal blocks.

You'll print the pattern out every week and cut the pieces as paper templates, adding seams.
You may prefer to use hexagonal rulers, EQ7 or old fashioned geometry to draw the designs yourself. They'll be based on the 60 degree angles you find in hexagons.

Some will be in BlockBase---many are new designs. Some have curves and Y seams (not too many.) Some have many seams meeting in the center (not too many) so the series will be a good exercise in piecing. If you are new to paper piecing see the tutorials.

Above some hexagon geometry.

Tutorials on English Paper Piecing (EPP)
From Connecting Threads for hexagon shapes:

Lina Patchwork using diamonds:

Jessie Fincham on a different diamond:

The Official Set

A hexagonal medallion from about 1800-1830.

The inspiration quilt above shows rings of pieced hexagonal blocks alternated with rings of unpieced hexagons.

Rings of Hexagons
68 inches square

EQ7 says this will be 68” across with 8” wide blocks with 4" sides.

Alternate pieced and unpieced hexagons. If the center hex is pieced you need 37 pieced blocks to make two rings. If the center is unpieced you need 24 pieced hexagons. 

You're getting 26 different hexagons in the series.

All the edge hexagons (see the hexagons with the x's above)
are unpieced.

From Woman's Day.
The vintage medallions usually alternate white rings with pieced blocks.

Similar quilt from about 1870-1890

 But one idea is fussy-cut chintzes in the 8” plain hexagons, inspired by this piece of cheater cloth.

Below is a pattern for an unpieced 4" hexagon. You can practice printing.

Pattern for a Hexagon that is 8" wide at the widest point.
(4" sides)

To Print:
  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file.
  • Click on the image above. 
  • Right click on it and save it to your file. 
  • Print that file out. The hexagon should measure 8" across: Each side 4"
  • Adjust the printed page size if necessary.
  • Add seams when you cut the fabric. 
  • You will probably not get all the enclosing box on your printed page but you don't need it.
How much fabric will you need?
Becky Brown is making the models out a variety of Morris prints. She is the Queen of fussy cutting so she needs a lot of fabric

I'd start with some fat quarters of favorite prints or plains and add as you go along.

26 blocks---maybe 13 fat quarters,
which is a little more than 3 yards of fabric.
If you are going to do the official set with many unpieced hexagons I'd buy 5 yards of that background fabric ----more if you plan to fussy cut it.


  1. Oh Oh oH,...looking forward to the challenge. Know Becky will share some amazing fussy cuts!

  2. EXCELLENT intro information! I was wondering about a set with 26 blocks :) I have a selection of print fabrics ready, and will seek something for the "plains." Looking forward to Week 1!

  3. Can´t wait to play along.I love hexies quilts.

  4. I can't wait to see how this evolves! Love Barbara, Love Morris, Love hexies!

  5. I'm in!! My fat quarters are all anxiously waiting. I think I'm going to love this.
    --From Nancy Swanwick

  6. I am so looking forward to following this. I stumbled across it looking for an English Paper Piecing project to learn the technique. I am also a huge William Morris fan. A perfect combination.

  7. Très beau projet. Il me plaît beaucoup

  8. Ohh I cant wait, will use my FQ bundle of Old Cambridge Pike!

  9. I think I will try to join along with you. I have templates and papers that should fit. Only fabric to sort out,lovely. Happy Stitching.

  10. Just found you via Hibiscus Stitches and am planning to join in. xx

  11. So fabulous! Thank you for offering this quilt along. How can I sign up?

  12. Are the patterns for the Hexathon available? I just completed a William Morris Medallion Quilt and have fabric left I would like to use. These would be great.. Thanks.

  13. Mindy===check them out here.

  14. Barbara - I went to Etsy and purchased the downloadable files for the Hexathon. The email indicated I would have a link to click on to download. There was no link in the email that would permit me to click to complete a download.

    Can you assist?


  15. Never mind...found it....thanks.