Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tessellations: Hexagons 1 Random shading, stripes & waves

Just hexagons, no shading pattern
BlockBase #160a

In trying to find a quilt for every pattern BlockBase I got fixated in the hexagons. There are so many things you can do with them. We will begin with the simplest. They are all the same quilt, just shaded differently, and they are all BlockBase #160. 

The first is hit or miss---No repetitive shading pattern....

Published names from Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns
Poor Boy
Hit or Miss

#160a From about 1880-1900
Random shading

Hexagon quilts with no plan tend to be
the utilitarian versions, like the early 20th-century tied comforter above
or polyester double-knit below.

Below BlockBase#160b--shaded in stripes

Mid-19th century

Godey's Lady's Book showed this shaded stripe in 1850 but didn't give it a name.

Quilt dated 1877 with the name pieced in:
"Honeycomb Centre"

About 1900

Farm and Home magazine called it Variegated Hexagons about 1890

About 1870-1890

About 1910 above and below

Date inscribed 1821, Emeline D Ellery.

This early strip quilt in the collection of Historic Deerfield
has alternating strips of rosettes and stripes. See more here:

More about rosettes later.

Two years ago Mary Kerr organized a show of hexagon quilts at the Paducah Rotary Show with this one from Dana Balsamo's collection that has a lot in common with the 1821 Ellery quilt.

160c Ocean Wave, about 1890
The strips of light and dark could wobble back and forth.
British author Averil Colby called this undulating arrangement 
Ocean Wave.


From East Tennessee, early 20th century?
Case Antiques

A couple of decades later, same idea.

Hex on the Beach, a recent quilt
by Tula Pink.
Colby showed a few of these shaded patterns she called Ocean Wave but not many Americans tried it.


  1. Love the subtle shadings in Hex on the Beach! The rosettes and stripes is interesting also. Looking forward to your rosette post!

  2. Interesting, but some of those patterns hurt my eyes, as the expression goes. Fabulous intricate antique quilts in this post that I've never seen before. How did people have the time and patience?

  3. I especially like the Ocean Wave arrangement!

  4. Barbara, the quilt you have posted that was shown at the Rotary, and has a lot in common with the,1821 Ellery quilt is in my collection (Dana Balsamo). I loaned it to Mary for her display and book.

  5. Dana-that's a great quilt. I changed the caption.

  6. Wonderful hexagon post! I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with the Hexathon!