Last January I had the great joy of meeting my half sister Marti for the first time. I also acquired many new family members.
When I saw this panel by Chong-A Hwang for Timeless Treasures, I knew I had to make a One Block Wonder for my Great Niece Alexa. Alexa has a wonderful cat named “Ruca”, whom she has had since she was in college. I met Ruca, a very special cat.
Even though this panel states it measures 24″ by 44″, by the time I cut apart the panels and squared it up, it was more like 23 1/2″ wide. For my finished hexies to fit evenly across the bottom of the panel I would have to make some adjustments. If I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide, my finished hexies would be 6″ wide, which is not evenly divisible by 23 1/2″. I could just add fabric to the panel to bring it up to 24″ wide and then hide the extra fabric with appliqued hexagons as I have done before.
But I decided to trim the panel to fit the bottom rows of hexagons instead. If I cut my strips 3 1/2″, my finished hexies would be 5 1/2″ wide which would be evenly divisible into 22″. I don’t trim the panel until I’m ready to add the hexies. You can see that four finished hexagons (or 8 half hexies) will fit across the bottom of the panel. Here are my tips for Using Panels for a OBW:
Quarantine quilt number 4 – “Up Up & Away, in My Beautiful Balloon”. While I was visiting my family in Lake Havasu City last January I got to attend their Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was fabulous.
I saw this panel by Greg & Company on eQuilter and just had to get it for a One Block Wonder.
First thing, decide what size strips to cut. I start by trying to get an idea of how many hexies will fit across the top and/or bottom of the panel. It is just like making a pieced inner border to fit around the center of a quilt. The width of the panel should be evenly divisible by the finished size of my hexagon block. This panel measured 34″ x 44″. Even though it is a large print that would support a 6″ finished hexie, the 34″ width is not evenly divisible by 6″. I did not want to trim too much off the panel so I decided to cut my strips 3 1/2″ wide. That would yield 5 1/2″ finished hexagons. If I trim one inch off the panel side making it 33″ x 44″, meaning 33″ divided by 5.5″ = 6. Now I know I will get 6 hexagons (or 12 half hexies) across the width of the panel both top and bottom. Download my Tips for Using Panels for a OBW:
I started at the bottom and worked my way up the sides and across the top.
I used most of my hexagons and got achieved a design I was pleased with.
I number my rows and stitch the half hexies into rows. Then I join the rows pressing all seams open. I cannot stress enough how much easier it is to press your seams open with the help of my Strip Stick. I have 4 different sizes. The 48″ Strip Stick makes pressing the long seams open go quickly without disturbing the previously pressed seams.
I stitch my hexies into 4 groups. Top, bottom, left and right.
I decided I wanted to applique the bottom section to the panel first. Instead of trimming the points I pressed under a 1/4″ seam and stitched it onto the bottom of the panel. I chose to attach the right side next by matching up the dog ears as you would when joining the rows and stitch three quarters of the way up towards the top of the panel (partial seam).
By using a partial seam, it allows you to match up the dog ears of the top hexies with the side rows of hexies.
I will mark where the top hexies hits the top of the panel, add a 1/4″ seam allowance, trim the hexies and stitch to the top of the panel. I decided to trim the hexies because I did not want to cover the balloons.
Now I can finish the partial seam.
With the top, bottom and side hexies stitched in place, I can easily attach the left side hexies to the panel matching up the dog ears.
This is one colorful One Block Wonder. I have ordered some great fabric from Fabric.Com for the back.
As soon as it arrives I will quilt it and send it you Angie!
The more you practice the better you get at something. The same is true with quilting. This quilt was supposed to be for my son Josh for Christmas (last Christmas). Oh well, better late than never. This panel is called Northern Lights by Abraham Hunter for Elizabeth’s Studio. It claimed to be 36″ x 44″ but is was closer to 39″ wide.
I aligned my 6 panels, cut my hexagons and began designing around the panel. I do not trim the panels before I align them. Once they are aligned I can decide whether to use any of the borders or not. I decided not to use the border in the blocks so when I guesstimated how much to trim off to even the edges , I included the borders.
I start by trying to get an idea of how many hexies will fit across the top and/or bottom of the panel. It is just like making a pieced border to fit around the center of a quilt. The width of the panel should be divisible by the finished size of my hexagon block.
You have two ways to make sure your hexagons will fit across the top and bottom of your panel. You can trim or add fabric to your panel and/or you can also adjust the size of your finished hexagon so it is divisible by the width of the panel.
Strip Width Yeilds
Finished Hexie Size
I decided to cut my strips 3.75″ for 6″ finished hexagons and trim my panel to 36″ wide. Six hexagons will fit across the bottom and/or top of the panel.
I kept playing with the design.
Once I was satisfied with the design, I stitched the hexagons into four sections.
I laid the top portion of hexies on the panel to help give me an accurate width to trim off. I felt I would not lose an important part of the panel by cutting off the tree.
I trimmed the panel, Trimmed the portion of the hexies so it could be stitched to the panel.
I discovered when the bottom set hexies were aligned with side hexies – I needed to add about 1 1/2″ of fabric.
Now it all fit together wonderfully. I just needed to hide the fabric I added and trim the top and bottom points.
You can’t even tell where I added the fabric or hid it with smaller hexagons. Next I will get quilted!
No moose were hurt in the making of this quilt as Tucker was on duty supervising me the entire time.
Have you seen some of the wonderfully creative One Block Wonders (OBW) made using precut panels? If you haven’t you should join the Facebook group “One Block Wonder Quilt Forum”! This is my third OBW using panels and I wanted to share how I put them together.
My last OBW using panels “The Heron”, was so much fun I couldn’t wait to make the next one. Start by purchasing 7 Panels. One to be incorporated into the top and 6 to be aligned for making the hexagon blocks.
The process is same whether you are using yardage or panels. The only difference is the repeats are already cut for you. I don’t trim the panels, I just press them and layer them assuring they are all going in the direction. Align them as directed in Maxine Rosenthal’s book One Block Wonders or One Block Wonder Encore.
Once the repeats/panels are aligned, trim one long edge so all the layers are ending in the same place. This panel has a good size design, so I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide by Width of Fabric (WOF). Then using my ruler with a 60 degree line I cut my equilateral triangles and made my blocks. Once the blocks are sorted by predominate color it is time to design.
I know that when I cut my strips 3 3/4″ wide, my finished hexagon block will measure 6″ wide. I squared up the panel and measured the width. This panel after squaring up was 23″ wide. This means 3 finished hexagon blocks would measure 18″ and 4 finished hexagon blocks would measure 24″ wide. At this point I had two choices, trim the panel to 18″ wide or add fabric to make the panel 24″ wide. I decided to add fabric that I will hide later. You can decide to center your panel or offset it in any way.
I place the panel on my design wall and start the designing process. I always place my blocks on the design wall so the opening is north and south.
I have established that I will need four blocks wide across the top and the bottom. How deep it goes depends on me. I chose 4 blocks wide and 3 blocks deep on the top, and 4 blocks wide and 2 blocks deep on the bottom.
When placing the blocks on the side of the panel, every other block remains whole, while everything other is a half of a block. I don’t remove the half until I’m sure the block will remain there, I just fold it in half.
When I am satisfied with the design I number the rows as always and stitch the rows together in four groups: the top, bottom, right side & left side. I think of this as a giant block that has a rectangle in the center and will be constructed using a partial seam.
Decide whether to attach the top or bottom first. I am going to attach the top rows first by trimming the points that will be stitched to the panel, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Once I have stitched the top rows to the panel I need to choose which side to attach next, matching up dog ears as you would when joining the rows and stitch three quarters of the way down (partial seam).
By using a partial seam, it allows you to match up the dog ears of the bottom of the side rows. I will them mark where the panel hits the bottom rows, add a 1/4″ seam allowance and stitch to the bottom and then finish the partial seam.
It is now easy to stitch the remaining side rows to the panel matching the dog ears at the top and bottom. I have not finished this top yet as I’m teaching several classes soon and wanted to have a good visual example to show the class.
Now to hide my added fabric.
I made sure I had several left over blocks. I stitched the two halves together, pressed the seam open and using my ruler, trimmed 1″ off every side. This reduces my hexagon to about 4″ wide.
I use a Fusible Knit Interfacing, cut a square slightly larger than the hexagon. Place the bumpy side of the interfacing with the right side of the hexagon. Stitch around the hexagon using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim off the excess interfacing and snip a hole about 1″ wide.
Turn the hexagon right side out. Now the fusible ‘bumpy side is on the outside. Finger press the edges to flatten it out. This is a great way to get a perfect finished edge. Once I have decided where to place my smaller hexagons, I can use my iron and press them in place and finish them by stitching them down.
See how well the small hexagons hide my added fabric? I will post this OBW once I finished it.
I was closely supervised while making this OBW by my quilting buddy Tucker!
I just finished my quilt donation to Quilter’s Dream Batting, Hopes & Dreams Challenge for ALS research. It is my hope that every quilter reading this will donate a quilt to help raise awareness and research money for ALS, Lou Gerhigs disease. 100% of money raised goes to ALS research.
All quilts donated are entered to receive fantastic prizes donated by wonderful sponsors.
Categories for prizes are:
Sew Lovely – 3 Quilters will win prizes valued at $500.
Sew Generous Individual – An Individual donating the most quilts will win $1,250 in great prizes.
Sew Generous Quilt Guild – The quilt guild donating the most quilts will win $1,250 in great prizes.
Sew Generous Professional – The professional quilter, longarmer or teacher who donates the most quilts will win $1,250 in prizes.
Sew Popular, 3 Winners – Top quilts are posted on the internet and voted on, 1st Place $1,250 in great prizes, 2nd Place $750 in great prizes and 3rd Place $50- in great prizes.
Sew Creative , 3 Winners – Fabric Postcards, wall hangings, handbags, accessories, miniature quilts, mug rugs, paintings, table runners, etc. which will be sold to raise funds for ALS Research. All entries will be entered into a drawing to win prizes valued at $500.
Sew Generous Quilt Shop – The quilt shop that donates the most quilts will win $1,250 in great prizes.
Donate one or more quilts by July 31st. Quilts postmarked after July 31st will be entered in next year’s Hopes & Dreams Challenge. For complete information go to Quilters Dream Batting and click on Hopes & Dreams Challenge for ALS.
Wild Flowers of Alder Creek
It is winter in Central NY, but there are flowers in my yard today!
Somebody stop me! I need to be working on Studio 180 Design class samples. But I just had to make one more One Block Wonder. This great fabric is Brazilia by Alexander Henry. I wanted to try a different design approach.
I like the unevenness. Once I sewed the blocks together I bound the uneven edge with a burgundy fabric. I then laid the blocks over the original fabric and adjusted it until it was in a position I liked. I sewed the two together and then squared up the top.
It is a very subtle edge, but I like the way the original fabric flows into the blocks.
Here is a close up of where the original fabric meets the blocks.
I chose another tropical bird fabric for the backing.
I’m making a fund raiser quilt for The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica whose mission is to promote the preservation and restoration of historically and architecturally significant buildings and sites. Through projects, community education, advocacy, marketing and planned activities, the Society engages its’ members, partners and the community in preserving the past and protecting the future.
I decided on a One Block Wonder because they are so much fun and visually interesting. As I’ve said before I’m a self proclaimed Wizard of Oz freak, plus L. Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, NY in 1856 not far from Utica. So I went to my Oz stash and chose my fabric. It all starts with 6 repeats of fabric. I decided to put one repeat on the back of the quilt because it was too large to use in the borders.
I cut my 6 repeats, aligned the fabric, cut my strips, cut my equilateral triangles and decided to start with a Yellow Brick Road.
I began by using the yellow blocks to start the path.
I was pleased with the design except for one block.
As I said earlier, the original fabric design was too large to use in the borders so I needed to pull from my Oz stash for the outer borders. I had already sewn the rows together when I noticed one block in the lower left of the quilt that kept catching my eye. I decided to embroider something in the block to tone it down.
Monkey in the Moonlight, I love it!
Borders on, now to quilt it.
Locked and loaded. I’m using Quilters Dream Orient Batting made from an exotic blend of bamboo, luscious silk and very soft cotton! After washing, when I took it out the dryer it just draped in my arms.
The shadows were in the way a little, but at least the sun is out on this beautiful April day in Central NY.
This is the 57th One Block Wonder that I have made.
What fabric makes a good Hexagon Quilt? Some say a 24″ repeat is key, but I do not necessarily agree. I made a hexagon quilt from a fabric that had a 24″ repeat, but the print was not that large. Although it was still a pretty quilt, I thought the colors were a little muddy (Natures Chorus). So I say get as big a print as you can find with colors that you like. Keep in mind that once the repeats are layered you will be cutting them into 3 3/4″ strips. If your print is flowers that are only 3″ across, you will not be taking them apart very much and your blocks will end up looking a lot like the original fabric. Whereas if the print is 6″ you will have a better chance of your blocks looking nothing like the original fabric.
I ignore the print itself and go for something large with colors I like, then I know I will have fun. When I made “Inside the Twister” from the Wizard of Oz fabric in sepia tones, it was only a 12″ repeat. I could have cut 6 repeats of a fabric 12″ each, but because the print was big enough, I chose a design element that was easily identifiable and when it came up again at 12″ – I skipped it and went to the next one. Now I had a 24″ repeat. When you do this you may have blocks that repeat themselves, but remember you have 3 design choices with each block.
To make a good lap-size, twin, or full size quilt, 4 1/4 yards for your blocks. 6 repeats of fabric at 24” each, is exactly 4 yards (24 x 6 = 144; 144/36 = 4). I ALWAYS BUY at least 6 Yards so I have the option of a 9 OR 10 inch outer border with the original fabric.) It is fun to see a slice of the original fabric along with the quilt. DO NOT PRE-WASH THE FABRIC!!!!
Below are some of my hexagon quilts waiting to be born. I still have another 20 or so 6 yard pieces I didn’t show you.
Just Lion Around by Alexander Henry
New York City at Night
Construction Hunks (I love cutting up people)
New York, New York
Under the Rainbow, I used this fabric for “Inside the Twister” it had a 12″ repeat