Hexagon wedding quilt – Part III

This week I want to talk about the machine quilting on the hexagon wedding quilt I made for C and J. I did machine quilting on two sections of the quilt – first on the center with the hexagons, and then on the borders. I started with the center hexagon.  I traced lines (I think an inch? maybe?) from the outer edges of the hexagon.  I did it in purple thread.  (Note: Looking at my pictures, I see that I traced the center hexagon and the ring surrounding it, then quilting the ring surrounding it, and then went back and quilting the center hexagon.  I can’t remember why.)

Next I did the light blue ring of hexagons around the center.  First I traced lines (an inch – I’m pretty sure it was an inch) around the outside of the center hexagon.  I did two more rounds of quilting in this ring of hexagons – one round of quilting an inch in from the outer edge of the hexagons and one round of quilting touching the corners of that, making a large hexagon.  I did that in light blue thread.  I think you can see that in the pictures above as well. Then I moved to the purple ring and I did two rounds of quilting, along the inside edge and the outside edge of the ring.  (It’s hard to describe the quilting designs I did here, but I hope the pictures make it clearer.)  I like how the quilting came out – it’s very geometric and cool.  I did that in purple, and then the blue ring in my royal blue thread.

For the purple half-hexagons along the top and bottom of the quilt, I did a line following the half-hexagon edge of each one, in purple thread.

I also still had clusters of blue hexagons in the corners to be quilted.  I made this kind of weird shape:

For the inner border, in the blue and white print, I took navy thread and I followed the line of the triangles up and down the sides of the quilt.

I made this design along the top and bottom of the inner border, mirroring the line of the quilting on the hexagons forming the border. I don’t know how else to describe it.

That left the top and sides of the navy border.  I considered using this motif, which I had used on Z’s quilt, but it was too wide.

I chose this narrower one, instead.  I used my template plastic to make the templates.

I started going across the top, with a light and a darker purple thread.  They both read too pink for me – I think they both had red undertones that came out more strongly against the blue background.

I switched to bluer purples for the sides but they still look rather pinker than I wanted.  Perhaps I should have chosen blue threads instead, but it still looks nice.  It wasn’t quite what I was going for, but I guess I really don’t own any blue-purple threads.

Here you can see the contrast in the thread colors and where I switched at the corners.

Here are some pictures of the back:

A picture of the finished quilt, looking lovely, if I do say so myself.  I used my parents’ pool chairs for the pictures (outdoor pictures! rare for me!).  (The bottom looks weird because I covered up C and J’s names.)

The end!  Next week we’ll have something different.


Hexagon wedding quilt – Part II

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how I pieced the top of the hexagon wedding quilt for my friend C and her now-husband J.  I forgot to show the back I pieced from large pieces of purple fabrics:

I also forgot to post that I added a navy border around the edges.

I did all of that in January and February, believe it or not.   Then I put it aside and worked on my other projects until I was able to go to my parents’ house in March and put it together.  I took a day off before Mom and I went on our first quilt retreat to do that.

I’ve showed you how I use the ping pong table to put the quilts together.  This time I taped the batting down to keep it flatter – I’ve since been given a tip to unfold the batting the day before so the folds have time to relax, so in the future I’ll be doing that (and the tape, probably).  I laid the quilt top over the batting and rolled the two layers into the center.  Then I laid down the backing and unrolled the batting and quilt top over it.  I safety pinned the three layers together.

I made this quilt before I learned how to do binding – I know!  I learned how to do binding approximately 24-36 hours after I put this quilt together.  So I folded the edges under the way I used to and sewed them down.  It’s my last non-bound quilt, ever.

I only did a little bit of hand quilting.  C is 100% Italian and J is half Italian, and I wanted to put a special message for them on the quilt.  I asked around for what you would say in Italian when people got married and the consensus, from my cousin T and coworkers who speak Italian, was “Auguri,” which means congratulations.  (I checked with C’s father, as well, in case there was a special regional word that might be used instead, and he agreed with “Auguri.”)  I chose my pretty blue variegated thread and I quilted “Auguri” and their names and the wedding date onto the bottom border of the quilt.  I left the rest of the border for machine quilting, and I’ll post about the machine quilting next week.


Hunter’s Star Quilt – Part VII

I finally finished the Hunter’s Star quilt for my coworker M!  I gave it to him last Friday at work.  I was so excited to be done with it and to gift it, finally.

I finished the hand quilting – star after star.

Then came the binding.  I took navy thread and sewed it down with a running stitch.  I don’t know if that’s the stitch you’re supposed to use to sew down the binding but it was the easiest for me.

I realized that I made a mistake when I sewed the binding on – I don’t know how I managed it!  Look at the seam – it’s showing on the outside.

I debated whether to fix it and I finally ripped it all out, but then I panicked and thought I wouldn’t be able to put it back together properly.  I was so proud of myself when I fixed it!


Here’s the best picture I took of the back:

Here’s the front of the finished quilt:

I LOVE it.  I think it’s so gorgeous and the quilting looks great from a distance.  Z also likes how it came out, and M was very happy with it.

Hexagon wedding quilt – Part I

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!  I got a lot of work done on various projects, but for the next couple of weeks I want to post about a finished quilt.

My friend C just got married and I made her and her now husband, J, a quilt for their wedding present.  I actually started it months ago – back in January – and I put the layers together in March and did most of the quilting at the March quilt retreat I went to.  Now that the wedding has happened I can finally post about it!

C’s favorite color is purple and J’s favorite color is blue.  I had an idea that I wanted to do hexagons, because (as you’ve heard me mention) I love hexagons.  Remember when I was working on my quilt for myself?  I picked out some of those fabrics after I had cut the pieces for C’s quilt.  I also made this before I had my hexagon tool, so I cut a triangle out of template plastic and used that.  I used the triangle from the pinwheel quilt I made for P and J, even though this one isn’t pinwheels.  I measured the height of the triangle, cut strips of that width, and then cut my triangles out.


Once I had my piles of triangles, I started sewing them together.  I sewed two of each print together, then ironed and added a third to form all of my half hexagons.

I had cut extra triangles  (it never hurts to have too many!)  which  I’m saving for a doll quilt or something.  They’re probably buried somewhere under a pile of other fabric.  (Speaking of doll quilts, I haven’t made one in ages.  That’s on my to-do list for the summer.)

Here’s my sketch for the design of the quilt and how many hexagons and half hexagons I needed.

When it came time to do the layout, I separated the hexagons by color and shade.    Purples went in one pile, light blues in another, and dark blues in a third.  (This is where I weeded out some of the extras.)  I had this one print, which had blue and a lot of purple in it but is actually on a background that reads grey to me.  I think it’s beautiful but I couldn’t put it in any of the three piles, so I chose it for the center.

I ringed that with my six light blue hexagons, and around those I arranged twelve of my purples, trying to alternate between lighter and darker purples.

I reserved a set of four hexagons that are all from the same collection, closer to fuchsia.  Here’s a picture of one of those prints, so you can see what I mean about the shade, and maybe pick them out more easily in the full layout.

I arranged my dark blues in an outer ring.  I took the reserved fuchsia half hexagons and placed them along the top and bottom (half of each along the top and the bottom, in reverse order – so that the print at the bottom left hand corner is the same as the half hexagon at the top right hand corner, and vice versa).  I filled in the remaining spaces with blue hexagons.

For the border I chose this blue print.  I cut out triangles for the edge of each hexagon on the end of a row.

I sewed it all together by row, then sewed the rows together.  (You can also arrange your half-hexagons vertically and sew them in columns but doing it horizontally makes more sense to me.)

I did my best to keep any directional pattern, of which I had a few, facing “up.”  Some of the prints are striped or stripe-adjacent and I arranged the triangles so that the stripes would emanate from the center.  I took a bunch of close up pictures of those, so I’ll include them here.  (You can never have too many pictures, right?)  I think some of the effects are cool.

I arranged the one below so that all of the red would be at the center.

The print below was arranged so everything would sort of be “up.”

Here’s the completed quilt top, ready to be sandwiched and quilted – but that’ll be another post.


Apron for my cousin C

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday!  To mark the occasion, I’ve decided to put up an extra post.  The charity quilt and Hunter’s Star quilt have been taking up most of my blogging time, but I have other things I’ve been working on in the interim, and I wanted to showcase one of them today.

My cousin C just graduated from college.  C loves to cook and bake and I wanted to make her an apron for her graduation because it would be easy for her to pack and move it, plus it’s useful.  (Always important considerations for new college grads, right?)  She loves purple and I bought a bunch of purple fat quarters when I was shopping with my mom before Easter.  (I have plenty of purple fabric, but these fabrics were so cute…I fail at not buying fabric.)  The apron is very similar to what I made my sister N for her birthday, except that I made a pocket for it.

I spent a while thinking about which monochrome purple to use on the bottom and which to use on the top.  I knew I would use the blue print for the pocket, so I ended up picking the monochrome purple print that I thought went best with the blue.  (I used the one with the little circles on the bottom and the one with the flowers on the top.)  It wouldn’t have really mattered if I’d done the reverse.  I used the green print for the straps.  At the time I thought I’d bought more fabric than I’d needed, but in the end I was glad I’d bought as much as I did; three feet of fabric isn’t all that much for an apron, when you think about it, considering I wanted to make a full apron and not a half apron.

I cut the green print into wide-ish straps (three inches? maybe) and I cut the pocket out of the blue print and then cut the remainder into thinner strips for the edges of the apron.  The blue fabric is directional – it’s plants with leaves on a purple background – so I cut the strips to maintain the directionality of the print, even though I doubt it would be noticeable if I hadn’t.  I lined up each strip of the blue against the edge of the purple, right sides together, and sewed along the edge.  Then I flipped the blue over and folded it in on itself, hiding the rough edge, and pinned it against the back of the purple fabric.  Then I sewed that down.  I made one mistake when I was doing the edges, and that is that I sewed the initial seam in white.  It doesn’t show up on the front, only on the back, but it still bothers me.  I did everything that would show on the front in purple, and eventually realized that I should sew all of it in purple thread, and the thread blended in completely.  I didn’t take a picture of the mistake and I don’t think I’m describing it well, but it’s there.

I added blue strips to all four edges of the bottom apron piece.  On the top apron piece I only did the top edge and the sides, not the bottom edge.  I folded the bottom edge up and sewed it to the bottom apron piece, overlapping them so that the rough edge was hidden.  I believe I did that seam twice, once along the top of where they overlapped and once along the bottom of where they overlapped.  (I’ve also been sewing two seams where I attach the straps, just to give it a firmer hold.)

Here’s the finished product (and me modeling it).

I hope between this post and the post about N’s apron I’ve explained my apron process pretty clearly.  As I mentioned before, I don’t use a pattern, but sometimes I refer to an apron I made for myself a few years ago.  The neck strap is always too long, but that’s not a big issue.  (I should probably start making two neck straps that can be tied, rather than one long one.)   They’re practical gifts and easy to whip up.  They’re also easy to personalize and a great way to use novelty prints if you’ve got a bunch lying around.  C really liked her apron.  I hope she’ll get lots of use out of it!


Dress adjustment

I’ll take a quick break from quilting just to show you a quick modification I did on a dress this weekend.

I went to a wedding on Sunday and the dress code was black tie optional, which is a little bit fancier than my wardrobe.  I have some nice cocktail dresses, and I decided on this navy one:

The neckline was always a bit gaping – that’s just how the dress was designed – but I’ve lost a little weight since I bought the dress and now I fill the top out even less.  It wasn’t flattering or appropriate so I decided to just sew it up a little higher.  It actually doesn’t look so bad in the above picture, but it has a tendency to slip off my shoulders, among other issues.

I tried it on, pinned it, had my roommate check to make sure my pinning looked even, and then I sewed it closed with matching navy thread.  The stitches are almost invisible.  I did more stitching on the wrong side to secure it, and I managed to do that with all but one stitch not showing through the outside.  (The fabric is doubled in the bodice and I was being very careful to only catch the inside layer.)

Voila!  No more gaping.  It’s such a pretty dress, with what I think of as a Grecian draping-inspired design.  It’s also very comfortable, which is the reason I chose it in the first place.  It was a quick fix – it took me less than fifteen minutes.  I thought about taking in the arm holes as well, but I didn’t want to mess up the draping there so I left them alone.  They don’t show anything so it didn’t matter.

Much better, right?