Easy Hexagon Star Quilt

I recently posted some snapshots of this quilt in various places… 9

…and I have gotten some great feedback and requests for a pattern.  So I thought I would put together a little tutorial.  This quilt is very simple to construct with no Y-seams despite being constructed from hexagons.

One comment I got a lot was that the photos make the quilt look big, but it’s not.  This pattern is for a baby quilt, but is easily adaptable to a larger size.  My quilt finished at approximately 40-inches square.

Materials:

2 Moda Honeycomb Solids packs (or 72 6-inch hexagons)

Cut 5 of your hexagons in half.  These will be used to finish of the edges of the quilt.

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Various prints cut into 3.5-inch equilateral triangles (23 groups of 6, or 138 total)

You can make all of the triangles different for a scrappy look or make groups of 6 matching triangles to get the star look that I used.

If you would like the star look I HIGHLY recommend laying out the entire quilt before sewing anything together.  You could also work from a sketch, but I think it is just easier to lay it out.

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7Now comes the fun part, construction.  This quilt is worked in columns (or rows depending on how you look at it), and can easily be chain pieced.  I place the top left triangle on the first hexagon (or half hexagon), and the top right triangle on the next hexagon down the column.  Then repeat this all the way down the column.

 

 

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Then stitch the triangles to the hexagons to form diamonds.  When you are stitching the triangles to the Hexagons make sure the corners of the triangle extend a ¼ inch past the edges of the hexagon.  Press the seams towards the triangles to aid in alignment in the next step.

Next stitch the diamonds together.  The seams where the triangles are stitched to the hexagons should just overlap; this will result in perfect points that meet in the middle.

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photo 1Press this seam open, to reduce bulk, and repeat for each column.

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Finally, stitch your columns together.

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See, wasn’t that easy?  Once you have your rows together you can baste and quilt.  I left my edges angled, but you can trim them straight or add extra triangles to make your quilt a little larger.  Once my quilt was quilted I trimmed the extra half hexagons to make my quilt square.

To finish this quilt I backed it with this cute Heather Ross frog print, and “straight line ” quilted wavy vertical lines.  If you make a star quilt of your own, please share it on Instagram or flicker and tag me.  I would love to see your creations!

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Long Distance Hugs

The hardest part of moving away from home is leaving behind friends and family. You miss the little things; afternoon coffee dates, girls night sappy movies, spa days for new haircuts after a crappy breakup. But you miss the big things too; 30th birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and baby showers. Well for me it seems like the last few years it has been a lot of the latter. I suppose I am just at that age where everyone I know is having kids. I would love more than anything to be at every single baby shower and to visit each and every friend in the hospital to see their new bundles of joy. (Although, as most of my friends know I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ANY DETAILS. I think being pregnant is terrifying and gross).

Unfortunately, I have a demanding day job (and I don’t make millions, so I can’t hop on a jet for a day trip out-of-state). So into boxes I squish the best long distance hug I know how to give, a baby quilt. I spend hours picking just the right fabrics for the mom to be. I want to match her nursery, fit her style, and be cute for baby, but not too cute. I choose a pattern that I think will fit my fabric choices, but will still interesting for me to make (I do have to spend hours working on it after all; it may as well be entertaining for me). I spend even more time choosing a quilting design, and I will admit that I have used baby quilts to practice and expand my free motion quilting skills. I machine wash and dry each quilt once it’s done to make sure it will stand up to daily use. Then I carefully fold each quilt, pretty side out, place it in a box with tissue paper just like a real shower gift, and cringe as I drop it off at the post office (I worry it will get lost in the mail every single time). It may not seem like much, but each hour I pour into making each quilt, is my way of cuddling up with those cute babies.

Here is the newest addition to the baby quilt line-up.  This one is for a dear friend that I even tried to con into moving closer to me.  She did, eventually, in a round-about way, but she’s still too far to make girls night practical.  Personally, I really love this quilt.  It has a great sophisticated feel and I LOVE the three blind mice on the back.

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But this is all I have, a pretty picture of a quilt hanging on my wall. So wrap those babies up tight ladies and send me a picture, that’s my favorite part.

What could be better than a baby quilt?

photo 1How about twin baby quilts?!  That’s right, twin baby quilts, one boy and one girl.  These lovelies were made from two fat quarter bundles of Zoe and Zack by Bethany Berndt Schackelford for Quilting Treasures. Each time I look at these fabrics it reminds me of the kids song “ten little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head.”   The pattern I used is my favorite go to for baby quilts, Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs.  It is simple and quick, but gives a fun complex look.

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Although I think my favorite parts are the backs and the quilting.  I wanted the quilts to match, but still be unique.  The backs are both a super soft flannel in tone on tone prints, but the girl has polkadots, and the boy has stripes.  And for the quilting the girl got straight lines, and the boy got large circles.

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How cute are these monkeys?

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Out with the old, in with the new

What a whirlwind the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 have been!  Lots of gift giving, thus a lack of blogging.  Let’s recap.

  1. Made myself a fancy lace Staple Dress.  Now my favorite outfit.  Can’t recommend this pattern enough.  It’s simple to sew and fits/look great on all shapes and sizes.  (See front page photo).
  2. Finished a baby quilt for my cousin who has the cutest baby ever, Aidan.  This quilt is all black, off white, and red with just a bit of green.  I think the letter and number prints are perfect for a baby quilt.  The block design is from Fat Quarterly Shape Workshopphoto 1
  3. Started and finished a shop sample quilt for The French Seam.  This quilt was made using Moda’s newest precut the Slice.  The precut stack comes with the pattern for this great quilt, including the appliqued anchor.  I loved how fast this quilt top came together, I loved the colors (my parents live on their sail boat so the theme is perfect), and I practiced my free motion quilting again with a wave pattern that I filled in with some pebbling to look like bubbles or foam on the crests of the waves.photo 6
  4. Finished the quilt for my niece Laura (blogged about here).
  5. Got Engaged!  Like how I snuck that in there.  No plans yet, but we are very excited.photo 4
  6. Made a trip to our hometown for New Year’s Eve to see family, friends, and take in a show.
  7. Made bunches of Pink Chalk Studio’s Mail Sack bags.  This is a great pattern for a very useful bag.  I highly recommend it.photo 7
  8. Started and finished…let’s just say a quilt to be gifted.  A simple churn dash block made from a variety of prints from Riley Blake, Birch Fabrics, Botanic, and Lotta.photo 10
  9. Started and began free motion quilting…another quilt to be gifted.  photo 11
  10. Finished a quilt top for the lovely miss Brittany (still to be quilted) in exchanged for some lovely knit goods. This was made from some improvisational log cabin blocks I discussed here.                                                                                                          photo 8
  11. Started and finished a quilt top…to be gifted.  photo 9
  12. Started studying for the Professional Engineering Exam…big damper on my sewing productivity.

See.  Told you.  Whirlwind.  And I am sure there is lots that I am forgetting.

Goals for the rest of 2014:

  1. Pass the Professional Engineering Exam…boring, I know.
  2. Get a better set-up for photographing quilts.  No more floor pictures!
  3. Improve free motion quilting skills.
  4. Use the fabrics I have on hand.

Let’s get this party started.  What are your goals for 2014?

Baby Quilt Beauty

You may remember a few weeks back I pulled some random fabrics together and whipped up a baby quilt top just for fun.  These lovely fabrics…

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…were pulled together to create this lovely baby quilt!

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I decided to quilt this bad boy with some yellow variegated sulky thread, which is officially my new favorite obsession.   It has a beautiful shine and a lovely variety of shades.  In addition, I had no problems with tension or thread breaks like I have had with other threads while free motion quilting.  I am sure I will be using this type of thread in the future.  The quilting is a free motion pebble in the gray pieced areas, and I did some stitch in the ditch to give it a little more definition (especially for the back).  As much as I love pebble quilting.  I am not a fan of an entire quilt covered in it.  I like quilts to have some loft and softness, and I feel that a dense all over quilting pattern can make a quilt too stiff.  So for this quilt I left the other color areas unquilted.

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Because this quilt is small it really is just a baby quilt, but I didn’t feel that it was very baby friendly with its somewhat dark colors and angular feel.  So for the back I decided to go with this beautiful Fort Firefly print.

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I think it ties in nicely with the front and it softens this otherwise tough quilt up a bit.  But to be honest I love this quilt so much, I almost wish I could keep it and hang it on my wall to admire everyday.  Oh well,  off to its new life of baby snuggles.