Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2 weeks; 2 days

so how long does it take to un-do TWO WEEKS of work? two DAYS. sigh....

so here's part of two rows that i was trying to piece together--the whole quilt is going to be 17 hexagons across. it looks ok on the top but here's the back...

see how the paper is bursting out? it's murder trying to piece the hexagons together without the cardstock providing the stiff edge. the problem is...

the seam allowances are not wide enough. it's exactly 1/4"--just like machine-piecing, but now i know, that's not enough for hand-piecing. or at least not for me. i think the problem is that the cardstock is fairly thick and it ends up taking up too much of the seam allowance--those extra thread-widths make a difference. now of course i knew that while i was basting all 72 hexagons (i have 72 paper shapes) but i didn't think it would be a problem. Ha!

here we go again. i cut off 1/8" off each side of the paper hexagon --the fabric is cut 5-1/2" across--so the finished size is now 4-7/8".

can you see that the seam allowances are now much wider? and easier to sew. the cardstock on the block on the left just popped out. but i think it'll be ok. (hmmm...famous last words...)
well--hand-piecing is about the process, not the result, right?

i'm wondering how to piece the top together though. the directions on the pattern (sorry, i can't get the link to work--but try googling "Wildwood Garden Free Spirit"--it's a free pattern on the website) and on my ruler say to piece row by row--i.e. piece 2 separate rows of 17 hexagons across, and then piece the two rows together. but it's pretty bulky and awkward. i'm leaning now to piecing the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden units (i.e. one hexagon surrounded by 6 other hexes), and then piecing the units together. i think this is more of an issue since my hexes are so big. what do you think?


  1. I don't think the size matters. I've seen GFG quilts with all different sizes of hexies. I think what's giving you the problem is the thickness of the card stock and it's inflexibility. I'm using freezer paper in mine and I'm finding it really easy to piece and manipulate.

    It's too late now for you to change from card stock to freezer paper as that would ultimately change the sizes of the hexies.
    Just a suggestion but why don't yu try piecing two together with freezer paper to see it you like it. If you do, then you'll have to make the GIANT decision to disassemble and start all over again.

    Big decision!

  2. I've made a Grandmother's Garden and another hand pieced hexagon quilt recently and I didn't used the traditional technique. I marked a dot in each corner on the 1/4 intersection and seamed from point to point with a running stitch. It works for me. I find it less work.

  3. thanks for the comments, ladies!

    Kaaren, i just don't think i have the stomach to go back and cut out freezer paper! my ideal solution would be to buy the paper templates that are available--but it's too expensive for my frugal (i.e. cheap) self.

    Janet--i'm intrigued by your method. if i ever make another of these quilts (and i really love the quilt that Quiltsalott has on her banner), i might try your way.

  4. I use thick card and it works fine. I don't think size should matter either. You will get used to it. Your seam allowances are small and you can make them much bigger if it does help you. As long as you lay out your hexagons so you don't loose sight of how you want to arrange them, it should not matter whether you sew them in rows or in 'flowers'. The way that works best for you is right.

    Hugs ~