My workshop DVD, Set-in Piecing Simplified contains all the demonstrations I do in my hands-on workshops and while it uses the tumbling block design as the learning pattern, it can be applied to any y-seam design.
I'm always on the lookout for unusual interesting y-seam quilt patterns now that I've conquered chain-piecing through them. This late 1800's quilt photo (from Ebay, I think) has been calling to me for a while. It's an elongated hexagon patch.
When I saw this tool from EZ Quilting, I snapped it right up and started cutting scraps while sorting and tidying up my fabric shelves this year.
There are 4 sizes and I'm using the second smallest. I've decided to take a "charm" quilt approach -- using each print once in the quilt. I set aside 3 1/2" by 5 1/2" rectangles until I have a small stack and then trim them down.
The cutting is easy and the instructions include a guideline to help you calculate how many hexagons you can cut from a strip if you are using fewer fabrics.
The Set-in Simplified approach requires dots for starting and stopping at each corner and since the tool doesn't have that, I pulled out Marti Michell's Deluxe Corner Trimmer.
Hexagons have 120 degree corners and this corner on the tool will snug right down into each corner so I can mark a dot.
I use to think this step was tedious but it makes such a big difference in the accuracy and speed of my piecing that I don't mind it any longer. I usually do the "dotting" while watching TV in the evenings.
This week, I'm using it for my "sew-offs" while chain-piecing through some projects with deadlines.
Once I had the center round finished I realized this tool isn't elongated in the same direction the one in the photo is elongated but I still like the look of it.
The original plan was to change colors every round, but I think something different might be happening.
It's laying on the ironing board with extra hexagons being auditioned for two end extensions. (The work wall is full?!) Not sure, but I'm leaning towards the one above and envisioning big diamonds of color staggered together rather than concentric rounds.
It will be interesting to see where it goes!
Have you learned the technique yet with my DVD? It has opened up a new world of piecing for me and I think one student said it best, "I don't have to be afraid of y-seams anymore!"