Thursday, November 3, 2016

Last Hexathon Blocks!!

Stack o'blocks anyone?
Here they are
-- 23 finished Morris Hexathon blocks --
3" on the outside edge, all machine-pieced ala Set-In Piecing Simplified!! 
Thank you once again, Mary O'Keefe for sharing your y-seam piecing idea with me!!
Barbara Brackman released block #26 this past Saturday and I also had #25 left to make. So one evening this week, I retreated to the studio for some stitching time.  I could only find one usable Marti Michell template for each of them -- the 3/4" hexagon from Set N and the 1" hexagon from Set G.
I applied strip piecing to #25, Sussex Cottage and I decided to paper piece the six sections needed for #26, Clouds.  I made a second copy of that pattern, cut out the six segments and began to prepare myself mentally for an evening of paper piecing (ugh!).
My brain froze up as I peered down into this hoard of 19th century reproduction prints and felt uncertain about picking two more scrappy fabric combinations.
Spreading out all the blocks was the key -- it just took one glance to see that I needed more pink or that pink one would become a focal point of the finished quilt.  And perhaps another brown block.
This should balance it out a bit!
I cut the three strips for #25 a wee bit wider than the measurement hoping to offset the shrinkage of stitching and pressing in the finished width of the set.  My strips were 1 1/8" + by 22" long.  After stitching the strips together, I pressed the seams in the same direction.  I planned to use my small 60 degree triangle ruler to cut the segments but H52 aligned almost perfectly with the pattern and was easier to use. Lining up the horizontal dashed line across the center of the template with the edge of the pattern page was the key. 
All six segments were quickly cut -- if you strip piece this segment, be sure to explore the impact that has on the design.  If you want the same fabric in each round rather than the alternating layout I have, you'll need to make a longer strip set and you'll have enough segments for two different blocks.
I compared the edge of the center hexagon (cut with N78) and determined I needed a little trim.
Just a sliver off each one and it was a perfect fit!! 
The seams in each segment are aligned just right for easy matching and the block went together quickly thanks to Set-In Piecing Simplified!
Here's the back so you can see the pressing up close.  Look at those perfect little tumbling blocks around the central hexagon!!
And the finished block!!
As I was digging through my stash of reproduction fabrics, this one caught my eye for the center hexagon on #26.  
My fussy cutting eye is getting better -- practice does pay off!  (A set of auditioning mirrors helps.)
Isn't this fun??
I precut all the pieces to the shapes needed for the paper pieced segments -- about 1/4" larger than the actual cutting measurements.  I used the template just for the correct angle, not the size.
For the parallelograms which are "rights and lefts", I cut two strips 18" long and layered them right sides together so cutting yielded a set for each segment. 
As I laid out all the pieces and sat down at my machine, it occurred to me I might not need to paper-piece!!  Those brown pieces are actually half hexagons that were rejects from a previous block!!
Because the tip of an 60 degree triangle is the same size no matter how large the triangle, could I piece the segments and then trim them down to the right size? 
It was worth experimenting so I pieced and pressed one segment.
I lined up the paper pattern matching the interior lines of it to my seams.
By lining up the 1/4" line of a ruler with the edge of the paper pattern, I was able to trim the unit to the perfect size.
Yes, it worked!!!
So cool!!  I'm feeling awesome and the block was together in no time.  Here's the backside.
And a finished block (though it's not very brown)!?!
Next step is to decide if 23 blocks are enough for something (there are actually 26 blocks in the set, but I wimped out on 3 of them) and start to contemplate a setting plan.  I'd like this set of blocks to move forward as a WIP rather than becoming a UFO!!

This weekend is a busy one here, but I'm hoping to spend all the free moments stitching!!
How about you?



  1. Your blocks are beautiful! Please, so keep moving on with this quilt so I can see how you set them. Blessings, Gretchen

  2. Love your blocks, Mary. Your posts have shown they are doable by machine. Awesome. I have them all saved to try at a less busy time. Look forward to how you set them.