Monday, August 15, 2016

Catching up with Myself -- Morris Hexathon #12, #13, #14, and #15

". . . . though I get no more tired now than I did when I was younger, I take much longer to get un-tired afterwards."  C.S. Lewis

So it goes this week for me as I putter along at catching up with myself and get back into a home/studio routine.  Although it looked like I was here in my studio plugging along last week, I was actually on a family camping trip with my adult children and my grandchildren! 

I had a backlog of four blocks for Barbara Brackman's Morris Hexathon by the time I returned and spent my first afternoon back in the studio working through those.  Oxford Rose, #13 was easy!  I was able to use the kite template from Marti Michell's 3" Kite and Crown set to cut the pieces and although it is a bit large, it will be easy enough to trim the block at the end of the project.

I need more dark blocks and favored these two directional reproduction prints for a contrast of print. 
Canterbury, #14 was fun to make once I determined a piecing strategy.  I used templates #46 and #48 from Marti's Set G plus some strip piecing and cutting tricks.
Rather than cut individual diamonds with template #48, I pieced a strip set of the red and green prints using the template to determine the width of each strip.
Once they were pieced together and pressed, I struggled to determine the correct angle to start cutting the diamond pairs until I laid the pattern sheet directly above the strip set and lined up my ruler in the direction that matched the diagram!  Once that was done, I aligned the ruler's 60 degree line with the edge of the green strip and cut the angle.
I proceeded to cut six diamond pairs using the template to measure the width of each one.
I used the same strategy to get the starter angle for the background parallelograms.
Again, I was stumped for a minute on how to measure the length of the background units, but realized I could just lay a pieced diamond unit right side down on the strip and use that for a "pattern" to cut the parallelograms.  Notice that I used the diamond template and dutifully trimmed the points of the units and marked the "dots" to guide me with the y-seams.
Here is the block laid out and ready to assemble.  There are 18 seams in this block -- interestingly, the seams around the center hexagon are not y-seams but all the rest are.  Because I always want to chain piece, I organized everything for the next block in the series and worked back and forth between the two blocks to maintain my set-in piecing simplified strategy!!  That is why there are stacks of something else at the bottom of this picture.
These are the beginning units for #15, Kelmscott Tile.  It's made up of twelve 4-piece diamond units though the option was presented to use single larger diamonds for the outer "background" diamonds which is what I did. 
Again, I chose to take a short cut and made two strip sets for my 4-piece diamond units.
I cut six units from each strip set and assembled them into the main diamond units.
My first attempt at this block was a bit too small so I remade the diamond units using 1 1/4" strips and trimmed them to the correct size with Template H53 -- the block is the right size now!
Now for the piecing process!  Adding the diamond units to the hexagon center of the Canterbury block is not a y-seam at both ends!  It's a blend of a "partial seam" around the hexagon and a y-seam at the outer edge.  So the first pair is added to one side of the hexagon but I stopped about 2/3 of the way across and left the seam unfinished.  The second pair will be added to the right side of this section and stitching from hexagon end to a dot at the end of the diamond unit.
Press the seams away from the hexagon!
At the end of each of those seams, I stitched together a pair of the strip units for the other block to assemble the 4-piece diamond units for the other block.
Back and forth, back and forth.
The right end of this seam is open for the y-seam needed to insert the background parallelograms. 
(I need a tutorial on how to "draw" arrows on my pictures!!)
Here it is before inserting the background pieces -- these will all be y-seams.
The 4-piece diamonds were finished and ready to begin assembling the second star.  This photo shows the pressing of the "tumbling" units which is the first step of assembling a six-pointed star.
(See a complete explanation of how I piece six-pointed stars HERE.)
All the units are pressed identically.
To keep the points of the first block flat and crisp, I inserted every other background piece, then pressed it before inserting the final three pieces.
And here are final pictures of Canterbury, front
and back.   I like this block and plan to make a larger version of it -- maybe slip one into my Smitten quilt top!?!
And this is Kelmscott Tile front 
and back.  It took a month, but I convinced myself to remake this block so it fits together with the rest!!
Now to catch up with the #smorgasblocks project.  I'm three blocks behind on that -- but it was totally worth it to spend 5 days puttering around with my clan.  Here are the grown-ups headed out for a morning paddle while my grands and I indulged in some butterfly chasing and other silliness!!
Have a good week!!


  1. Itty bitty piecing. Those look lovely!

  2. Oh, my! so tiny. They are beautiful. Time with family is always precious.

  3. I applaud your perseverance Mary. All those tiny pieces! But the quilt is going to be beautiful and well worth the extra efforts. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

  4. Both blocks are beautiful, and your tips are really useful. (I'm especially appreciative of the pressing advice. Hexie seams can give me fits!)
    I'm teetering on the edge of a hexie quilt. Between these Morris hexies and Smitten, it's getting harder to resist. (I don't need another project. I don't need another project. I don't need another project...)

  5. Your hexi blocks are wonderful! Looks like camping with family was tons of fun.