Sunni from "Love Affair with my Brother" (I admit I had to check into what that meant, as witty as I think I am, sometimes I am rather slow getting the joke) She is talking about her brother sewing machine. Anyhow, Sunni has a great blog, full of tutorials and fun! She also just celebrated a birthday, she just turned 25 (again), and she is giving away some Heirloom from Joel Dewberry. LOVE this fabric, so make sure to go sign up!
The Ruby Hex Quilt!
This has been an exercise in embracing my mistakes. Lucky for you, I did so you don't have to!
When I got this fabric, I was ecstatic. I love the colors, the patterns, the mix. If you only heard the color story, you might question if it would really work. But as soon as you see it, you know.
I thought that it would be perfect for a back-to-school shirt for Ellie. I was going to do a solid color bodice, with a button placket, and a zigzag pattern on the bottom of the blouse. I drew up some sketches, picked out my strips and got to work.
Ouch! It didn't work. I should have planned more. So I am saving that sketch for another day (and another jelly roll). After realizing that I needed a new plan, I tried desperately to salvage what I could.
I did more than salvage it! I made a gorgeous hex quilt for Mae.
You will need:
Ruby jelly roll
2 yds Kona white or coordinating solid
long ruler with 60 degree markings
To start off, vacuum your strips. (What? You don't do that? If you have a fussy machine, you should!)
Group your strips in pleasing sets of 6. You will need 24-30 strips. (I used more because I butchered the first set!)
Offset your strips as you sew them together. I used the 60 degree line on my cutting mat. If you don't have that, just offset by 1" each.
Press the seams to the side.
Using your 60 degree mark on your ruler, cut the ends of the strips off.
Flip your ruler and cut again at 60 degrees creating an equilateral triangle.
Keep flipping and cutting until you use your entire strip set. If your offset was perfect, you should get 6 triangles. If you only get 5, don't stress. You have plenty of strips!
Be very careful when handling and sewing your triangles. They have 2 very large, bias edges that will stretch if you aren't careful. Don't let that scare you away. If I did it, you can do it for sure. Starch is your friend, but be sure to starch prior to cutting the triangles.
Do this with your other strip sets until you have 24 triangles.
Here is a possible layout.
Maybe it looks too much like radiation?!
I mixed all of my triangles on my design wall until I liked the arrangement!
|design wall (i.e. tacked up batting!)|
I wanted more space between my hexagons, so I added 4.5" strips along the outer edge of each triangle. I chain pieced these and then trimmed to match the angle.
Using your best triangle as a template, cut triangles of your solid. Do this with long strips using the 60 degree mark on my ruler as I did with the strip sets.
Another option so that you aren't stretching the bias edge of your "best" triangle, is to use that triangle to make a paper template. I taped pieces of printer paper together to accomplish this.
Cut 8 triangles.
Cut 2 of those triangles in half, so that you have 4 halves.
Now to get down to assembly. Sew 3 triangles together to make a half hex. Make 8 half hexes.
Iron your seams to the outside. You can sew right above that point!
|I had a few skipped stitches, so I added a 2nd line of stitches.|
Sew 2 half hexes together to make a whole. You need 2 whole hexes.
Cut one of those wholes in half like so.
If your sewing machine is chewing up your points, use a bit of paper or post-it.
One of the beautiful things about this quilt is that you simply match the seams. No need to offset!!
You should now have 1 whole, 2 weird halves, and 4 regular halves.
Lay your hexes and solid triangles out on your floor or design wall.
When you add your triangles, the points will overlap a little. That's good. It means you cut them to the right size!
Because of the nature of the way I made this quilt (imagine stumbling around in the dark) I don't have as many photos as I would like to make this tutorial. If you have questions, don't hesitate to e-mail me.
I marked the sewing lines. (I'm so sorry to do it like this!! Is it awful?)
Starting with your center hexagon, add 2 solid triangles on the top left and bottom right sides. (Red lines)
Add solid triangles to your weird half hexagons. (Pink lines)
Assemble your center column. (Yellow lines)
For each side column, assemble along blue lines and then green lines.
Join your columns at the black lines.
Ta-da! Your completed hex top.
It really wasn't that complicated, right?
Baste, quilt and bind your Ruby hex top!
I used straight line quilting to make even more triangles!