I'll need 26 blocks and I like to organized things in a way that works for me (which is not to say that I'm organized because I'm not). The first thing I do is draw a map of the block. Starting from the middle out I will need:
- 1 solid hexagon for the centre
- 6 print hexagons for Round 1
- 12 solid hexagons (different from the centre) for Round 2
- 12 hexagons of one print and 6 of a different print for Round 3
- 18 print hexagons plus 6 solid turquoise
The turquoise will be the same in each block and when they are sewn together with turquoise rosettes the result will be a turquoise cog. You can see what I mean in the following picture of the original quilt which I found on Lorraine's blog Granny Loz.
Here is a picture of one of the blocks cut out but not basted. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about colour. I'm more interested in value (the relative lightness or darkness of the fabric when compared to another fabric) and scale (the size of the print). Really large busy prints will get lost in this quilt unless they are fussy cut so I've tried to work with smaller scale prints.
I package up each block and place it in a small plastic bags. I've reused these bags countless times. I tuck a little note in the bag to remind me which fabrics go where in the block. For example I'll write "Round 1 plaid, Round 2 solid blue, Round 3 black gingham and off white print and Round 4 aqua print). When I need something to do when I'm out and about I can just grab one of these little bags, a spool of basting thread and a needle and I've got handwork. Even if I only get a dozen basted it all adds up in the end!
When I'm ready to sew the hexagons into blocks I sew in rounds. I'll stitch the six hexagons for the centre rosette together but I don't close the round. I leave it open so that I can stitch in the solid centre. I sew Round 1 all the way around the red hexagon in the centre and then close the opening. This allows me to use a single length of thread that matches the round that is being added.
Here you can see Round 2 of solid blue hexagons stitched together but the round is left open at the red circle. When I'm ready to stitch it to the centre rosette I'll use a blue thread.
This is Round 3 of hexagons (12 print and six print) stitched together but left open at the red circle. When I'm ready to add this round I'll likely use an ecru colour thread.
The final round of hexagons made of up 18 aqua print and six turquoise stitched together and left open at the red circle. I'll use an aqua thread to add this round.
If I don't have time or don't feel like stitching the rounds to the centre rosette I just tack them together with needle and thread and toss them in the box.
I'll take a picture of the box to show you what it looks like....a box of hexagon noodles!
That's it for today so until I post again, happy sewing!
p.s. I've linked up Hexie Weekend organized by Angie of A Quilting Reader's Garden. She has a link to a great YouTube video that demonstrates sewing hexagons by machine. Be sure to check it out!