The same dark brown will border the entire quilt however I didn't quite have enough fabric (I was 10" short) so what I did was cut all of the hexagons that I could with the fabric I had and divided them into two equal piles, one for the top section and the other for the bottom section. I placed the top section on the floor and started placing the dark brown hexagons working from the middle top out towards the corners. I also placed some on the sides working up towards the corners. When they were all positioned I counted the number of hexagons I needed for the corners and cut them out from the new dark brown fabric. I stitched all of the brown border hexagons together into one long noodle and attached it to the top section.
The browns are different but because they will be placed strategically it will appear as though the addition of this fabric was intentional rather than out of desperation!
I've also cut out the olive-brown hexagons for the next round and I've basted them, stitched them into a noodle and attached the noodle to the left side of the middle section. There is not as much as an ombre effect as I would have liked however the fabric is a repeat of what is already in the quilt and I like the way the border looks. The final round will be the pale green from the centre (or at least that is my plan at this moment in time but that could change)!
I had a lovely email from a reader who is going to start her first hexagon quilt and she wanted some guidance on English paper piecing. The first bit of advice I always offer is to start out by making one hexagon rosette. While you may like the look of hexagons and English paper piecing you may find that it isn't your cup of tea. Before you cut up a stack of fabric make sure that it is something you will enjoy.
I was asked about basting the hexagons. I prefer to baste from the back so that the thread does not pierce the paper. This allows me to use my papers multiple times. I published a little tutorial here. Basting from the back will feel awkward at first but stick with it. If you baste through the paper the basting thread must be removed but if you back baste the thread stays in. You just pop out the paper! One advantage of this method is that the seam allowances remain held down in place.
If you thread baste through the paper you don't need a lot of stitches. You will notice in the example at the top that there are four stitches (see picture on left) and one of those four is just an extra stitch to hold the basting in place before I clip the thread which does not get knotted at the end in this method.
If folding over the seam allowances is a challenge try finger pressing them over the paper before you start basting. Eventually you will find that this step is unnecessary because you will know that the edge is folded over right at the edge of the paper.
An alternative to thread basting is starch basting the seam allowances. There is an excellent tutorial on this method at Traditional Primitives. She uses freezer paper hexagons and once the seam allowances are starch basted she removes the hexagon and reuses it!
Starch basting method from Traditional Primitives
I was asked if I press the hexagons after they are basted and the answer is a big "no"! You may find that there are slight variances in the size of your hexagons. If there is a soft crease you can ease in the extra bit of hexagon but if there is a hard crease from pressing it makes easing very difficult. I find that I never have to press my hexagon quilts until I am ready to baste them for quilting. They are handled so much that the folded seam allowances are well pressed with my fingers.
That's it for today. If you will be in the Toronto area next weekend it is Quilts at the Creek and I'll be doing a trunk show Saturday and Sunday. It is always a great show and a beautiful venue!
Until I post again happy sewing.