Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hexagon Ideas!

A number of you have commented that you like hexagons but don’t know what to do with them! You can of course sew them together into a quilt made entirely of hexagons but there are other options.

My friend Barbara had a pile of hexagons in the flower motif (six hexagons surrounding a centre hexagon). She had planned on joining them with a white path but was losing interest. She also had a good pile of the flower motifs without the white path and a handful of diamond hexagons that were given to her by my Mom. The diamond hexagons were a slightly smaller size so joining them to the flowers hexagons was not an option. And she was adamant that she was simply NOT going to make any more hexagons. Barbara was suffering from hexagon fatigue and needed a solution. We did a little brainstorming and this was our solution.
What the Hexagon, by Barbara C 2011

Barbara appliqued the large flowers with a white path to a 10.5" square of neutral background fabric so that she had a square block with which to work. The diamonds were appliqued over the intersections where the blocks joined and the remaining flower hexagons which had no path (white border) were appliqued to the border. All of the applique work was done on her domestic sewing machine with monofilament on top and light weight thread in the bobbin. A fast and easy solution to a problem! And a lovely hexagon quilt. Don't you just love the name she came up with?

I had a stack of small yellow and orange hexagons that were to be flower centres but I decided to do something different so what to do with all these hexagons? At one time hexagon quits were called honeycomb quilts and thinking of that gave me the answer! A honeycomb! I sewed the hexagons together and then appliqued the piece to a brown background. Bees were appliqued on the quilt top and voila I give you “Quilting Bees”! It measures about 12" square.
Quilting Bees by Karen H
If I were to do this quilt again I think I would make the honeycomb shape irregular.
These bees have appliqued wings but if you read my tutorial (it is posted under Tutorials and Tips tab) on making bees there are other faster ways to make them. I think a handful of hexagons and a couple of appliqued bees would make a lovely card! Or a small grouping could be appliqued to the back of a quilt for a little special surprise!
This is another quilt I am working on. The centre is made of hexagons and diamonds which are hand appliqued to the background. I marked out a grid with thread and used my Roxanne Glue Baste-It to hold the alternating hexagons and diamonds in place before hand appliqueing them in place. I opted for hand applique so that the project would be portable.

And yet another quilt in the works (albeit it hasn't been touched for a very long time - I must add it to my to finish list!) In this quilt the flower motifs are appliqued to a border.
My Mom made a basket out of hexagons and filled it with hexagon flower motifs. The entire unit was then appliqued to a background and butterflies were applied using broderie perse.

If you have loose hexagons why not applique them as a swag in a border?

So use your imagination and see what you can come up with!

I leave you with some pictures of the peonies in the garden. I've been watching them for the past couple of weeks, just waiting for the buds to burst open and it finally happened yesterday afternoon! Aren't they glorious?

And then I noticed someone hiding in the petals! Can you see him?

I waited only a few seconds before he crawled out and I was able to take this picture! For those of you who don't like spiders I apologize but they are an important part of the ecosystem and they really are quite amazing! They are an optometrist's dream because they have eight eyes! I am really pleased with this picture of a jumping spider!

Until I post again, happy sewing!


  1. I adore your bees mini quilt! LOVE! <3 :)

  2. wow that is a really unattractive and scary looking spider...I understand that have a purpose but ...
    I really love that "What the hexagon" quilt. Still have lots of blocks ready to work into something.

  3. Some great uses for hexagons - thanks for sharing those! Love your peonies !!

  4. Some great ideas, I had never thought of appliquéing individual hexies. You knew I would love the idea of a honeycomb bee card! I am going to find some suitable fabric and made some tiny hexies now.
    I'd like to avoid pins, especially on the tiny papers, Can you suggest what glue I might use to secure the fabric to the paper template before basting? I am reluctant to try this method in case the paper sticks fast when I try to pull it out after joining the shapes?

  5. Karen I am so glad I found you-your quilts are just so stunning. I love the bees-is that a pattern or did you make it up?

    1. Hi Kathy - The quilt is my own pattern and I added the bees. I thought hexagons were looking a little plain so I added them to spruce them up! The fist bee in a quilt was actually done by my Mom. She used it to cover up a corner that was kind of puckered in her quit Afrika. She does hers a little differently than I do mine. Since then we've both used bees to cover mistakes but mostly to embellish! It is funny how just a little bit of embellishment can make a quilt look more complex and interesting! I have a tutorial for making bees (and another for grasshoppers) if you want to add your own to a quilt!

  6. Karen -- love your honeycomb with bees -- may I have permission to copy your idea to make a small quilt for our local nature center to raffle off as a fund raiser for their honey bee display? Enjoyed the photo of the jumping spider, too -- I made a "jumping spider" costume in the fall for one of the naturalists to wear during a program about spiders.

  7. I like that at the end of some blogs there is a list of previous post. I found this one at the end of your recent one and went to check it out. So glad did - what wonderful ideas. Will need to make my own what the hexagon

  8. that first quilt turned out really nice-so you she can enjoy all her hard work making hexies too-love your bees-I remember that one now