Thursday, July 3, 2014

Working with directional prints and 81

When I published the pattern for Block 6 of my Value Proposition Hexagon Quilt Along (QAL) I suggested that if you work with a directional print such as a stripe that you pay particular attention to the direction of the stripes. Below is my Block 6. Notice how the direction of the stripes on the sides are mirror images. The same is true for the top and bottom. I find that this formal balance is easier on the eyes and it places the focus is on the block design and the central rosette in particular. When the stripes are just placed any which way the eye can't find a place to rest.

I want to thank Bunny of The Creative Hare for allowing me to share her attempts at Block 6 with you. Bunny had asked me to look at her block and tell her what I thought of her first attempt. The colours are wonderful (that batik glows like a sunset) but the stripes do not appear to be arranged in any particular fashion. It is hard to know where to look - the block is loaded with movement but it is frenetic which is to say wild and uncontrolled. When I look the block my eyes are drawn to the striped hexagons on the left side. I suggested that she rearrange the stripes with the goal of making them more symmetrical.

This is Bunny's second attempt. While the top and bottom are not identical they are very similar and the result is a much more balanced and visually pleasing block. The stripes also create a subtle secondary pattern and that focuses the eye on the rosette in the center of the block. I also think that the colours are more pronounced in this block! The block has a more complex and layered look and all that was required was to move around the directional fabric hexagons! Simply beautiful!

This lesson can be applied to all blocks, not just hexagons, and the result will be a block or quilt that is much more interesting! Try it with a small nine patch block to see what happens! One more skill to add to your tool box!

My Guild is having a quilt show in September and there's nothing like a quilt show to light a fire. I've registered several quilts and half of them are not yet quilted. One of the quilts is 81 The Giant Monstrosity. It looks washed out with the light shining through it but it is anything but washed out.

I've appliqued little butterflies all over the quilt but have done so in a symmetrical fashion!

81 is big..... 92" x 95" and I've been worried about quilting something so large. But I've pin basted the quilt and last night I bit the bullet and got started. I was thinking that the 9" harp in the Jukster might be tight but as it turns out it is just fine. Let the quilting begin!

Until I post again, happy playing around with your directional prints!
Karen H


  1. I love Bunnys fabrics and the stripes look great in the final arrangement. Thanks for the tips! Your 81 will be spectacular.

  2. Yikes -- quilting that looks challenging. I'm finishing quilting an old log cabin top this weekend and your work makes mine look easy!!

  3. Love all the help with the Hexagons. Oh I do love that quilt I just know it will be another beauty when you finish quilting it.

  4. Monstrosity is outstanding. You have such a remarkable way od working with pattern and colour. It's fascinating to simply sit back and see what you create.