Sunday, November 15, 2015

Teaching and sewing

My mantra is "less talking and more sewing" however as of late I've been doing the reverse. I've been to London (Canada, not England) to do a trunk show of my work and to teach my English paper piecing techniques. The London Friendship Quilters' Guild is a great bunch of quilt makers. They were warm, friendly and inviting. If you live in the area and are looking for a Guild to join, you won't be disappointed. One of the unique things that they do is invite area quilt shops to most of their meetings so that they can talk about their shop and share their wares. What a great service, especially for those who don't drive. This month they had Laurie and Robin from Stitcharie in Wyoming (a small town in Canada, not a state in the US).

They had such interesting fabrics and they also carry Tulip Hiroshima needles and they were very well priced. We made a special trip to the shop after the workshop and I picked up a few pieces of fabric to add to the stash. The women who run the shop are friendly and they clearly love what they do. It was a real treat to visit such a lovely little shop.

I think the members of the London Friendship Quilters' Guild enjoyed my trunk show and the workshop. There was certainly lots of excitement when I started sharing my techniques for made fabric. I think they would have enjoyed having more time spent on fussy cutting so I think I will make some revisions to my course so that I can give more instruction in that area. I didn't take pictures but I know that others did and if and when they forward them to me I'll be sure to share with you.

All this teaching and talking hasn't left much time for sewing but I have completed my Road 66 hexagon blocks and here they are!

I love the wavy red and blue print. There is so much visual interest in a wavy print. I just wish there were more of them on the market. I especially like those that would fall into the reproduction category.

I was sent some pink ombre print by my cyber friend Paula and I used it to make the six hexagons swirling around the middle. It is such a great print. It also comes in yellow and green. I've managed to find an online shop and have purchased some more of it to add to the old stash.

I didn't quite get the white print lines matched up when I was making this block but a little touch up with a brown Sakura pigma pen and you can't even tell. If it isn't right there is usually a way to make it right!

This is the final block. I'm not thrilled with it but I can live with it. I do really like the red flower in the middle and I suppose the yellow round works well. There is a bit of a black print at the outside edges of the yellow hexagons and it softens the corners so that the yellow hexagons actually look rounded. Maybe it is growing on me!

All of these rosettes will be connected with a path made of diamonds rather than hexagons. If full hexagons were used it would result in a much larger quilt. My quilt Butterscotch Ripple was joined with diamonds. It creates a different look to the quilt, one which I really like!

Butterscotch Ripple by Karen H 2013

So where will I get the diamonds? Easy peasy! A diamond is simply one third of a hexagon. In the following picture you can see that I've dissected a hexagon into three diamonds. I already have a master sheet of hexagons that I used for my Road 66 blocks so I'll simply make a copy, dissect the hexagons, make copies of the dissected hexagons and then cut them out.

These diamonds will be relatively small given that the hexagons are 1 1/4" so what I will do before basting is to fold the seam allowances over the paper and give them a finger press; this makes it very easy to ensure that the diamonds have lovely sharp points. In addition I plan on basting through the paper rather than basting from the back. Why you ask? Simply because it will be faster, easier and I don't plan on reusing the papers so if they have needle holes it won't matter.

Before I sign of I want to remind you that diamonds aren't just for connectors. Three diamonds can be fussy cut and then sewn back together to create this sort of effect.

Or how about this one?

If the fabrics aren't fussy cut but instead you use a one dark, one medium and one light fabric you have a tumbling block. Here you can see they are joined with triangles. Where do the triangles come from? Six triangles make the same hexagon so you just divide a diamond in half and voila....magic!

Want to have even more fun? Twelve diamonds make a hexagon star. You need six for the star and six for the background. What I particularly like about this star is that it is the background that is fussy cut and the star is cut from two tone-on-tone fabrics. The fussy cut background was intended to be made into a star but it just didn't work so I hung on to the diamonds until I figured out another way to use them. Never toss those basted hexagons or diamonds because at some point they may come in handy!

If you are interested in reading more about constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing hexagons you can read my blog post here.

I've got almost 30 quilts to unpack, refold and store away until my next trunk show. But first I'm going to make myself a nice cup of tea.

I'm linking up with on Help for Hexie-aholics at Sarah Did It.

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. love your fussy cutting hexies.......different placement and cutting can create some amazing effects.........

  2. I love mosaic piecing and your fussy cutting is wonderful! Lovely work.

  3. I love those diamond paths too -- less filler, more of the good stuff!

    These are all wonderful. It's going to be amazing when you start putting it together!

  4. I bet you found some awesome fabrics at that shop! Your Rte. 66 blocks are so fascinating--looking forward to seeing them come together!

  5. Wish I could have been in your workshop!! I would have loved to see your 30 quilts up close. I am glad you are sharing your ideas with other quilters. Teaching usually gives a lot back in the long run. By saying your ideas out loud, you are actually processing the important stuff to deep brain storage. You also probably met some interesting people!! Good luck with your next workshop.

  6. Beautiful work as usual Karen. I am still on my trip - in Kyoto Japan at the moment, but home on Friday. Look forward to viewing your site more on my laptop.

  7. Love your Blocks! And the information on diamonds. I bet the Guild really enjoyed your trunk show! It is interesting that now hexies are getting more popular in the USA - Di Ford and the other Australian quilters have really inspired all of us to get back to creativity and challenges in quilting! Of course along with your great work.

  8. Dear Karen,
    interesting post, the way you explain it, it just sounds so simple. Wonderful blocks, really love the way they turned out. Learing each time I read one of your posts.
    Greetings, and thank you,

  9. Stunning blocks, such delicious cutting in these again, love them.
    I'm glad you enjoyed the talk and have no doubt the listeners would have done!
    I'm doing a talk and display of my tactile stuff from work for our stitchy club next month and am already nervous!
    Really like the diamonds as joiners too..........and such a neat way to make them!!

  10. Ciao Karen, sempre tutto molto bello e interessante.....però volevo dirti che a me l'ultimo blocco (quello con il fiore rosso al centro) è quello che mi piace di più....ah ah ah come siamo strane!!!! Ciao Karen è sempre un piacere leggerti.
    Un caro saluto
    Silvana dall'Italia......

  11. A proposito, dimenticavo di dirti che ho acquistato il modello per fare i puntaspilli casetta.... poi ho conservato la tua email dove ci sono le diverse tipologie...... grande spunto....
    Ciao Karen Silvana

  12. A proposito, dimenticavo di dirti che ho acquistato il modello per fare i puntaspilli casetta.... poi ho conservato la tua email dove ci sono le diverse tipologie...... grande spunto....
    Ciao Karen Silvana

  13. I must say the rosette with the red flower in the center is my fav! the red catches your eye and the black that rounds our the yellow round is just a different effect than had it been the visual points of hexagons.. Fantastic.
    I'm debating using diamonds instead of 1 hexagon in the next Millifiore block I am working on - I can't find something for the center but I think I can cobble 3 diamonds into something...still deciding.

  14. More inspiring fussy cuts!! Love the two made with diamonds! Hmmmmm??

  15. I'm glad your trunk show and workshop went so well (but I'm not surprised). The Route 66 blocks are stunning. Give it a little longer and I'm sure the last one will grow on you. Thanks for all the tips about working with diamond shapes.

  16. I'm glad I discover your blog... you have such great inspiring tips...Like to make your own amazing hexagon by deviding up into little parts and sew together...

    Thanx for sharing...

    groetjes, Willeke
    The Netherlands