Thursday, July 7, 2011

Civil War Hexagons


I've had a busy few days again, and now have something to show for it!!  After talking, and thinking about machine pieced hexagons for ever so long, I finally decided I was going to 'master' this little exercise.  I know I'm not the first to do this, but I just don't have any patterns or anything concrete to work from.  I found a few photographs online, but in the end, used the grey matter, and forged on regardless.  Pictured above is the finished article.  Some of you may recognize the lovely fabrics in the patchwork.  These are the civil war prints I won a few months ago.  They came via a give-away from Frances   I have been waiting for an opportunity to use them.  I will try to share my method in the following paragraphs.


The first part of the exercise was cutting strips 1½" in width.  I had drawn a 2" hexagon on paper, then simply cut it in half from one point to the opposite.  It was then taped to my 60° ruler which gave me a good view of how to cut my pieces.  I then 'planned' my design.  The next step was to carefully stack each piece from each row, and stitch them together to form pieced strips.  These were eventually all stitched to form the patchwork ground. It was then ready to be appliqued and quilted.  For the body of the bag I used some old chambray I had in the cupboard.  The lining was a better piece of chambray.  I added some pockets for magazines and projects in progress.  I saw a bag similar to this in a Quilters' Companion magazine I purchased recently - it was submitted by Brigitte Giblin - http://www.brigittegiblinquilts.com/.  My shapes are a little different, and I had to improvise on the sizing to accommodate the difference.  I also added some fusible pelmet vilene to the chambray lining, so that the bag has sufficient body to stand up on it's own.  It does just that!!  Thankfully, I also had in my cupboard a set of wooden handles that seem to go reasonably well.  I am so totally over the moon with this way of piecing hexagons.  It's not for those who dislike machine piecing [and loads of pressing], but I found it interesting, and will work on a bigger hexagon for my next project.  I think I'd like to apply the technique to a scrap quilt [of sorts].  

I have also included a photograph showing the inside of the bag, complete with the makings for a scarf.  I still have 25 grams of the baby camel hair, and hope I can knit a thin, openwork scarf from this amount.  If I use larger needles and a loose pattern, I may just scrape through.

I do hope this project interests some readers.  It was fun to do, and it gave me an opportunity to do some machine stitching again - something I really haven't done since the Christmas napery sewing.  I finally had my machines serviced and they are both quite happy.

Thank you to those who have left a comment on the give-away.  I shall draw it in a few days.  I do have some emails from those who were unable to leave comments, so never fear, your names will not be forgotten.

12 comments:

Katherine said...

I was very interested to read how you machine pieced the hexagons. Those fabrics are beautiful too and the bag is wonderful.

Julie T said...

Love the tote Linda... I don't like using a sewing machine at all but was interested in your method of piecing.. I have only done hand stitched hexagons and that was sooo long ago I really can't remember how I did it. LOL

Wanda -Maria Roszak said...

Hi Linda,
Gracious your bag with the hexagons, I admire your talent,
I look forward to your next works of art, I wish health, I greet you,
hugs .... W.

Robin Mac said...

Well, here goes with trying to leave a comment. I really admire your work Linda, but it makes me realise more and more why I am NOT a quilter - far too much precision needed for me to be worried about now. Cheers from Robin (in case it is published as anonymous)

Juliettecherry said...

That tote bag is very impressive Linda. The patience you have is remarkable. The little project you have housed in it looks interesting too. Look forward to seeing how it looks when it's underway.

Frances Leate said...

This is a really fabulous bag Linda and perfect for the fabrics. I usually hand piece hexagons but this method looks interesting. the wooden handles look perfect and I am sure you will get a lot of use from this project bag. Take care.

Radka said...

Well done again, Linda! Beautiful as well as very usefull, one can never have enough bags :-))The fabrics are lovely and your design does them justice. I admire your patience in working things out for yourself!

Kerrie said...

Hi Linda - great work - love the bag but don't think I would ever have the patience to do this - the fabrics look wonderful - great you had all those items in your cupboard !

Jenny said...

Great bag, so useful, and beautifully made of course. Now I know what to do with my triangular ruler that I have never used. Thanks for the lesson.

Dianne said...

The fabrics are a wonderful choice for this project Linda. Thanks for telling us about how you went about piecing the hexagons, very interesting. Di.

DIAN said...

Linda, what a wonderful way to use those fabrics. You will always be reminded of the person who gave them to you and you have a useful item as well.

The piecing does look fiddly but it turned out so well.

N. Maria said...

Great, great read and tutorial! I love the items in your finished bag! Yup, large needles and dropping yo's should give you a nice, airy and wonderful scarf.
Are you sure you don't want to come here to Washington and work with me to finish up all "my" projects? ;o)