Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Moment of Truth: Why be afraid of Y-seams?

I really DO want to make this hexagon quilt (a simple mock-up I did using EQ6):
using this pile of fabrics
but something has kept me from doing it. I think it's my hesitation due to my lack of technical skill with Y-seams. That I recall, the only real Y-seams I've done were for the tail insertions in these stuffed animals (step 33 in the tutorial). Generally I avoid them with dread.

But how hard can it be? Seriously? I found these two great tutorials from bloggers that illustrate how easy it can be: Katie at From the Blue Chair shows how to cut hexagons without a template, which is fantastic in my book! And Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio shows how to sew hexagons together without marking the 1/4" lines. That sounds ideal to me, especially if it works! So here goes! (I'm doing this as a blog-as-you-go post, so I'll keep adding photos as I make this quilt, all in the same post.)

I chose the 6.5" x 7.5" rectangle in Kati's list and cut out a bunch to start with. Then I sewed a strip together following Jacquie's instruction:
Then, eager to overcome my hesitation and become a hexagon master, I started with the first hexagon of the second row... (Note: right at this point, I got up and wandered around looking for things to do around the house that absolutely HAD to be done right this moment, such as putting away the dishes, changing the laundry, picking up stray threads, sorting my sock drawer, transferring gesso from a jar to a bottle, etc.). Meanwhile, awhile later, I came back and read and re-read Jacquie's instructions, then dove in. Here is the first seam, pinned and waiting to be stitched:
 The finished seam - not the most perfect, but I'm certainly not going to pick it out:
Setting up the second seam:
The second seam stitched:
Here is the finished Y-seam of the 1st and 2nd stitch.
Yippee! The first hexagon Y-seam is done. It's all downhill from here! Now I need to decide how to address the borders. I busted out the markers since I didn't want to take time in EQ6 to figure out how to make the border I wanted. Here is a blank sheet of hexagons which I exported from EQ6:
Filled in with markers, with the idea of a border - I don't like the idea of a flat top/bottom border like in the image at the top of this post. But I'm still not sure what to do...
I really don't want the quilt to end up looking like a soccer ball. I do like this example of a hexagon quilt which has quite a large number of hexagons, way more than I plan to do. It just has a straight/flat border, which looks pleasing in this example. I also like the ends of this one where two ends stick out. I imagine the binding on that is a bit tricky... then there is this one by Malka Dubrawsky where all the sides are bound like that with no borders. Hmmm...

So maybe I'll do it this way (scissors came in handy):
I will do light binding on the dark side, and dark binding on the light side, with medium binding, perhaps, on the top and bottom... And now onto the selection of fabrics - I counted the number of hexagons for this design and I needed to eliminate more than half of my 100 fabrics. I started pulling some out of the pile and lined up ones I liked according to light, medium and dark value, to ensure I had a good spread across all values.
I put a light, medium and dark strip of fabric beneath each pile to help:
Now I'm cutting out the hexagons and throwing them up on the design wall:
Later on... more pieces on the wall - I really like the look of the white space in between the pieces on the right. I could add a thin sash of white in between the dark pieces and a sash of dark in between the light pieces- that would look awesome! (But I'm not going to do it for THIS project.)
All the hexagons cut out - this is a really small design wall so they don't all fit. They're overlapped:
I'll spend a bit of time switching around the pieces until I get to something I find pleasing. But I'm committed to not spending more than a week on swapping pieces. My goal is to have this finished (quilted and bound) before the end of April.

1 comment:

  1. HI Lea, thanks for posting!
    You are courageous... good luck with your hexagon quilt!
    And you have a marvelous taste... your hanging wall pieces are beautiful.
    Thanks again, Leah!