Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Hex Inspiration: Thanks to Yvonne Hollenbeck

In August, the Prairie Quilt Guild hosted Yvonne Hollenbeck as the guest speaker. She is a quilter and Cowboy Poet. Now, I don't know much about poetry, much less cowboy poetry so I debated whether or not to attend... Man- I'm so glad I did! Her lecture showcases 5 generations of her own family's quilting, mixed with story/history and very very humorous poems. The whole show was way more than I thought it would be. I loved it. If you get a chance to see her lecture, do not hesitate to do so.

The above picture is one of the amazing quilts from her lecture. When she held up the whole quilt is looked like these little simple 9-patch blocks were dancing around in no discernible order. She commented "You know, this the pattern where the 9-patch is on a hexagon." That baffled me. (Maybe I'm easily baffled & should come with my own warning label.)

I started off trying to figure out what in the world she meant by 9-patch + hexagon. Ultimately decided I needed the picture to go by. Then I went home and started drawing the next day.

Well. That looks hard. Yeh, after further inspection though- I'm pretty sure this is the pattern (These were the shapes, with different actual measurements). The inspiration quilt was made by hand piecing and hand quilting, of course. I think Y-seams must be easier if you are hand piecing. Either way. What's a few Y-seams? I've got to give it a try!

I've had these rulers for probably 6-8 years now... and I think this is the first time I've used them. ((shame)) BUT they were the perfect tools for this job.

Now, I needed to collect the basic shapes:

Yep. That looks good. (For reference, the 9-patch block measures 3 1/2" in the photo above.) Now to dive into the systematic method of which areas to sew first to make the block go together as easily as possible... I laid all the pieces in place first to look like 1 big octogon and just jumped with both feet.

The trickiest part was, by far, realizing the hexagons "share" a 9-patch with the neighboring hexagon. I do think I'll try to grow the small piece a bit bigger. I mean, right now its only 3 little hexes plus some fabric scraps. Ah, and those Y-seams... I'm sure the size of the quilt will depend largely on how much of the blue Katie Jump Rope floral I have left.

Its fun to solve a puzzle, though. I do love the process.

Updated to add: Thank's to Mimi of Mimi's Passions, she has sent me a link to the block. Its called Jack's Chain and can be found on Quilter's Cache. The sizes given on the QC are what I used in that sample above. My 9-patch turned out to be 3 1/2" when it was stitched.

*Fabric in my sample by Denyse Schmidt + unbleached muslin


Sylvie said...

This pattern is just amazing! Thank you for sharing!

Mimi said...

I have been searching for a pattern that I could make for my daughter's wedding coming up next June. I was tossing around the idea of making a double wedding ring, but was a little leary of doing all the curves. This quilt would be a great alternative to that. I may really consider giving this one a try. Any hints on how to put it together?

Jen of ReannaLily Designs said...

Mimi- I made the hex + triangle shapes first, which yielded a bunch of little house shapes. Then I added them each one at a time with Y-seams along the hexagon and when joining to each other. Kinda tedious, but very cool results.

Mimi said...

Thought you might be interested in knowing that someone from one of my message boards found this block for me at Quilters Cache. It shows how to put it together, but I still have to figure out how much yardage I might need for a queen sized quilt. I really think I am going to give this one a try for my daughter's wedding quilt.

Katrina said...

I absolutely love your use of the hexagon rulers and the templates!! It's spectacular!

Shasta said...

It is beautiful, although I am still afraid of y seams. I'll have to one day be brave enough to do a table topper.