Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hexie Rings

I began casually making hexagon flowers a few years back, when hexie paper piecing projects were beginning to spring up everywhere.

I  travel a bit for work, and we tend to be in airports a lot, since we live in Boston but our family is in Texas, New York, and Seattle.  Hexies really are great for taking along - tiny and nothing too pokey is required, to trip you up at the security scanners.

I started with no end in mind, aside from eating up scraps.   I figured anything I did would rely on the standard 7-hexie flower form, so I just kept making those.

I used the freezer paper method and cut the hexie papers by hand, which was a total pain in the ass.   I would NEVER do that again, now that I know that you can buy them in bulk, online.

Ultimately I had a huge stack of hexie flowers, but no plan. Then, it dawned on me that these could be strung into rings.  I decided to make rings of different sizes, and arrange them over a field of linen.

I wanted to use linen because of how much I enjoyed using it for Laurie's baby quilt. I have become slightly obsessed with how pleasant it is to quilt on, and how beautiful the quilting looks after washing.

The problem was I'd somehow mired myself in a plan to use a very light neutral background color.  White was out:  I have kids, people.  And all the cream/tan/beige options seemed make make the rings look muddled and drab.  Nothing looked right.

I ended up putting all the rings away for several months out of pure frustration.

Then, I stumbled upon a 3-yard remnant of teal apparel linen at a garment fabric store near my house.  I didn't actually intend it to be used for this, but when I got it home, I remembered the rings.  BOOM, a perfect color fit.

I made the biggest square I could using the linen, and arranged/pinned the rings on.  Then I carefully removed the papers from the hexies that sat on the rings' outer and inner edges.   I sewed the rings down with 2 lines of stitches that echo the ring edges, one 1/8" from the edge, and the other about a quarter inch inside.

Once the lines were in, I cut out the interior of the rings through the linen back, and yanked the remaining paper.

The quilt was backed with a large-scale house fabric that my friend Linda nabbed at IKEA a while back.  I edged it with a strip of large-scale Lanna Jansdotter fabrics that I'd been reluctant to cut into small pieces.

Pebbling was used for most of the quilting because I felt it would add a lot of texture to the negative space.  In a few spots, I traced a ring or partial ring, and did an echo of the outer-line stitching, with the interior left as a sort of quilting "dead spot".

The quilt is bound in an Amy Butler lavender dot.  I love it against the teal.

I give a lot of my quilts away, but this one's staying put.  My son especially loves it, and I have so many hours into it, I don't think I could bear to see it depart.


  1. Wow! This is a stunning quilt. I love the hexie flowers and the linen background is just awesome.

  2. It's brilliant and gorgeous! :)

  3. I love this one so much!!! It's just fabulous and I'm so glad you'll be keeping it:-)

  4. This is really beautiful. We are pinning it as we have several members who just ADORE hexies.