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.