22 August 2011
The slowly growing beast
This past weekend I finished and added another section onto the slowly growing beast that is the Hexagonal Quilt.
I've highlighted where the new section and I'll explain a bit my process. It's become fairly systematic to achieve a seemingly random quilt. I really started this project with random evenness in mind. I started with a small smattering of fabrics and repeated them randomly as I was piecing.
The piece of quilt top started to become somewhat unwieldy so I stopped working on the main piece, and begun working on smaller sections that then get added to the "big piece". As the chunk of quilt top grew, I started to become aware of how many hexagons I would need to get a quilt that would fit my double bed.
Each section has 126 hexagons. These sections are attached together side by side to make a larger strip. Each strip has 707 hexagons. I figure I need about 5 of these 14 hexagon-tall strips to get the quilt size that I want. That's 3,535 hexagons folks. That's a lot of hexes.
I have about 50 fabrics from cut up fat quarters that are included in each "repeat" of a section (2 repeats per section) plus a smaller selection of "wild card" fabrics that there are 4 per repeat. 4 each of solids, random scrappy hexagons and Liberty hexagons (as begun by the kit of hexes I got in awesome swap). The wild card fabrics are pulled out of some individual zip loc bags (only the highest of technology here) and then added to the randomizer (a smaller empty plastic container) where the hexes get tossed for a bit before being laid out in their final configuration.
There are a few rules. I try to keep the fabrics from lining up or being to close to themselves in other repeats. This is much easier now that I have an army of hexes to work with. The polka dots are not allowed to be next to each other. And I try to keep from any one dominant colour to be too dominant in a specific location. Sometimes it takes a surprising amount of time to arrange the hexes to my arbitrary tastes but I try not to be too fussy about it. Once they're arranged, I start sewing the gazillion seams.
There are so many seams. But I kind of like the mindlessness of taking a stack of 63 hexagons and sewing them together. It's most satisfying to finish up a section and sew it to the big piece. So satisfying. Especially now that I've just about finished the first spool of thread that was dedicated to this project. Very satisfying indeed.