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Topic: One Block Wonder quilt...in progress!  (Read 7858 times)
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« on: September 03, 2011 10:10:16 PM »

This is my first. quilt. ever!!!  I decided on Friday that I HAD to make one of these quilts after seeing the recent excellent and beautiful example!  I am in a rural area and really wanted to start this weekend (as in - can't wait for fabric or a book to be shipped), so I drove 50 minutes to JoAnns (all of the 'local'  fabric stores were closed when I was not at work Fri and Sat and were still 30 min away...) and picked out fabric, but could not find the One Block Wonder book...

So I made do with online examples and tutorials and we'll just have to see how it turns out!

Lessons learned thus far:
1. The 2 year old tabby (Fig) likes to chew on and attempt to swallow the loose threads from the fabric.  (I'm a veterinarian, and recognize the real danger of intestinal damage from thread, so I locked him away in a bedroom, from which his yowls of protest resonate throughout the house...)
2.  the triangle ruler which I bought without really paying attention is -not- in fact an equilateral triangle ruler (only ruined 2 triangle sections of one strip)
3.  so THAT's what a 'bias' means!
4. Whoa...this is gonna be a LOT of work!

Sept 2 - acquired, washed, dried fabric

Sept 3:
1. ripped fabric at repeats and ironed.
2. pinned and cut strips
3. cut 2 strips worth of triangles before my eyeballs started protesting (I had to do it the hard way - using a straight edge and the 60 degree angle line on my cutting surface)
4. fanned out a few of the hexagons for a little 'this is gonna be SO worth it'-ness.

Pictures are below.  I hope to keep updating this thread as I progress with the project.

The fabric with which I started:

A few of the hexagons fanned out:

Please feel more than free to offer any questions, comments, criticisms, suggestions, etc.  For all I know, this will turn out looking like a 2 year old did it...and then stuffed it in the toilet...


This isn't Kansas, and I'm not wearing red shoes.
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2011 10:32:00 PM »

I love it! I am jealous that you can drive to a JoAnn's! I am so remote that is an imposibility.
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011 06:17:13 AM »

Hah!  Okok...so I'm not THAT rural.  It would suck if I couldn't impulse shop! ;-)   I just finished cutting out all of my triangles (pics a bit later) and after a bite to eat, the plan is to start sewing half hexagons and pinning them up on the wall to see how this thing is going to lay out! 

At one point I had all of my cut out triangles stacked neatly in a box...and all of a sudden, there was a kitty in that box... ::sigh::

This is loads of fun!!

This isn't Kansas, and I'm not wearing red shoes.
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011 01:33:03 PM »

And it is going to be gorgeous!  Love the way it comes together.  And your color combination is beautiful.  Thanks for updating us on your progress!

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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011 04:13:14 PM »

Hmm...so, apparently, quilts (and even quilt tops) are not meant to be completed in one weekend ;-)

Lessons learned today:
1.  Should probably get the sewing machine tuned up and serviced once in...10 years or so
2. If I would have offset the first triangle cut from each strip, I wouldn't have ended up with a few identical hexagon blocks...ah well.
3.  Must. Pay. Attention. To. Bias.

Progress so far today:
1. Finished cutting all strips into triangles

2. sewed together 140 half hexagons or 70 incomplete hexagons (the plan is to sew an entire row together at a time....thus avoiding 'points').  It takes approximately 40 minutes to complete 20 incomplete half-hexagons (ironing, stitching, mounting) despite my seemingly efficient methods

3.  Displayed them up on my 'wall'.  I'm sort of grouping colors and trying to avoid close repeats or similar blocks.  70 down, 45 to go...

I know that others spend days, weeks, months or years deciding which blocks go where...but I'm trying to avoid procrastination, because I have ENOUGH half completed projects around here...so I will likely be determining the final placement over the next few days.  Does anyone have any comments on the current design.  I will take ANY and all suggestions!!!  Do you think something would look better with a different configuration?

I want this to be a queen sized quilt...and I think that I'll be pretty close, I will probably add a 6 inch border, likely in the darker blue color, if I can find a matching one, and am considering incorporating that darker blue into the half hexagon 'holes' that will be left bordering the finished blocks, so that the border kind of fingers into the quilt itself.

I am having a blast, but I need a nap, a shower, some food and to play ball with my bored miniature schnauzer (who is pictured below...no flash = no details on the black dog ;-) ). 


This isn't Kansas, and I'm not wearing red shoes.
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011 09:22:25 AM »

"Go big or go home" must be your motto!  I first have to say that you are one crazy coconut for starting to quilt with triangles, but sometimes you're better off not knowing everything when you begin.   Shocked  That said, I'm really impressed!!  Your cutting looks good, and believe it or not you are speeding right along.  I wouldn't worry about the duplicate blocks at all.  If you space them out I doubt anyone will even notice.  As for Mistress Bias - she can indeed be a bitch sometimes, but once you make her behave you'll appreciate her ways. Wink

There's one in every family, and I'm an only child.
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011 04:59:32 PM »

Oh. My. Goodness.  My eyes are about to fall out of my head.  How am I SORE from QUILTING???
And who's idea was it to start with triangles, anyway?? :-)

Lessons learned today:
1.  Quilting uses a lot of thread.  You should buy extra so that you don't run out and then have to search desperately around the house for another spool of white...
2. pay attention...so that you don't spend a full hour sewing WRONG sides together (see pic below) and then 2 or more hours ripping seams
3. next time I use this pattern (I love it, so I'm sure I will use it again!), I will probably pick a fabric with one or two more colors...just for variation.
4. I love my seam ripper
5. I now know that my iron has an automatic shut off
6.  pull a little more thread out...it's worth it so that you don't have to re-thread the needle every time you start to sew.

Progress today:
 Finished sewing all half hexagons, displayed on wall AND finished sewing all strips (so that all I have to do to finish the main part of the quilt top is sew the rows together)...but first I need to get more fabric and add a row of light blue hexagons around the entire thing and then a border of the dark blue...

I didn't realize that I was sewing the right sides together until I went to press the seams (for the second time)....

QUESTION for anyone who cares to answer:  I want this to be a queen sized quilt (I may as well go for gold), but right now it's only about 48x52 inches.  Should I
A. get more of this fabric and widen it that way
B. get light blue fabric, make a row of hexagons around the quilt (which will 'poke' into the current part) and then border with dark blue fabric  (I hexagon is about 6 inches and then I can border with 8-12 inches of blue).  or IS THAT TOO MUCH BORDER?

I'm stuck for now until I run to the fabric store at lunch tomorrow.

Thanks for the comments!  I'm seeing kaleidescopes of everything...

This isn't Kansas, and I'm not wearing red shoes.
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011 07:31:05 PM »

That is absolutely gorgeous! I've been quilting awhile, and I pretty much stay away from this kind of quilt because I'm afraid I'll screw it all up! Smiley

I would definitely border it with the lighter blue hexes and then the dark blue. I think if you use a solid colour for the dark blue it'll be a nice offset to the busyness of the pattern and it will help to draw the eye in. I can't wait to see more!
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2011 09:15:30 AM »

Sorry you've had to spend so much time ripping out seams, but if it's any consolation I've never met a sewer who doesn't rip. 

I like your plan to square it up with the light blue and then border with the dark.  A dark outer border should set off the insides nicely, and I don't think it will be too wide.

There's one in every family, and I'm an only child.
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011 08:35:51 PM »

Whew...I'm still truckin' ;-)

Over the past two days, I managed to get all of the strips sewn together (I did not have the border peak into the quilt because I ran out of patience!).   I added a border of light blue, 2 strips of the original fabric (all that I had left!) and will be adding the final border of dark blue tomorrow... Ideally, I would make squares for the corners that would incorporate a hexagon each...but we'll see.  I think that it would really look nice, and maybe a nice night's sleep will help me gear up for the final push (for the top, anyway). 

Right now the quilt is only 52x56.  Nowhere NEAR queen sized.  I purchased the One Block Wonder book (a bit late, mind you) and I suppose now that I should have gotten WAY more fabric if I wanted to have a queen sized quilt.  No worries, though.  I will add about a foot of dark blue border to each side, which will bring it to something like 76 x 80...which is a perfectly respectable size for me to snuggle up in this winter.

My next quilt will likely be a one block wonder (putting the hexagons together is so fun!!!, so I'll make that one a bonafide queen size. 

This quilt is officially a 'practice' quilt ;-).  I can spot a few mistakes only after staring at the thing for an hour, so it hides them wonderfully.

Lessons learned recently:
1. measure twice, cut once.
2.  I can stick a pin through my finger and it won't even bleed.
3.  I should have swept the floor before trying to iron it, as the dangly bits swept up some cat hair.
4. I need a bigger 'design wall'
5.  quilting is really a blast...

I'm hoping that this kind of blogging progress thread will help or encourage other new quilters ;-)

Progress pics:

Next...one more border, then making the sandwich and quilting the darn thing...I'll have to look up how to do that...  I might use the stitch-in-the-ditch technique, although I'd REALLY like to outline each hexagon about 1/4 inch inside the seam....but I think that I'd have to do that by hand and I'm just not sure....

I'm really starting to like the look of it!

This isn't Kansas, and I'm not wearing red shoes.
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