In Love with my Hexie Heart Quilt
I love a good challenge.
For me, that’s half the fun of quilting -- falling in love with a motif and then figuring out how I can make it!
Photo: Different colored hearts from my most recent Hexie Heart Quilt. Tighe Flanagan (2018).
I first fell in love with this design from a this quilt made by Jodi @talesofcloth just before Valentine’s Day last February. The original quilt was English paper pieced (EPP) but I wanted to see if I could piece the same thing by machine. I had done some inset seams and practiced with some regular hexagons.
(Personal) challenge accepted!
So I made myself a jewel shaped template. I started with a hexagon and extended one of the six sides to a point. I then added my ¼” seam allowance. I always have 2.5” solid strips on hand, so I made sure the template was the right size to fit. I then started cutting!
With a few jewel shapes cut, I got to sewing. I first combined two jewel shapes together along one of their long edges. This created an elongated hexagon. Then I sewed the hexagons together (which I had practiced before by machine).
The biggest challenge was manipulating the fabric for the inset seams when the quilt top grew larger. All the weight made it difficult to do while standing, so I lowered my table and sewed sitting down. This way I could rest a bunch of the weight in my lap, instead of having it droop off the edge of the standing desk.
Animation: Quilt top assembly, chunk by chunk. These four groups of rows are pieced together to form the finished quilt top. Tighe Flanagan (2018).
If you’re comfortable with inset seams (y-seams), this is a fairly straightforward project. And if you’re not, it’s a great way to learn more about sewing inset seams!. Afterall, practice makes… thing less scary (if not perfect). After I got into a good rhythm on my first Hexie Heart quilt, I stopped marking my seams and just used pins to eyeball.
Photo: Behind the seams. The back of the pieced quilt top, ready for basting. Tighe Flanagan 2018.
For my second Hexie Heart Quilt which I just finished this month (pictured in this pots), I didn’t mark any of the seams, but I did pin quite a bit to keep things in place. I also made myself a custom acrylic template to make cutting go more quickly and ensure my pieces were all the exact same size.
Photo: This custom acrylic template made cutting hundreds of shapes much more accurate and efficient! Tighe Flanagan (2018).
This quilt was made with a bunch of Kona Cotton solid scraps. It is 970 individual jewel shapes which I arranged into 17 rows. The rows are made up of elongated hexagon pairs. The hexagons are sew together into rows, and the rows to each other. The last bit is the most time consuming, with hundreds of little inset seams.
Photo: Bright quilt on a gray day in DC. Quilt hanging outside on fence. Tighe Flanagan (2018).
I machine quilted the zig zag lines between the rows of hearts, offset from the seam on each side. I used five different 40 wt variegated color threads by Aurifil, and a matching dark gray thread for the back. I used my walking foot, pivoting at each corner.
I finished the quilt with a flanged binding. This is my go-to binding method because it frames the quilt nicely and I can machine stitch it on. The flange hides your stitching nicely if you use a matching thread.
Animation: I label all of my quilts with my custom woven tags. One side shows the three stars found in the flag of the District of Columbia, the other my information. Tighe Flanagan (2018).
Hexie Heart Quilt
Machine pieced with 970 individual jewel shapes. Finished September 2018.
Finished dimensions: Approximately 56” x 68”
Fabrics: Kona Cotton solid scraps for quilt top, Kona Cotton Pewter for backing and binding
Thread: Auriful 50 wt for piecing, Aurifil 40 wt for quilting
Batting: Quilter's Dream Natural Cotton Supreme Batting