2010-08-23

Hex Crazy

It's been years now that hexagons have been all the rage in quilt-blogland.  There seem to be hundreds of tutorials, flickr groups, quilt-alongs.  People are fussy cutting their fabric into swiss cheese!  And all the while I was patiently stitching diamond to diamond, wondering what all the fuss was about.
Until this spring, when i decided to give it a try...
And you know what? I don't like it. 

They go together quickly and in a short amount of time you can have a fairly large section pieced, but I don't like the actual piecing them together.. my diamonds always came together into little units of 3, 5, 8, or 12, and then fit together like puzzle pieces.  This hex business is just -add one, -add one, -add one...
I know it would be different if I were using paper templates that bend, or if I chose some type of pretty pattern, but you know me-- Scrappy, Using what I have -- and so this is how I feel.
I piece 6 petals onto a center hexagon before popping out the center one and folding to stitch the petals together.  This is necessary because the Quilt Patis templates don't bend like paper and awkwardly holding the 2 petals and doing a less-than-perfect stab stitch got old back with this project (when i used to join 3 diamonds to make a hexagon).  I love English paper piecing for its simple rhythmic motions and its ability to relax and calm me.  I don't have much patience for awkward routines and so I try to adjust where I can to eliminate them.  I think when I tire of diamonds I should buy some paper templates and make something like this one Bonnie is working on.  Until then, I don't think I'll be calling myself a hex fan.  If this project gets done it will sit to remind me of my short ride on the bandwagon and then how I jumped off, content to let the insanity go on without me.  I'm not sure I want to party with all those hex crazy people anyway..

6 comments:

shannon said...

i concur...i like 45 and 60 degree diamonds...plus they make prettier blocks/quilts

Amber Dawn said...

I love the colors you're using. I totally understand about the one hex added to the others - I'm doing the border on my hex quilt that way and the process isn't as nice as when I was making "diamonds" with four hexagons. I might be trying diamonds for my next paper pieced quilt.

domesticat said...

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who didn't jump on the hex bandwagon. I'm mostly finished with a hexagon quilt for a friend who inherited a batch of partially-completed hexagons.

(Here's the post about the quilt and the Flickr photoset)

I've seen so many posts about OMG Delightful Hexies![tm] and ... I just never got it. If I'm going to piece something insane and wonderful a piece at a time, I'm going to work on my sevenfold symmetry quilt - Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. I love the challenge of aperiodic tiling quilts but my love for hexagons is zero. Not sure why.

I'm glad I did the Remixed project,; those quilt pieces deserved better than to sit in a box for another 70-80 years. I don't see myself wanting to touch hexagons again anytime soon, though.

theodora said...

It looks like you did a great job with the presentation ,your quilt looks wonderfull.

Leila said...

I don't think I'm a hard-core enough quilter to be either on or off of the hex bandwagon but I LOVE what you've done. Mostly because of the fabrics/colors. I'm going right now to see if I have any colors like these at all (I suspect I don't -- they're not my usual thing) that I can play with.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Jennifer said...

Count me in the OFF the bandwagon hex group. I tried some a few years ago, but it was not satisfying at all. You are right about how the patterns seem to fit better with different shapes. I also love diamonds (tumbling blocks, etc.) like a previous commenter. The thing is that I see a lot of enthusiasm at first (Look at my hexagon flowers!), but then projects get abandoned. To the people who finish hexagon quilts, more power to you!! But going from "pretty flower" to "joining all those darned flowers with extra pieces in between" is not easy. The best method I have seen is to hand piece the hexagons, and to have them laid out in a logical and very easy-to-piece manner to get them all put together. But I certainly don't like hexagon quilts enough to actually go through that process, either.

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