Saturday, September 4, 2010

One Block Wonder Distractions

Thanks to Shelley (aka Elsie's Girl), I am now obsessed with the idea of making a One Block Wonder 60-degree triangle quilt. Who could resist turning an awesome fabric into something even more eye-popping?

My front entry/foyer features a large wall that would be perfect for displaying a spectacular quilt. So I've been planning to make one. In my mind this future project was going to be a paper-foundation extravaganza in the style of Karen Stone. You know: something that would take me a year to draft, and ten years to complete (by which time we will probably have moved again).

So when I poked around the OBW flickr group, a light bulb went on in my head: this method would be PERFECT for a foyer quilt, fun to make, and -- big plus -- something I might actually complete within a year. I started to think about what colors I would like for that space, and what scale/density/contrast of print would deliver the results I was imagining.

Being highly susceptible to distractions of the creative kind, I couldn't help rummaging in the stash for something to play OBW with on a smaller scale. You need six repeats, which I was able to cut as 15"x18"-ish pieces from the Amy Butler fabric left over from making this pillow for my Mom last year. Shelley was kind enough to email me capsule instructions, so I cut 3-3/4" strips, found a 60-degree ruler that has been lurking, unused, in the sewing supplies for eons, and produced 16 sets of identical 3" (+SA) triangles:

I played around with arranging each triangle set into a hexagon, then pinned each set in a stack with the pin in the point that would be the center of the block when I sewed them up, as you can see at the top of the pic, above. I set these aside by my "in-betweener" pile in the sewing room, with no intention of getting around to the next stage anytime soon.

Thursday evening, having cut all my teal chabray for the Marrakesh Pants, I sat down at the sewing machine to change the thread to teal, and saw that I had ivory already threaded. It seemed crazy to switch to pants sewing without taking advantage of the ivory setup to do a few triangle-hex seams to see how it would go:

How it went was speedy! By the time I paused, I'd done so many I figured I might as well finish them up. Finish meaning half-hexes, as far as it's wise to go before deciding on a final layout.

Once all my triangles were in half-block sets, how could I resist playing with them? I don't have enough to make anything substantial, but I'm thinking that arranged like this with corners filled in (or maybe appliqued to a backing fabric), I'd have the front and back of another 18"-ish pillow. Or fronts for two pillows.

So that's why I didn't start sewing up the teal pants right away. They are looking good, BTW, and fit well as basted. I also got the pocket pieces attached and the elastic and the waistband assembled. Next step is to do the fly extension and zipper. When I looked at the clock at that point yesterday it was 4:30 pm, which for me is the error hour when my energy and concentration slip and I'm prone to making stupid sewing mistakes. It didn't seem like a good time to attempt my first-ever fly-front zipper.


  1. These hexagons look amazing! I'm happy that the instructions were clear enough for you to proceed. Now I'm thinking I need some pillows like that :)

  2. Shelley, you are the Pillow Queen: I say go for it! I've started a list of all the things I could use these triangle hexies for (or the octagon version), including as a border for the kitchen-window cafe curtain I still have not gotten around to making. It's so much fun seeing a fabric transform into all these lovely shapes/patterns.

  3. I am such a sucker for that evil Karen Stone. Ask me how many of her ridiculous quilts I've finished. Go on, ask me. Grrrrrr....

    I LOVE your hexes, these are so pretty. Can't wait to see the finished layout.

    Honest, my word verification is "coseam"... like, uh, we could sew together and coseam. Or maybe a coseam is a seam that is jointly shared by two pieces. "Just align the coseams and stitch!"

  4. Beangirl: "align the coseams" sounds like one of those steps that results in profanity, at least when I try it!

    I've had two full-size Karen Stone patterns in the stash for, oh, at least 15 years. One of these days...

  5. wow those hex look fabulous...almost makes me want to quilt...