How To Quilt -
Hexagon Quilt

Lessons I Learned From Making a Hexagon Quilt

A Hexagon Quilt is not just a quilt made from hundreds of hexagon-shaped patches. It is a lesson in

a) patience;

b) ingenuity;

c) discovering how to take pleasure in making something slowly;

d) plus finding yet another fabric to add to the variety. I will expand on these qualities later in the article.

Old quilts, perhaps 100 years old or more, have been found to often still contain the paper templates, usually old letters or newspapers, it is fascinating reading these bits of family news or snippets of world affairs.

I had wanted to make a Hexagon Quilt for many years. I first saw one on a visit to the Sovereign Hill Pioneer Settlement, at Ballarat, Victoria (Australia). This wonderful tourist attraction takes all day to tour and discover, and you could still go back the next day to finish the job. In one of the Pioneer Cottages, one of the more affluent pioneers who had three rooms, my first glimpse of the bedroom included that item I had always admired on the single rough timber bed was a hexagon quilt. Not showing a particular pattern, as many do, but with lots of different fabrics, as they would have been made in those difficult circumstances, using any available scrap of fabric. I call it Country-style. I was entranced, by the fresh appearance and by the work that had obviously gone into it - as a woman who has sewn many items, I was only too well aware of the amount of time and effort that it would have taken to construct. I decided there and then that I would one day, soon, make one myself, little knowing the life lessons that it would impart to me.

I did start that year. I looked up some instructions, and discovered they are usually made using English Paper Piecing. This means;

a) a paper template is cut and a piece of fabric slightly larger is folded over the paper, pinned, tacked and sewn down; paper is removed;

b) after making hundreds of these, they are oversewn together;

c) the piece is lined, quilted, and finally slept under.

After my initial burst of enthusiasm, I was caught up in other things, and it became a UFO (unfinished object) temporarily. Then my husband had a stroke, and while he was in hospital, I needed some distraction from my worries. I pulled out my hexagons, checked out my fabric stash, and decided to go to a quilting group with my small project.

I had made a start on putting the first few hexagons together when I went along to the Wesley Patchwork and Quilting group in Adelaide, and a more pleasant, enthusiastic and helpful group of people I have yet to meet. They gave me lots of pieces from their own stashes, and helped me towards finishing the quilt, long after my husband had recovered. As it happened, I had to return to work and left the group shortly before I finished the quilt but I sent them a photo of the finished article. These are some things I learned while making the hexagon quilt.

Do one thing at a time, one hexagon at a time.

Small things accumulate. Hexagons 2 inches across make a queen-size quilt.

There's no rush. Enjoy what you're doing, enjoy the process as much as the product.

If you don't have what you need right now, you'll be able to get it sooner or later. Enjoy the time quilting. It all gets done eventually.

Variety is the spice of life. A country-style quilt contains memories of each person who gave you that fabric. Each hexagon reminds you of the pleasures of sewing and creativity.

Touching and looking at it brings a sense of accomplishment whatever happened today, I made this myself.

My hexagon quilt took me two years to make, because I didn't touch it for much of the summer - it made me feel hot! But time passes whether we quilt or not, so we might as well quilt!

Christine Linton Patterns, South Australia

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Phone 042 082 9077

Patterns for embroidery, appliqu,

Patchwork, quilting and mixed media

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