Two quilts down and ten to go! I am still excited to be doing my “Year of Quilts” project and am thankful to have a job where I stress about what quilt I will make next! Believe me, this job has many stressful aspects, but I am truly lucky that I love my job, and to be able to make things and write about it as part of my job…amazing!
So on to February’s Quilt of the Month. As some of you may already know, I chose “Science Fair” by Jaybird Quilts for this month. I really wanted to try and do something different that I had never done before. Believe it or not, I have not worked with any specialty rulers before and I certainly have not made anything with hexagons. This quilt utilizes a ruler also designed by Jaybird Quilts called the “Hex N More”.
This is a great ruler and Julie at Jaybird Quilts has a ton of awesome quilts designed using this ruler. I’ve got plans for making another one up my sleeve. To make this quilt you start by cutting strips and making pairs of those strips into stripsets.
You use one end of the ruler to cut those strips into little wedges, one strip set makes two opposing colors of the hexagon. For example, this blue and yellow set will make one hex with a blue outside and a yellow inside and one hex with a yellow outside and a blue inside.
Ta-Da! It’s so tempting to sew these pretty little wedges into complete hexagons (which I was this close to doing) but if you stop and read the directions (something I have to often remind myself to do) you learn that you only get to sew them into half hexagons, and the gratification of seeing them all done will have to be delayed a bit.
The next part of cutting involves flipping the Hex N More around and using the fatter end to cut the background half hexies. For some reason I did not photograph this process as I was having a battle with myself about the background color. Here is my original color choice for the background which I was totally committed to at the time:
Yikes! I promise it wasn’t quite so harsh in real life, but obviously the pink wasn’t working either. In the end I settled on this:I ended up using a text print from Allison Glass’s “Sun Print” collection for a few reasons. First, I love these prints and I loved how it lightened up my quilt. It reminds me of a summer day with all the hot citrusy colors. Another reason I made this choice is that I wanted to show that you can use a print like this as a background fabric and that it would read like a neutral. These patterns are nothing to be afraid of! They are much more versatile than you might think. To see more of Allison’s “Sun Print” line click HERE. We carry many of these prints at both locations of the Aurora Sewing Center.
Julie even explains just how to line up your half hexies to make them all behave when sewing them into strips.You can see that the background fabric has the tip of the point snipped off where you line it up with the colored piece, which makes for a perfect match when it’s all pressed. This quilt calls for you to press all of your seams open, which is not something that I normally do, but it helped reduce bulk when sewing in those areas where all of the little wedge points come together. I didn’t do any stitching in the ditch on this quilt so I’m really not worried about those areas becoming weaker because of the seams being open.
After your strips are all ready it’s time to sew them all together. I was excited to try out a new kind of pin we got into the store, Clover Fork Pins. These little guys are pretty handy for helping make sure all your points end up matching. I will often put a pin on either side of my seams to make sure they stay lined up, and these are two pins in one!I haven’t thrown out my standard glass head pins or anything, but these guys are pretty cool!
I did a little TV magic here and voila! Here’s the whole top assembled and spray basted! This was the first quilt I have ever spray basted and while I do not mind the pinning process, I have to admit, spray basting rocks! I used THIS video as guidance and sprayed with another new product we have at the store, Mettler Web Bond.As you can see in that picture above, I prepared myself well for quilting this quilt by marking my straight lines with a blue water erasable marker. As I’ve said before, one of my goals in this Quilt of the Month project is to learn new things and with this quilt, one of the BIG things I’ve learned is that if you want your quilting to stand out, then picking a more subtle background is key (remember how happy I was with my background fabric choice?)! I still love the fabric I chose, but it’s pattern combined with the low loft batting I used (Quilters Dream Blend) makes it very hard to see the custom quilting I did. As soon as I started quilting I knew it was not going to be as pronounced as I would have liked, but I considered it good free motion practice and finished it that way anyhow! Here’s a finished product picture taken with the contrast tweaked a little bit so that you can see the quilting.
This quilt is currently hanging at our Williamsville location and because of the way the light hits it, the quilting is almost invisible. But I know it’s there, and now you do too, so come see it and Ooh and Ahh over it for me –OK? All in all, this quilt was a BLAST to make and quilt and Julie’s pattern was wonderfully written and easy to follow. I highly recommend it and all of the Jaybird Quilts designs. So there you have it, February’s quilt of the month! Want a sneak peek of March? Here you go…
I can’t wait to show it to you!