Monday, January 11, 2016

Hexagons in Silk

You don't know how much I appreciate all of the comments!!  Some days I think that there are 3 people that read this blog.  Nice to know otherwise.

While I sort of knew the direction I needed to go with these borders, adding black into my design did not come without a fair bit of trepidation.  Black is just not a color I use, ever.  Why and how the zebra print made it into this design is a huge question!  One day I woke up and told myself I was going to find some zebra stripes, as though the fussy-cut hexie blocks were not wild enough.

So, as you can maybe see, I did add a tiny micro-piping of black into the design.  It is small and subtle, but I thing that is all this needs.  I may also use it at or for the binding (if I get that much courage twice).  The photo below has nothing stitched; it is all just glue-basted into place.  Today I started stitching the first 4 of 12 plates into position.
The piping follows the line between the orange and the ivory silk, even when it goes into the braid. This was my avant-garde twist on this design choice. It was easier than I thought it would be to attach the piping to the individual braid pieces before they were stitched to the background.  I know that the piping isn't a whole lotta fun to longarm quilt beside, but I will manage.  I love the look. No pain no gain, right?!
You just don't know how stoked I am to get quilting on this thing.  I know it won't be finished before the fall most likely, but I love this quilt nearly as much as I loved making her predecessor, Bouquet Royale.  These are true hexagons, whereas that quilt had the elongated hexies.  Both share my favorite colors though.
While I am busily bouncing quilting designs around for the background areas of this quilt, I can share one concept for the hexie plates.  I am not entirely certain what direction I want the quilt to take, but it feels much like it's predecessor did, garden-like.  I see flowers in each of the large hexagons, even though I finished them as stars.
The print is challenging to quilt, so geometric designs are often more effective, as is a heavier weight thread.  Save those prettier patterns for areas like the silk where they will show better.

It is hard to believe that I made 3 more of these than I actually need!...They take something like 6-8 hours to hand stitch.
 No papers here...just a nice tracing line and running stitches.  It enables me to press the seams to one side, which keeps the possibilities for longarm quilting endless.  I never know when I might want to ditch stitch somewhere, and a pressed open seam makes that a total PIA!

This is from early summer...that is about half of the blocks.  There was really no plan yet, just blissful piecing.
 This one didn't make it's way to the front of the quilt.  As much as I hate to not use blocks, an 82" quilt seems better than a 99" quilt!  Maybe it will go into a charity piece or a label (or my "who knows what to do with this" box).
 Somewhere around September, I pedaled backwards.  I had a dozen or so of these framed with pink/orange and black, which is very striking.  BUT...these were the blocks that looked best in pink and orange, and the other 12 really did not, and I just couldn't find a cohesive color that blended well. Back to the drawing board.
I had a fat quarter of a wasabi-colored green silk and sparks started to fly...I contacted the person that hand-dyed the first piece, and ordered 2 yards of this green.  It was the perfect color with nearly all of the hexagon plates.  I would make these cohesive by using just one color for the star points.  Happily, I believe it worked, and the rest is history.

Time to get drawing!!


KathyinMN said...

Love how the braid is turning out. It's made me say 'wow' out loud.

J said...

That is so amazing!!! where do you find the time?:) What pen do you use to draw on the quilt? and the drawing looks amazing hehehe can't wait to see the actual quilting....

Maggie said...

Hey Margaret,
Your instincts are impeccable! Not to mention your talent and skills!
What fabric is the braid? It has a different "look" to it. A depth, or something.

Again, thank you so much for sharing your processes.

maggie in Washington state

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

Your work always blows my mind. Really incredible. I always look forward to see the progress of this quilt!

Kathy Pitts said...

Margaret, I don't know about you but when I read your comment " One day I woke up and told myself I was going to find some zebra stripes, as though the fussy-cut hexie blocks were not wild enough," well, I call that divine inspiration and say a big thank you to my creator.

Tomomi McElwee said...

All are so beautiful as usual!

DeborahB said...

It's absolutely lovely! I know what you mean about never using black, though.

ChristaQuilts said...

Perfect! I love how subtle the black is - just the right amount to outline the design, :-)