Happy National Quilting Day!!!
In honor of National Quilting Day, and to all the fabulous and creative quilters out in the world… I give you… my very first Quilt Challenge.
Last month a small group from my local quilt guild (Jersey Shore Modern Quilt Guild) attended an exhibit at the Michener Art Museum (as in… the author, James A.) in Doylestown, PA. ‘Blanket Statements’ was a Kaffe Fassett exhibit of antique English quilts and his modern-day interpretation of them.
The antique quilts were amazing. To think woman over 150 years ago used needle and thread with such complexity! Although we didn’t agree on which quilt was our favorite, we found ourselves gathered around one particular quilt commenting how we would have designed the modern version differently than Kaffe Fassett. Each idea was creative, exciting, and totally unique. Eureka! A quilt challenge was born!
Before we start… let me take a few moments of your time to explain the coolness of this particular block. If you look closely at the antique quilt top after reading the write up… you marvel at the fact it was all paper pieced… BY HAND!!! And as amazing as that is, you look closer and only then realize the hexagon shapes are mostly done in stripes… and they are MITRED!!! O!M!G!
Paper pieced antique quilt, Church Window Hexagon Top
Now… let’s take a look at the modern interpretation.This one has taken the current day mantra of ‘git her done’ to heart by using rotary cutting and machine sewing… not to mention the bold, bright patterns and colors Kaffe is so known for.
Modern interpretation of Modern Church Window Hexagon
Now it’s YOUR turn to re-invent this design. I’ve done the easy part for you and created the basic pattern and tutorial. You, as the creator get to put YOUR spin on it. Will you make it a ‘scrappy stash buster’ or all in one fabric designer’s line? Will you use prints or all solids? Fussy cut centers perhaps? Oh… I know… how about all the hexagon shapes the same color?? Oh the choices are endless. I think that’s why this specific quilt captured our attention. Oh! What would happen to the design if all the small corners were the same color… would they look like polka-dots??? Hmmmm…
1. Have fun with this! Use your imagination and creativity. Feel free to use my tutorial and pattern instructions as a GUIDE by changing up the width of the strips you cut. Hand sewing, paper piecing, machine sewing, embellishments and more are all accepted.
2. Finished item must be in quilt form… top, batting, and backing… bound. There is no minimum or maximum finished size requirement.
3. Must use a minimum of 12 blocks clearly depicting the creative journey you are on.
4. Challenge begins 12:01am March 19, 2016, National Quilting Day, and ends at midnight September 19, 2016. Feel free to jump in at any time!
5. When completed please post a photo of your quilt on our Facebook page… Church Window Hex Block Quilt Challenge.
Yes, there will be prizes. In addition to simply seeing all the inspiring quilts there will be pop-up prizes for those who post photos along the way. Things like, a signed copy of Denyse Schmidt’s book Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration… A fat quarter bundle of Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s new fabric line Mostly Manor… and more. To know what prizes will be awarded when, and what you need to do to be in the running… you will need to join or follow our Facebook Page.
Here’s the basic pattern and tutorial…
Church Window Hexagon Block
*Following is the standard size I have designed for this challenge. Please feel free to use this as a guide and switch it up. You will notice I have included a few other size options below as well. Let your creative muse be your guide.
For EACH block cut the following:
Fabric A – (1) 2 ½” Square
Fabric B – (2) 2 ½” x 6 ½”
(2) 2 ½” Squares
Fabric C – (4) 2” Squares
Pink is Center square, Green is Hexagon, Yellow are the corners
Fabric A… Pink. Fabric B… Green Fabric c… Yellow.
Step 1: Using ¼” seam… Sew each Fabric B 2 ½” square to opposite sides of the Fabric A 2 ½” square, creating a rectangle. Press seams out, away from the center square. Set aside.
So far, so good… center of block is complete.
Step 2: Using a pencil and a straight edge, mark a diagonal line on each Fabric C square. Following the photo… place a Fabric C square on each upper corner of the 2 Fabric B 2 ½” x 6 ½” rectangles… right sides together. Sew ON the pencil line AFTER double-checking the direction of the diagonals. Trim seams to ¼”, then press resulting triangle up.
Pencil lines drawn on diagonal.
Step 3: Finger press the rectangle made in Step 1 to find the center from side to side… and repeat with the 2 pieces made in step 2. Matching centers, sew the unsewn side of Step 2 pieces to the top and bottom of Step 1 piece, right sides together. Press seams away from center square.
Ta-Dah!!! Just press and you are finished!
Size: 6 ½” unfinished, 6” finished
Additional size options:
For a larger center square (see Solid block example below)…
Cut: Fabric A – (1) 3 ½”
Fabric B – (2) 2” x 6 ½” rectangle
(2) 2” x 3 ½” rectangle
Fabric C – (4) 2” squares
Still results in a 6” finished block (6 ½” unfinished)
Notice the larger center square?
For an even smaller quilt block cut all 1 1/2″ squares and strips, 2 strips being 1 1/2″ x 3″. The finished block will measure 3″ square.
*** Please note that the small squares (Fabric C)creating the hexagon shape are NOT necessarily on the seam line in the main directions. This is by design. If you look closely at the Modern interpretation of the antique sample, you will see they chose NOT to line them up either. If this bothers you… simply cut 2 ½” squares and proceed with directions.
*** When assembling blocks into finished quilt, rotate them so seams alternate from horizontal to vertical for added strength. See modern interpretation photo for clarity.
Questions??? Leave a comment below, or email me at deb(at)debhathaway(dot)com.
Can you understand why I’m OBSESSED with this block??? It’s so versatile!
I am so excited to see all the different variations of this quilt you all make!! Each one will be special and oh so beautiful!
This challenge is open to EVERYONE. The pattern is GREAT for beginners as well as the more advanced quilter. Please SHARE this challenge with your fellow quilters. The more participants, the more variations we get to see.
Share your process on INSTAGRAM using #churchwindowhex or tagging me @uniqueandnovel.
Again… JOIN the Facebook Page to be kept up to date on all the fun. Pop-up prizes, Special Surprises, inspiration, and motivational cheerleading will all be posted there.
I will finish up this post with one final photo… the 2 quilts side by side at the exhibit that rocked my world and started this entire challenge.
*Photo Credit for the Quilt photos at the museum goes to Brandy Borden. Thanks Brandy!
I hope you all enjoy this challenge as much as I had putting it together.
Happy Sewing! Deb