Church Window Hexagon Quilt Challenge

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 Hex

         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.

Church Window Hexagon Quilt Challenge http://www.debhathaway.com

      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…

Challenge RULES:

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 192016. 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.

PRIZES…

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

Church Window Hexagon Block Challenge

   Pink is Center square, Green is Hexagon, Yellow are the corners

 

Fabric A… Pink.  Fabric B… Green  Fabric c… Yellow.

Assemble:

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.

Church Window Hexagon Quilt Challenge http://debhathaway.com

                  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.

Church Window Hexagon Quilt Challenge

                          Pencil lines drawn on diagonal.

Step 2b Church Window Hexagon Quilt Challenge

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.

Finished Church Window Hexagon Block http://debhathaway.com

                     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)

Large center square

                                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.

Old and New

*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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quilting… an Aerobic Activity. Really??

Yes, really.

While working on a quilt all this week I was concerned I wasn’t getting enough exercise. Sitting at a table drawing a pattern, leaning over the fabric with a rotary cutter slicing the fabric according to the design, and hunching over the sewing machine for hours pushing and guiding the fabric under the needle to produce a quilt doesn’t leave much time for taking a walk.

Once I begin a project, nothing gets in the way of my focus. I have been known to go without food at times. I get so involved in what I’m doing, I simply don’t notice I’m hungry.

I made the prudent decision to place the ironing board downstairs in the kitchen, and kept the sewing machine up in my bedroom. I would then have to sew a little, then run downstairs to iron it… run back up and sew some more, and skip downstairs to press what I have done. Keeping the blood moving and my heart pumping… that’s the name of the game.

My current project is a mini quilt for a challenge held by two fabric manufacturers… Dear Stella and Timeless Treasures. The rules are simple… Sew a 20” by 20” quilt using ONLY their fabrics, no solids, and interpret what Modern Traditions mean to you.

The challenge as it turns out, was not the making of the quilt per se, but finding the right combination of fabrics to use. Although I have piles and piles of fabric purchased over the years… none bear the selvage imprint of Dear Stella. Giddy at the thought of having a reason to purchase fabric, I trot off to the store. No online shopping for me. Years ago I made a pledge to myself to shop in Independently owned stores whenever possible. Brick and mortar quilt shops are all privately owned… YIPPIE!

It took an ENTIRE day to search out and purchase my fabric. In one day I drove back and forth between 2 local quilt stores… scouting out possible choices, before actually purchasing the fabric. One store had the focal fabric… while the other store had the coordinating styles. It was certainly a great learning opportunity for me. I was physically and mentally exhausted by the end of the day.

Usually I choose fabric based on color and design. Not once have I taken notice of the mill OR the designer. This time I found myself looking first at the end of the bolt seeking out all that read Dear Stella or Timeless Treasures… THEN I looked at the color and design.

Also a little backwards… I normally design the quilt first, THEN pull fabric from my stash and purchase what’s missing that will pull the whole quilt together. This time however, I gathered the fabric first, THEN designed the quilt… which was problematic.

Just because a quilt design is in my head, doesn’t mean my hands will make my vision. As is true with all art work and creative pursuits… the project goes in a direction it wants… I am just the means to the end. The fabric I purchased as the main ‘focal’… ended up being cut into unrecognizable shapes and used as accents. Oh well… that’s just the way it goes some times.

The quilt is almost finished. I’m stumped on the last part. I need to devise a way to make the accent feathers ‘hold their own’ and POP. So far everything I have tried didn’t thrill me. Back to the drawing board! I’m sure an idea will appear while I’m in the shower tomorrow.

Picture to be posted next week, once it is submitted to the Challenge website.

UPDATE… Photo of completed Dream Catcher Mini-Quilt:

Mini-Quilt Challenge