Monday, January 09, 2012

Eye Candy

I love keeping my Christmas tree up as long as possible but it had to come down some time, and yesterday was the day. The house always feels so empty in those first couple of days without the lights and the scent of the tree to keep me company so once things were put away I picked up the pieces for my Candied Hexagon quilt and headed to the study to do some hand stitching and watch a little college football and golf from Hawaii.

By the end of the day I had 3.5 blocks added to my pile to join the two that I had made last week (please ignore my ratty ironing board cover).

Sewing these by hand is a real treat. The centre star comes together quite quickly and then filling in the outer ring a little longer, but it's always neat to see the final piece emerge, especially when the pieces have been fussy cut. Here's what the back of a block looks like:

When teaching me needlepoint my Aunt Helen used to say that the back should look almost as good as the front and I've carried that over into my quilting. To get the centre to lie flat you just work your finger into the middle of the rosette that's created by the 6 diamonds coming together and finger press it before you iron it. I also like to iron the centre star seams before adding the outer border so that the joins are accurate. For this block I've ironed the seams all in the same direction.
Kim Mclean's Candied Hexagons

I first came across this pattern last winter on Cathy's blog when she posted about a dinner party with Kaffe Fassett. It was stitched by Kim Mclean who is a prolific quilter from Australia that does incredible applique. This photo is a bit dark - it is much warmer and softer in the image that Cathy posted. There's another shot on flikr that you might want to check out as well.

Candied Hexagons
The pattern had been in an Australian magazine called Complete Craft and had been done in red, yellow and blue prints. I much preferred the scrappiness and warm tones of Kim's with so many different prints working together. So, after a bit of digging I found the pattern online and downloaded them (batch 1 and batch 2, if you are interested in trying your hand at it).

In the spring I started hunting for fabrics in a creamy brown/pink/yellow/blue palette and have and to date I have about 50 blocks done. If you look at the templates there are number of variations to the types of blocks that you can use but I'm just doing all stars (template C) with the occasional large floral print block thrown in (thanks Jane for letting me use a few from your stash!). I'll need to use template G around the edges. I'm not quite sure how many I need so I'm just plugging along until it looks like I have a good number and then will lay them out to assess the size; I'll let you see what that looks like when the time comes. The hexagons will be 9" across when they are finished. It looks like there are about 180 in Kim's version (14 x 17) but somehow her blocks look smaller, so I'll get a better sense when it is laid out...M

1 comment:

A Nudge said...

What a fabulous quilt! Thanks for the link to the other photo.