Monday, July 2, 2018

The Hexagon Project: Block 1

A couple of months ago, I decided to embark on an English paper piecing project for the first time in order to work through some of my quilting scraps. I was halfway through cutting a pile of my smallest cotton fabric scraps with about 400 hexagons ready to go. That initial pile of scraps has now been cut. I have roughly 800 hexagons in a wide range of colors and prints.

Why test with a small project when you can dive into a large one? (She asks, facetiously.)

All Points Patchwork

My initial research had been done online. While I had picked up a lot of information, I thought there were some gaps in my learning. It was time for an in-depth book about EPP.

I picked up a copy of “All Points Patchwork” by Diane Gilleland, and found it to be an excellent resource (no affiliation). Gilleland explains the basics of EPP, then details how to work with various shapes and sizes. She offers suggestions for how to incorporate EPP into projects but does not includes any patterns for full projects — and that’s fine with me because I can think of ways to use the pieces if I know how to make them correctly in the first place.

With a more solid understanding of how to proceed, I started to play with the pattern possibilities for the hexagons. I tested a variety of block arrangements and kept coming back to a classic Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern. Flowers, it is!

Now, on to the colors. I wanted the centers of the flowers to be similar. I like that visual cue to help the eye find the center of each flower. I also wanted the background to use hexagons that are of similar color. This will be a visual cue that separates the flowers.

Based on the hexagons that I’ve cut so far, I am going to use dark cool colors for the flower centers. I only have a few of each of those colors, so one hexagon per block should disperse them well.

And for the background? In the photo at the top of this post, do you see the solid pink in the left-hand column? That fabric is covered in glitter and was originally used in a Sleeping Beauty costume. By far, it is the color from which the most hexagons were cut — making it the most practical choice for the background since my main goal is to use up scraps. I’m not sold on it being the best choice from a color coordination standpoint, but I think it will work.

I’ve sewn my first flower block and am happy to report that I enjoyed the process. I definitely need good light to make those tiny stitches, so this probably won’t become my go-to project when I want to relax in the evenings.

You’ll notice that I haven’t sewn the background hexagons onto the block yet. Because the blocks are going to vary so widely, I want to lay them out before I commit to how they connect.

And I’m still considering that glittery pink.


  1. This looks like a great project. What could be better than background fabric fit for a sleeping princess?


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