Getting Organized

July 30, 2011 § 12 Comments

Last week I put all my HAL blocks up on the design wall.

And realized there were many things I absolutely love about it and a few things that I wanted to change.  So, I’ve taken a couple days off from cutting and piecing the blocks to give a little more thought to its layout and the colors, fabrics and general direction the quilt should take.

If you google “Candied Hexagons” you will find many beautiful examples of the finished quilt.  Here is the one that does it for me.   Liz from the beautiful blog Broderie made it.  Isn’t it an absolute stunner?

In addition to her happy, happy colors, one of the things that draws me to Lizzie’s quilt is the secondary pattern of stars that appear with the careful placement of her hexagon blocks.

I was a little afraid that my approach of  “let’s make blocks … lots and lots of blocks!”  might lead me away from those lovely surprises.  And that would never do!  So I took a day off from my super-speedy-and-not-very-thoughful pace of piecing to slow my process down … think things over … and created this:

It’s a graphed out plan for my HAL.   Now, I won’t be sticking strictly to this plan, mind you, but it really does help me to have a general framework to work within.  Maybe it will help you, too?

I started with the equilateral triangle graph paper from Incompetech.  Then, looking at Liz’s quilt, counted the number of hexies across and down to give the plan a framework, and from there, just filled in the blocks.

These are the lovely surprises I wanted to be sure to include.  I call this one “Big Star”, how original, right?

And this one, “Block Star”, because of the tumbling blocks its made from.  Little better?

I had already pieced one “Big Star” for my HAL.

But, if I had fussy cut the center diamonds, or just used a color other than blue for them, there would have been one additional layer of interest.   I do love this block and all its blue scrappiness and will keep it for HAL, but my other Big Star will have that secondary interest built in.

So … there’s a big PHEW!   My need for organization has been fulfilled!

The next bit I wanted to deal with is color.

This block, in particular, has been giving me no end of trouble.

You can see it at the top of the “HAL on the WALL” photo at the top of this post – sticking out like a sore thumb!  The dark, caramel color just doesn’t seem to belong.  Something about it is just a little sad ….

So, out with the caramel, and in with some deep cherry reds.  Sorry, but due to my self-imposed block-piecing-slowdown, I don’t have any finished blocks to show you with the new color introduction, but here are the fabrics I’m auditioning.

Yum, right?  I love caramel, and I love cherry, but in this instance, I think I love cherry just a little bit more.

So, folks, that’s been my week with HAL.  And here he is up on my design wall today.

I see one block that needs to be moved straight-away, but I like the idea of following a plan and adding in some yummy deep cherry reds.

Seems I can only manage to post here about once a week, so, until next week then!


§ 12 Responses to Getting Organized

  • Rita says:

    This is actually the information that I have been looking for. Thanks for all your hard work! I am piecing my hexie quilt similar to your method, but being somewhat of a renegade I don’t use the freezer paper. I just trace the pattern, and the sewing line and sew the pieces together. This is a really fun sawalong.

  • jeanine says:

    You’re right ! the stars gives a lovely surprising touch. Thank you for share your work with us.
    jeanine, from Brazil

  • Julie L says:

    Yes, yes, yes to Cherry–I like caramel, too–but in this I agree–it’s cherry all the way…beautiful work–I am finishing up a hexie-whipstitch hand pieced quilt–plan to try your point-point0 point on my next endeavor–Just(heart) love your quilts–thank you Julierose

  • Sarah says:

    Great post, I love to see peoples thought processes! Really love the block star too, think I’ll have to have a go at that one 🙂

  • Alissa says:

    Funny, but I did the same thing just yesterday but found that Incompetech has a hex graph paper. I also colored mine in so I could see if I was leaning too much towards one color (green) and to see how I’m doing (since I can’t keep them all laid out all the time).

    I’ve found that its a great way to figure out if I need another style of block.
    So while I am using it to plan, I’m not planning the entire quilt completely. More like I decide what pattern block to use (ink it in on the graph), then figure out what fabric/colors (then coloring that in). It still grows organically but allows me to direct it somewhat.

  • Your blocks are looking fabulous and I think the cherry red will look fantastic. I just love your fussy cut flowers.

  • broderie says:

    well done gayle, it’s looking good !

  • Jennifer says:

    It’s so interesting to see how you’re working! Layout really is the challenge in this project…for now I’m just chugging along, making more blocks, but I’m going to have to reassess too pretty soon. I really, really, really appreciate your sharing this part of your process with us all 🙂 Thank you!

  • This is such a wonderful post – I love that we are having this HAL with no real plan so we are both coming up with completely different post ideas – I wouldn’t have thought of what you’ve thought of here but now I want to do the same just to give me some kind of direction. I have three more days for those Cabbages and Roses and 3 sisters layer cakes to arrive before I go on hol and I don’t think they’re going to come which means I won’t have all my fabrics with me on hol and I am gutted!

  • Leanne says:

    Nice plan, and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do hope to do some hexagons before the summer is over, yours are very inspiring.

  • Dan says:

    I love the surprise star. When I’m designing I find it very useful to go back and forth between plan and improvisation.

  • Michal Erika says:

    These tutorials are by far the best I have seen. So complete in every way. Excellent quilting too.

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