When I was but a wee bairn, we used to color instead of playing video games. The big trick was to learn to color inside the lines.

Now, Bonnie Hunter has me coloring again. And, being creative at the same time. She showed her pattern for her hexagon quilt and that got me thinking. There was no need for me to keep going haphazardly into a perpetual hex project that I could never end. All I needed was a pattern. And, that's when I learned that pattern designing is not as easy as it sounds. Patterns are worth the $9-$15 we spend on them. Somebody made a lot of mistakes so I don't have to repeat and that's worth the price I pay for their pattern.

You can see my first attempts at designing on the left, still kind of haphazardly trying to add a border without figuring out where and how my corners would line up. But, on my walk with the dog yesterday, I figured out that I could count my repeats and figure out exactly where something would land on the border BEFORE I colored in the block. That resulted in the two plans on the right; one of which I'll pick...sometime. But, since what I have started isn't even all together yet and I still need to add a red border before I even consider making all those blue flowers, I have plenty of time to figure it out. While it looks small, that is a considerable number of hexes to cut and baste before I need to piece them onto the quilt.

So, how much progress have I made so far?

I went from this to the picture below in two weeks. Yes, three of the corners were assembled before and I pulled out the dark circles and pulled out the dark center and turned those dark circles into diamonds and made a new center. Then, I added the light blue to the dark blue diamonds. Now, I'm removing enough white hexes to create a space for those new diamonds and am inserting them into the finished corners. One corner is completely finished. One corner is nearly finished. And, the other two just have the blue diamonds laying on top of them.

This is a really great traveling project and it's a great sitting with the family and watching TV project. And, it can get really obsessive and draws me in to work on it more and more and more, even though I have other quilting I should be working on.

You know what I mean. I know there are a bunch of us working on hex projects this fall and I think they're taking over more and more of our quilting time. I read on a website that in the early 20th century, most quilters wanted to finish at least one hex quilt in their lifetime. I can see why. They are a lot of work.

If you aren't working on a hex projects, you've probably been inspired by seeing one of the hex projects that another quilter is working on. I recommend it as a highly relaxing and very portable bit of fingerwork. But, like those quilters of the last century, I hope to finish one in my lifetime. If I get to another one, that's just gravy.

Take care and have a great Thursday. Lane


Cynthia L. said...

The quilt is lovely. The colors are really beautiful and the layout is very pretty. I agree that the price of a pattern is worth it. I watched a friend struggle with trying to come up with her own pattern. I am just not that creative. I don't have a hex project going right now, but I think after the holidays, when the snow is high, it might be on my list!

andsewon said...

Love your design on the low right Lane.
You and Bonnie can be my Hexie Heros! No way can I do a large project but may do a smaller one ....one day!
Hex On!!!


Becky said...

Wow, that's is wonderful! I haven't tried my hand at designing yet, but I love seeing everyone's process. The final result is looking fantastic. The colors are great. I definitely have a hex project in mind. Just need to clear some room to work on it!

Bonnie K Hunter said...

I tend to think my hex quilt might turn out to be my casket cover! >_< I love your drawings! I find time with hex paper (or any graph paper) and colored pens/pencils to be really relaxing...only so much can be done on the computer without your eyes going wonky...but drawing on paper? the possibilities are endless!

I LOVE the drawing on the upper right on your pic...looks like the floor border I saw in Chicago! :cD Rock on!!


Crunchy Diva said...

your quilt is just lovely. i love the colours. you are right the price of a pattern is worth it.

Pati said...

I'm trying so hard to resist the urge to do a Hex quilt! I don't want to buy that Hex punch that Bonnie talks about, but I find myself looking at eBay and Craigslist to see if I can find one. I don't want to start another project that will take a lot of time (ie Dear Jane, Nearly Insane and Farmer's Wife). I don't want to design a pattern to do with the Hex's but I've printed out the paper and have been tossing around ideas in my head.

I think I've been bitten......argh!