A Question Of Quilts – Well, Two Actually.

Inspired by Cathy’s big, beautiful hexie quilt top in progress she showed us recently, I ferretted around in my workroom and unearthed my box of hexies started a few years ago.  I had bought some thin card pre-cut hexies along with some fabric ones and, filled with the enthusiasm that is always evident at the start of a project, I started making them.

Then I stopped.

Although I did put one ‘flower’ together.

As you can see, this range of fabrics is very retro – it’s Chloe’s Closet for Moda called ’30s Playtime’ but there have been many variations of these so I don’t know which one this was.  They are all along the same lines however.

Then, probably the year after or maybe later, I bought a jelly roll of ’30s Playtime’ which is a different variation but near enough to make no difference.  I haven’t unwrapped it yet but I’m hoping there are more pups and bunnies.

I think I haven’t progressed much with the hexies because I have no clear idea what I’m going to do with them.  I know, almost certainly, I will never have the patience to make a whole quilt with them. So, my question is, do you think I could join the ones I do make into a row – or however many rows I have enough hexies for – levelling that row (or rows) off to make straight lines – then make the rest of the quilt top with the jelly roll strips, inserting the hexie rows wherever they look right?

I also have some larger fabric hexies – just waiting for their paper/card inners – so the rows of hexies would be slightly different sizes.

Any ideas? Please! I have searched Pinterest without much joy as everybody else is obviously far more patient than I am and have mostly made quilts out of hundreds of little hexie flowers or similar.

Now for the second question.

Have you ever used double gauze fabric in quilting?

Double gauze has 2 layers of very thin gauze fabrics fused together, to create a soft, full bodied fabric.   I have some in the perfect colour for backing my F2F blocks which are all in neutral colours with a sort of ‘dirty’ pink – let’s call it ‘vintage’ pink – as a highlight.

When I get around to putting the blocks together, I will be using the ‘quilt as you go’ method for construction which, for the non-quilters amongst you, who probably aren’t reading this anyway, means I will make a wadding sandwich with the top and backing squares and quilt them individually, then join with sashing.

So, as you can see, my hedgehog block is sitting nicely against the colour for display purposes but I just wondered if any of you have any experience of this fabric in quilt making or in any other sewing projects.

Thank you muchly for any ideas, suggestions or general comments.  I know I can count on you.


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  1. #1 by thecontentedcrafter on August 31, 2018 - 11:19

    You can’t count on me as I have no experience of quilting in this manner at all – In all my life I have made three appliqued quilts and that was that. I love to see what everyone makes though and I think you all rather clever 🙂 And if you don’t want to make a big quilt, don’t. Make a lap blanket or a wall hanging or something else small that takes your fancy. And enjoy it. Have fun – and maybe you might end up adding blingy embellishments or embroidery to your hexies – who knows?

    • #2 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 09:58

      I decided recently not to make large quilts any more – we have enough for all the beds in our house and, as it’s the piecing I enjoy rather than the quilting, I sent my last large quilt out to be done professionally on a longarm machine which makes the whole process rather expensive. In future I won’t go larger than a single bed and will concentrate on baby, lap and throw sizes – something I can fit under my domestic sewing machine without feeling like a wrestler or even have a go at hand quilting it.

  2. #3 by Rosemary on August 31, 2018 - 11:49

    Here is one you could try http://www.aquiltinglife.com/2018/04/flower-garden.html/ it is very pretty and would suit your fabrics. Not a whole quilt of hexies but a flower set on a four patch of various neutral background fabrics. I think the scalloped border adds another interest too. I want to make this.

    • #4 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 09:50

      That is a pretty quilt Rosemary – thank you for sending me the link. It would highlight my retro fabrics very nicely and, if i don’t decide to go with using the jelly roll I have, this is the sort of thing I might try.

  3. #5 by claire93 on August 31, 2018 - 12:42

    I think it would be shame to sew hexies into a strip them straighten side lines but rather like the idea Rosemary found. Looks like the hexie flowers are sewn directly onto bands which would use more fabric, but make for a pretty finish, in my humble opinion.
    As for your double gauze . . .I’d stay away from that as a potential backing fabric because it looks very fine and even waffle-like. Looks more suited to clothes making than quilting.

    • #6 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 09:45

      Thanks Claire – that is a nice idea but I wanted to use the matching retro type fabric I have in the jelly roll.
      I’ve done more research on using double gauze in quilts now and it seems to be quite popular – especially in baby quilts as it is soft and squidgy. This probably won’t be a baby quilt but soft and squidgy would be nice in any case 😊 I’ve decided to make a test block with one of the F2F blocks I made for myself to see if I like it. I’ll let you know if it works.

      • #7 by claire93 on September 1, 2018 - 21:03

        look forward to seeing how you tackle it, and good luck with your test F2F block!

      • #8 by tialys on September 5, 2018 - 11:57

        My test is being hand quilted (badly) and, so far, I’m liking the squish effect. I’ll keep you posted.

  4. #9 by katechiconi on August 31, 2018 - 15:15

    Do you have enough hexies to use as a border round something else, like a tablecloth or something? Maybe instead of turning that whole jelly roll into more hexies, you could use it to make a centre of 2 inch squares (say 16 x 16), then a plain white border, then an edging of hexies. It’s probably the sort of thing I’d do if I couldn’t face making more of them.
    And yes, I’ve used double gauze and it makes a gorgeous soft backing. Doing QAYG is a good idea if you’re using it, as I found it harder to keep a large gauze backing smooth than regular quilting cotton. Smaller squares are be easier to keep smooth.

    • #10 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 09:41

      I don’t usually make other home furnishings with patchwork, to be honest, so it will probably be a quilt of some description, even if it’s just a small throw or lap quilt size. I don’t want to use the jelly roll to make into hexies, rather I wanted to incorporate the hexies I’ve already made and those inside the box waiting to be made, into a jelly roll quilt – if you get my drift. I’ll have to have a count up and see how many hexies I’ll have once I’ve made them all up.
      I’ve done a bit more research on using double gauze in quilts and it seems to be quite popular – especially in baby quilts due to the soft, snuggly nature of it. Those times you used it did you press all the lines out so it was smooth? I might make a test block with one of my own neutral blocks to see how it goes. I will sash with ordinary quilting cotton but I think I’ve read somewhere that it doesn’t matter if you mix and match.

      • #11 by katechiconi on September 1, 2018 - 10:26

        Yes, I did press it smooth, but it doesn’t stay that way, so you have to move fairly quickly. Once quilted, it goes nice and crinkly again. And I definitely wouldn’t try sashing with it – it’s not firm enough and would warp all over the shop while you were working with it.

      • #12 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 10:51

        I’m going to make Nanette’s last block today and, while I’m at it, I’ll make a test sandwich with one of my F2F blocks. I was going to hand quilt this time so maybe I’ll overlock around the outside of the sandwich to keep the layers taut until I get round to it.

      • #13 by katechiconi on September 1, 2018 - 11:56

        I like spray baste myself. I’ll be interested to hear how the overlocking works.

      • #14 by tialys on September 5, 2018 - 12:02

        I’ve spray basted AND overlocked but the serging is only holding the backing and wadding together as they are cut an inch or so bigger than the block. It seems to be holding up but my hand quilting is atrocious. My main problem seems to be getting the stitches on the back the same size as the front – camouflage quilting thread is the answer, plus more practise.

      • #15 by katechiconi on September 5, 2018 - 12:25

        To be honest, I wouldn’t worry about same on back and front, just concentrate on keeping the stitches the same size. So if they’re 4mm long on the front, make sure they’re all 4mm, and if only 2mm on the back, make sure they’re all 2mm. It’s the consistency thing. As you get better and your technique improves (which it will), things will even out.

  5. #16 by Lynda on August 31, 2018 - 16:49

    I have some double gauze and I love the feel of it after laundering. I think it shrinks a bit more than most after laundering and then it needed ironing. Talk more with Kate above on the subject, (she has more experience the me, but IMHO I would definitely prewash and press before putting it into a quilt.

    • #17 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 09:34

      I wash all dressmaking fabric as soon as it comes into the house now and, as I wasn’t thinking of using this in a quilt at the time, it went into the washing machine pronto. So, that’s the laundering done and I will press it but I’m wondering whether those lines should be left as is or eliminated. Some people have suggested using spray starch on it too. I’ll ask Kate!

  6. #18 by craftycreeky on August 31, 2018 - 22:35

    I’ve just looked on Pinterest for modern hexagon quilts and quite a few came up that would work, here’s one that has an irregular stripe of hexies going up the quilt https://catherineredford.com/modern-patchwork-summer-edition/

    • #19 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 09:32

      Thanks for the link Margaret – that is very pretty but I had something in mind which would enable me to use the jelly roll of retro fabric too. I will maybe do an experimental row or two to see if what I have in my head will work out.

  7. #20 by CurlsnSkirls on September 1, 2018 - 02:04

    I like the idea of a quilt, but not with that many flowers – what about just the 4 corners & one in the centre? Agree with not using any double gauze on a quilt, based upon extensive non-existent knowledge of both double gauze and quilting. 😂😂😂
    Good luck!

    • #21 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 09:29

      ‘Extensive non-existent knowledge’ is no barrier to giving your opinion – which I thank you for 🙂

  8. #22 by Emmely on September 1, 2018 - 10:40

    If you cut through the hexies to make them straight you risk cutting through your stitches and then the hexies will come apart. Applique of the rows sounds safer.
    I’ve used a not super thin double gauze fabric for a quilted sleeping bag and that worked out fine. Just make a test piece.

    • #23 by tialys on September 1, 2018 - 10:48

      Hi Emmely, I wasn’t thinking of cutting the hexies but thought I could make straight rows out of them by filling in the gaps with plain fabric in half hexies or whatever is needed to level them up. Then, I could use the jelly roll – either in strips or squares or whatever, above and below each row of hexies thereby having the hexie flowers as feature rows in amongst whatever I decide to do with the jelly roll strips. Sorry for the bad explanation but I’m just sort of typing the vision in my head. Does that make sense?

      • #24 by Emmely on September 1, 2018 - 19:28

        Yes, it makes sense, but to make it work you will need a 1/4 inch seam allowance for piecing to the other rows in order not to lose part of the hexie shape.

      • #25 by tialys on September 5, 2018 - 11:58

        Eek! I never gave the seam allowance a thought! This is why I ask questions 🤔 I might be moving down the applique route…….

  9. #26 by KerryCan on September 1, 2018 - 12:52

    I can’t help with ideas about the hexies but I will look forward to seeing what you decide because I love those retro conversation prints!

    • #27 by tialys on September 5, 2018 - 11:59

      They’re so cute aren’t they? I want to do something with the strips that shows the images up a little more so I’ve still got my thinking hat on.

  10. #28 by nanacathy2 on September 1, 2018 - 22:36

    Ooh thanks for the mention. How about mounting the hexie flowers onto black fabric with gaps between them? Certainly do not do what I have done !

    • #29 by tialys on September 5, 2018 - 11:56

      I wasn’t really fancying appliqué -it’s not something I enjoy much. However – I think I might go in that direction with perhaps a central panel of the hexie flowers on a plain background surrounded by the jelly roll fabrics pieced in a way yet to be envisioned. Maybe….

  11. #30 by rosejasm on September 13, 2018 - 00:03

    Just putting it out there (though I feel your heart is set on a small quilt?) I’ve seen hexis appliquéd onto a bag? Though I’m guessing you could make a nice padded quilted bag??? Ah I love creative options x Deciding is the hard part!

    • #31 by tialys on September 13, 2018 - 11:44

      I have got my heart set on some sort of small quilt, you’re right, but suggestions and ideas are always welcome and, you never know, I might have some surplus hexies to play with on a smaller project afterwards

  12. #32 by jendavismiller on September 13, 2018 - 02:18

    Good heavens! What a conundrum. I can’t imagine how to work that all out. I really like the stripe of flowers on the quilt that craftycreeky mentioned. It’s quirky. Could you make two separate pieces – one hexis and one with your jelly roll? Or one group on front and the other on the back? Does that even make sense? It’s been a long day…..brain is rather mushy. (II have a puppy now, Lynn. His name is Griff and he is the cutest boy. And this house training business is the pits.)

    • #33 by tialys on September 13, 2018 - 11:42

      A puppy!!😙 No wonder your brain is mush. I haven’t had to house train a dog for a while now as my last two were abandoned adolescents and somebody had kindly done the job for me before dumping them – the memories of the process live on however. Puppy photos please!!

      • #34 by jendavismiller on September 14, 2018 - 17:50

        Haha! We’ve also had rescues, hand-me-downs, etc so it’s been eons for a puppy here, too. I don’t know if I can embed a pic in comments, but there are a couple of pics on my IG. He is growing fast! And oh-so-cute!!

  13. #35 by dezertsuz on September 17, 2018 - 02:15

    Yes, I think your plan would work. You could quilt hexagons on the plain strips, if you wanted, or just go with whatever. Be sure you call it modern when you’re finished. =) There’s also the thought that it doesn’t have to be a quilt at all. What about pillow, table runner, bed runner, shopping bag, trivet, purse, applique on a jacket back or a blouse shoulder? There are lots of things they could go into. =)

    • #36 by tialys on September 18, 2018 - 09:19

      Since I wrote this post I have had another cunning plan – just waiting on some fabric to arrive from the U.S.

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