The arrival of this darling little book in my mailbox started a whole flurry of cutting and stitching over the weekend. Oh, this book! I've actually been pining away for this book for some time, and was surprised and thrilled to finally run across it. We have here a third edition (1964), printed in England, with a copyright date of 1950, so that's going back to another time entirely. Inside are the most darling illustrations and embroidery patterns, mainly for making a child's hexagon quilt, but there are a couple of samplers, an embroidered pinafore style apron, and some other things inside as well. This is my first crack at making a hexagonal quilt and so far, I like it! And that surprised me, because I didn't think I would. Hexagons always seemed somewhat tedious and complicated to cut and sew precisely. But I found out, there's a technique. Not difficult! And more than one way of achieving a perfect patch. (We do like having options.)
There's the hand-stitch method described in the book using a cardboard template to stitch around, and the "modern" freezer paper method requiring an iron. I tried both methods and got great results with each. Each method has its own merits though, so I can't say one way is better than the other. Neither way is faster than the other either, when you consider the time spent printing and cutting out (many) freezer paper templates.
This project has been ideal for using up scraps. I love the satisfaction of making something out of nothing. Turning trash into treasure, so to speak. The colors may not relate perfectly, but the repeating hexagonal shape unifies them, and besides I must admit I love a randomly pieced quilt with the unexpected burst of color or the odd print that catches the eye.
I've been looking for a quilt project that could be done without a sewing machine, something I could just reach into a basket and stitch on, and this fit that criteria perfectly.
So, I made a 4-inch template (measured from point-to-point across the middle), twice the usual size, in order to fit some small embroidered motifs in the middle of some of the blocks. At this point, I'm still playing around with the "blocks" and haven't decided on a border color. Maybe I'll stick with white, in the same manner that a "Grandmother's Flower Garden" quilt is done. Mine is basically an enlarged and simplified version of that. I'll keep posting on my progress.