100 Days of Hexagons: Blocks 31-40 and Sliver Inserts

Another ten days have passed, and ten more blocks of my 100 Hexagons are finished!  With this batch, I attempted to make a few blocks that are lower contrast and/or incorporate fewer pieces. This will hopefully provide some areas in the finished composition where the eye can rest.

A major design component of these hexagons is the narrow pieced slivers of fabrics. Most of the hexagons in this project have incorporated at least one of these slivers, and many have more than one.  The sliver inserts finish at 1/8″ wide, and I thought that today I would show you how I add these design features.

To start, I select the fabrics that I will use for this section of blocks. The fabric used for the sliver can start at any width since it gets trimmed away as part of the sewing process, but I like to have it at least 1″ wide.

For the first side of the insert, you stitch a standard 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seam allowance away from the sliver fabric. It is very important to always press the seam allowances away from the sliver fabric so the final piece will lay nicely.

Next it is time to trim away the excess fabric. Measuring from the stitched seam line, you measure and trim at the 3/8″ mark.  This gives you 1/4″ seam allowance plus the 1/8″ that be exposed in the finished product.

You may wonder why I recommend the sliver insert be cut no less than one inch when two seam allowances plus 1/8″ adds up to 5/8 inch.  Well, my experience has been that, no matter how careful you are, there tends to be some distortion in the sewing process. By leaving some excess fabric to trim in this step, you are more likely to end up with a straight line insert with less distortion.

For the second side of the sliver insert, I look at my presser foot to determine where to stitch. On my patchwork foot, there is a spot on the foot that is 1/8″ from the needle. I align this part of the foot with the first stitching line as I sew.  Ideally, this also means that the edge of my presser foot is at the edge of the fabric. However, if there is a discrepancy, I always align with the first stitching line. Ultimately, the 1/8″ sliver will show, and the seam allowance will be hidden, so that exposed section is the most important.

After the second seam is stitched, press the seam allowance away from the sliver insert.  Using a wool pressing mat will also help prevent distortions in the final line.

Here is the back view of the block.  You can see three slivers have been incorporated in the design.

And here is the front view of the same pieced segment. High contrast slivers keep your eye moving around the design, while low contrast slivers add detail for close up viewing.

Here is the final hexagon made from this pieced segment. You can check out my post on blocks 21-30 to find out more about the process I use for improv piecing the overall design.

If you want to try adding slivers to a project, here are a few tips:

  • Start with some short lines. Longer lines are more prone to distortion, so it is best to learn on shorter lines.
  • Leave ample fabric in all components, especially the sliver section
  • Use a good quality thin thread for piecing. 50 weight Aurifil is my go-to piecing thread.
  • Slivers work great in places you want to make a seam into a design feature!

It is exciting to see all of the blocks interacting with one another, so here are hexagons 1-40!

I hope you’ll follow along with me as I construct these 100 blocks in 100 days! Here are the previous posts and some of what’s coming up:

 

100 Days of Hexagons: Blocks 11-20 and the Initial Design Process

My quilt of yellow hexagons has continued to grow over the past ten days, and I’m excited to share the newest blocks with you today. (You can check out the first ten blocks here.) These blocks are constructed using fabrics mostly from my stash, and my mom contributed some of her scraps and yellow fabrics from her stash to the project this week.

This quilt is mostly improv, but there is some structure within the overall design.  Before beginning block construction, I used AutoCad to determine a very rough direction of the overall quilt design.  I wanted the hexagons to remain fairly small, but have enough space to include some interesting piecing.  There is also a chance that I will enter this quilt into a few shows, so it was important to make sure that the overall quilt size would work with a few potential categories.  Given these parameters, the ideal hexagon size was 4″ across from side to side.

The quilt layout will have 95 full hexagons and ten half hexagons.  Each day of the project will consist of one full hexagon or two half hexagons.

Most of the hexagons in this quilt are improv pieced into a larger piece of fabric and then cut into their final shape using a template.  The templates are drafted with the 1/4″ seam allowances and printed onto card stock. The inner line on the templates indicates the stitching line, and I punched a very small hole at each corner to make them easy to mark the points for the final assembly.

Here are blocks 1-20! The layout will evolve throughout the 100 days, and it is exciting to see how the quilt is coming together.

I hope you’ll follow along with me as I construct these 100 blocks in 100 days! Here’s the previous post and some of what’s coming up:

 

Least Favorite Color and How I Use It

Yesterday for the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge we talked about our favorite color, so today we are discussing our least favorite color. I think all colors have their place in design, but in the world of fabric, brown is hands down my least favorite color.  It only has a minor representation in my fabric stash, but I do use it from time to time.

No color is truly ugly if it is used in conjunction with appropriate colors and in the right proportions. The first way I incorporate my least favorite color is to use it in very small amounts to provide a moment of contrast to the overall design. In Synthesized Slivers there are quite a few pieces of brown, but they are only exposed in 1/8″ wide strips.

Brown also played the role as a minor accent color in this Marsala Mini Quilt.  In this instance, the print on the tan fabric helped to tie it into the overall design.

Marsala Mini Quilt

On very rare occasions, a project needs to use brown to tell the story of an image.  This was the case in my π, pi, PIE! mini Quilt.  (I do think that, in most instances, you can use colors other than brown to depict things such as tree trunks. But I like to do some out of the box color schemes!)

π, pi, PIE!

Sometimes you just have to jump in and embrace the color you don’t care for.  Upward Perspective was created for a Curated Quilts mini quilt challenge, and the color palette was part of the challenge.  In this instance, I just went with it.  This isn’t a go-to color scheme for me, but the colors balanced well enough to make a successful quilt.

I just realized I only use brown fabric in mini quilts! Maybe I’ll have to try incorporating it into a larger scale project. What is your least favorite fabric color? Have you ever made yourself give it a try?

I am excited to be participating in this year’s 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com, and I hope you will have the chance to check out some of the other awesome blogs that are participating this month.

Favorite Color Palette

Today the prompt for the 31 Day Blogging Challenge was our favorite color, and it will come as no surprise to most of you that my go-to color is pink. The exact tone of pink that is my favorite varies over time, but it is always pink!  This year Pantone agreed with my aesthetic and made Living Coral the 2019 color of the year.

Pink appears frequently as a key color in my quilts, and I thought it would be fun to see how I’ve used it in the past year.  I used the Pantone Living Coral color in a dominant manor in two quilts, The Value of Coral and Forward and Back.

 

Hot pink is another favorite hue, and I used it in the Row by Row design I did this year.

It also appeared in the wall quilt version of the block, Ice Cream on the Beach.

I even managed to make a couple animals in my Zoo Family Portrait quilt bright pink!

Pink plays a dominant role in one of my matchstick quilting panels as well.

And pink in a huge range of specific hues played a role in creating my Stripe Club quilt.

Did you have a color that dominated your personal palette this year?

I am excited to be participating in this year’s 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com, and I hope you will have the chance to check out some of the other awesome blogs that are participating this month.

Show Jury Results for AQS Daytona Beach and Road to California

Most major quilt shows require you to enter your quilts online well ahead of the actual show.  During this online entry, you upload two photos of your quilt, one full shot and one detail photo.  Using these photos, and sometimes the written description you provide, a group of jurors select the quilts that will be on display at the show.  Once the selected quilts are shipped to the shows, judges assess the quilts and choose the winners.  But a judge never sees the quilts that don’t get juried in, so this is a critical step in the life of a show quilt!

I always like it when show acceptances come in around the time I’m entering more shows.  Its encouraging to have something accepted when you’re putting yourself out there. This year both Road to California and AQS: Daytona Beach had jury results come in around late November, which is right before QuiltCon and AQS: Paducah entries are due.

This was my first time entering Road to California.  In 2020, I am hoping to add a couple new shows into the mix, and this is one of them.  I entered two quilts for my first attempt, and both were accepted! Complementary Convergence was will be in the Other Large Quilts category.

Lateral Ascension was accepted into the Abstract category.

AQS Daytona Beach had an entry deadline in October, and the notifications came in before Thanksgiving.  I entered two quilts, and they were both accepted!

This will be the first contest for Zoo Family Portrait!

Ice Cream on the Beach will also be making it’s first contest appearance!

Entering new contests and quilts is always exciting.  It will be fun to read the judges comments for a new show, and see how my new quilts do at a show I have entered before.

I am excited to be participating in this year’s 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com, and I hope you will have the chance to check out some of the other awesome blogs that are participating this month.