100 Days of Hexagons: Blocks 41-50 and Fussy Cutting

In what seems like a blink of an eye, we have now reached the midpoint of this 100 Day Project.  Occasionally I like to add a little something different to my process, and for a few blocks in this set I included some fussy cutting.

Fussy cutting is when you select a specific section of a printed fabric to highlight in the block.  Novelty prints are particularly conducive to this style, but any fabric that has an area you want to feature can be used. For this project, I am tending to use one section of each fabric, but you can also combine multiple fussy cut sections of the same print for an amazing effect.

Since yellow is my featured color for these blocks, either the background or featured portion of the print needed to include a yellow as a significant part of the design.

In this fabric, the yellow sloths are the only yellow in the print, so I tried to minimize the use of the background in the piecing. I also included a print in the surround that incorporated a grey triangle. The grey sloth background becomes less jarring if grey appears elsewhere.  This grey also appears in small amounts in prints throughout the design.

In my initial fabric pull, I went right to my stack of yellow fabrics, but for fussy cutting the search went deeper into my stash. I don’t have a huge collection of novelty prints, and this Cotton and Steel jacks print was one of the first that I pulled out for the fussy cut portion of this project. I like that fussy cutting allows you to distill a multi-color print to a couple of key colors.

I allowed a little more of the cream background to appear in this block since cream and white appear frequently in the overall quilt design.

This flying geese fabric wasn’t in my initial pull of novelty prints, but at some point in my search, the edge of this fabric ended up sticking out a bit from the surrounding fabrics. When I looked up at my stash from my sewing machine, a section of the print with two yellow triangles caught my eye.  I couldn’t wait to include them in my next hexagon.

The flying geese are fairly small in this print, but I was excited to improv piece a couple more flying geese to go with the initial pair.

This floral print is one of the only prints in my collection that has a distinctive print and a yellow background.

The coordinating background color allowed me to cut a larger section of the print to include in the fussy cut section.

I’ll probably be including more fussy cutting a I work through the second half of the hexagon blocks. It is sometimes helpful to break out of my natural piecing tendencies by having a distinct starting point.

Here is the view of the halfway point in the whole project.

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 21-30 and Improv

Another ten hexagons are finished and joining their friends on the design wall!

So far, the hexagons for this project have all embraced improv piecing, so today I’m giving you a brief behind the scenes look at the construction process.  For this project, my interpretation of improv is going into the day without a specific plan and sewing pieces of fabric together until I have a composition that I like for that day’s hexagon. I do use a ruler, but with the exception of the 1/8″ wide slivers, it is mostly a straight edge instead of a measuring tool.

For these blocks, I sew a pieced section of fabric first, before placing and trimming the hexagon shape. My process for creating the pieced fabric is:

  1. Select a palette of fabrics from my preselected cuts.
  2. Choose two of those fabrics and sew them together.
  3. Press the seam allowance to one side.
  4. Decide which side of the composition you are going to add to and trim that side so you have a straight edge. (This line can be straight or angled. It could also be curved, but I haven’t done that so far on this project.)
  5. Sew the next piece of fabric into place.
  6. Press the seam allowance to one side.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6, adding 1/8″ sliver inserts as desired, until the composition is large enough to contain the hexagon template.

Once the composition of sewn fabric is an appropriate size, I place the card stock hexagon template on top of the fabric.  To make sure the placement is pleasing, I hold it up to a light and rotate the template until I like the positioning.  I then trace the template with an erasable fabric pen.

After tracing, I make sure that I still like the position of the hexagon shape before trimming it with a ruler and rotary cutter. The larger pieces that are cut off go into a bowl of scraps to be included in future blocks.  The pieces that are too small for that are discarded.

And here are blocks 1-30 shown all together.  I’m amazed at how quickly this is growing!

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:

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.

My Year of Color

The majority of my social media time is spent on Instagram, and that is where the majority of my projects are shared first (although the blog posts are far more thorough!)  If you don’t already follow me on IG you can see my profile page here.  We all go through different phases in our creative processes, and I think its fun to try to identify trends in our own work.  One company that helps us do this is Makelight, which offers free individual color reports based on your Instagram posts at yearofcolour.com.  This is what my year looks like in color:

2018 Year of Color

I feel like this year’s report matches my personal aesthetic more than the one from 2017.  The increase in bright, warm colors makes me very happy!  They both have a lot more brown happening than I would have hoped, but since I take the straight-on photographs of my finished quilts on the side of a brown house, I suppose this will continue to be an issue!

2017 Year of Color

If you have Instagram, have you tried this out?  Do you think the colors accurately represent your year?