Hand Piecing Hexagons On Vacation

Vacations can be really tough on a machine quilter.  It’s really unfair that those hand quilters have such small, portable projects they can take anywhere with them.

So this past week when faced with the prospect of 7 full days away from my sewing machine, I decided to break down and try hand piecing.  And it actually wasn’t that bad!

For my traveling project I decided to start working on a traditional 1930s Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt.  In case you’ve never seen one of these beauties, these quilts are entirely constructed from hexagon shaped blocks.

Little did I know, but hexagons are actually easier to piece by hand than by machine.  You have to stitch from dot to dot, not edge to edge like most blocks are pieced.  Because it’s too tricky to chain piece dot to dot, it’s actually much faster to hand piece while you’re driving down the road.

I was also thoroughly shocked by how quickly this pieced itself up.  I mostly just concentrated on piecing the flowers.  This is a central hexagon surrounded by 6 contrasting hexagons (the flower petals).

I made a million of these before realizing just how big they were.  I’m planning on surrounding them with green blocks for the leaves and then a black border to seperate each flower.  When stretched out on the floor, this is already going to make a pretty big quilt.

For cutting out the pieced, I used the “From Marti Mitchell” small hexagon templates.  I must say these templates were very easy to use and the holes for marking the dots very accurate.

Even in the car I could mark my blocks and stitch away without having to stop.  The only limitation was the number of blocks I had cut!

This really is a terrific project and I’ll be sure to post pictures and maybe even a movie when I get more organized.

Hand piecing rocks!

Leah Day

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