Thursday, June 23, 2011

Honeycomb Thoughts

Wow, it is almost amazing how distracted I have been this morning. I am trying to focus and do one task at a time, but apparently my brain wants to do a couple dozen. The infinite amount of information on the internet does not help. Absentmindedly playing fetch with Alyx and Buddy getting jealous is not helping either. But how can I resist my adorable dogs?

Several hours later I am here again. Must avoid the distraction of hundreds of episodes of Doctor Who at my fingertips.

My in-laws were over for dinner last night. After dinner, while Jack was helping Adam fix two broken toilets, Kim and I started talking about my quilt project. A few weeks ago I had mentioned that I would like her help with the project since I want this to be a multi-generational project. She asked how she could help and what kind of pattern I was making with the different fabrics. My brain was dead from a couple of long and frustrating days at work so I had no idea how to convey the random pictures in my head to another person. After they left I tried to talk to Adam and make words for him to hear and get his feedback. He was much more excited about beta testing "The Old Republic" MMORPG than talking quilts, but he did pretty well. Next was a trip to Google and research time. I needed to find pictures and words from others that would match the pictures and half formed thoughts in my head. I came across several wonderfully helpful sites that are helping me understand the project better.

learned a good bit about the history of quilts made with hexagons. Besides Grandmother's Flower Garden, they go by the names Honeycomb or Six-Sided Patchwork or Mosaic. They are one of the oldest forms of pieced quilts and not made often anymore since they are more difficult to put together. No wonder I was attracted to it and decided I must try it as my first quilting project. I pick out the most expensive products without ever looking at price tags, and design the most difficult projects before I do the research. This is a quilt I found on that site. The way the artist transitions the colors with the different patterns of fabrics is amazingly beautiful.

I am really glad I found these blogs for the current and future inspiration they will be providing. Through the blogs I found this book. It has details on how to make machine stitching the hexagons together easier. Hallelujah! The local library has it and I put it on hold so I can devour every detail when it comes my turn. The book features this quilt, which looks a lot like the quilt stuck in my head. It is really exciting for me to know that my idea, grouping various yellow fabrics in no preset pattern, looks good. (Hi, my name is Bee and I am a fiber/craft/art nerd, and I am proud of it.)

3. This morning I found a chart that lists the typical sizes of different types of quilts. I measured my hexagons (minus the seam allowance), did some quick calculations, and found out I need 375 hexagons to make my baby quilt. 22 rows with 15 hexagons wide.

I went back to my fabrics and realized I have far more than I need. I am going to keep 15 different patterns so that each hex in a row is different. Then each of the 22 rows can be arranged with the 15 patterns in different orders. Since I was cutting down the number of patterns, I decided to consolidate the range of yellow. I picked my favorite bee pattern and went from its tones of golden and orangey yellow. I now have 14 and think I know the perfect piece to complete the set. It seems really silly to purchase another fabric when I have several I am not using. Maybe I can talk myself out of it before I go to the store.

I think I have a clearer picture with words attached to it now. Now I know what part Kim can help me with and what steps I need to take before I am ready for her assistance. It seems strange but good to have a plan. Maybe I will make one closer to the beginning next time. :)

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