First hexagon applied

Centre hexagon on background fabric
Centre hexagon on background fabric

I decided to do a “proof of concept” trial, using what will be the centre hexagon in the quilt. Although for most fabrics I will be cutting actual hexagons, I decided to do squares for the centre five, since I only need one WOF.

The trial was successful, for the most part.

Firstly, my “finished” size of 3.5″ frames the flower nicely and doesn’t leave too much space around the outside, while the cut size fits into a block of 8″ x 7.5″. I may even consider dropping to a finished size of 3″, since there will be double the spacing between flowers once the large hexagons are assembled.

Secondly, I will need to be more careful with registration marks — I finger-pressed creases to show the centre lines vertically and horizontally, but as you can see the hexagon slipped a little, probably while I was pinning it prior to glue-basting. I will have to use a chalk marker on future blocks.

Thirdly, I was concerned that the seam allowances would be very noticeable under all the light flowers, but on this block they aren’t visible at all in natural light and only faintly discernible with the flash. I know that there will be some flowers in thinner fabrics where I will need a light interfacing to hide the seam allowances, but I won’t need it for all of them.

Fourthly, there isn’t a lot of fraying after hand appliqué. I will be storing cut hexagons in ziploc bags but it’s good to know that I don’t have to cut an extra-wide seam allowance which would require trimming prior to stitching the blocks together.

For those interested in fabrics, the silver/white is an offcut from the Blue Christmas quilt panel, and the background is Moda Grunge in classic gray.

Four Hawaiian Appliqué blocks

Way, way back in my very first blog entry I included pictures of eighteen Hawaiian appliqué blocks, all taken from the book by Elizabeth Root.
Hawaiian blocks 1
Hawaiian blocks 2
Hawaiian blocks 3
Hawaiian blocks 4
I’ve just finished the last hand-sewn block (some blocks are machine-sewn) so I thought I’d add the photo:
Four Hawaiian appliqué blocks
As you can see, there are four blocks, not two. I didn’t like the ginger root block (bottom left in the third photo) as it’s a circle, while all the others are spokes. I looked around for other Hawaiian plants I could use instead and found a block depicting the naupaka plant. I modified the proportions a bit and drew it out to use as a pattern:
Naupaka pattern
I also replaced one other block (middle bottom of the fourth photo) where I didn’t like the batik I had used in the original version. Neither of the two blocks will be wasted, though — I’ll make cushion covers out of them.

Now I have to work out how to add a magic vine border — sewing it is easy and I have plenty of batik scraps to use for leaves, but I’m a little concerned about shrinkage. I have a couple of ideas on how to manage it and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Starched Fabric Update

A quick update on how the starched fabric behaved.
Before ironing
This is the block I was most worried about — the lines are narrow so there isn’t much glue holding the fabrics together, and most of the lines are on the bias. However, I was pleased to see that there was minimal stretching — just a little bit of waviness, slightly more on the bias than on the straight.
After ironing
And, as you can see, it all disappeared after ironing, so I have a beautifully flat, non-distorted block. Success!