Adventures in Hexagons by Emily Breclaw
11 Quilts, 29 Blocks, Unlimited Possibilities
Book $29.95; E-book, $20.95
Getting to chat with authors reveals some great tips, and a little bit of fun. Here’s a little bit more about Emily, The Caffeinated Quilter. Oh and don’t forget to buy the book.
What three tips can you share with our readers?
1- I love using very narrow washi tape to help maintain my 1/4” seam allowance when hand piecing. I put a little strip of it on my left thumb (on the hand not holding the needle), using it as a visual aid to keep my seams accurate.
2- Everyone always says “press to the darker fabric” for square seams. When pressing y-seams, I always say “press up or right, then swirl”. For hexagon quilts oriented point up, press right. For hexagon quilts oriented flat side up, press up. Then swirl the remaining two seams around the previously pressed one.
3- Take a little kit of hand piecing with you EVERYWHERE. I keep a little Yazzi project bag with patches, needle, thread, thimble, and thread cutter with me. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in those little idle moments throughout the day.
Any ideas for not turning your stash into Swiss cheese?
Yes! I love using the idea of “strip fussy-cutting” that I learned from Marti Michell and Linda Franz. After squaring the fabric, line the ruler up along a predetermined point along the repeat. Cut there, then cut as many strips as will fit before the repeat. Stop before the beginning of the next repeat. Make a fresh cut exactly at the same point on the fabric as where you started, continuing until you have the desired number of strips. Then layer the identical strips from the repeat, and cut your shapes (hopefully hexagons!) from the layered strips. Every patch will be identical, and you can come up with some really neat fussy-cuts that you might not have noticed otherwise. This works best for a large project with lots of fussy cutting. Swiss cheese methods may be less wasteful if you only a couple of patches are needed.
How much more of large, and medium scale prints do you purchase to make sure you have enough?
Usually a couple of yards, more if I really love the fabric
How do you plan for yardage for a quilt?
If it’s a simple design from squares and triangles, I will typically draft the quilt in Electric Quilt 7. I add about a quarter yard to the measurements EQ7 recommends, and go from there.
If it’s a hexagon design, I start by figuring out how many patches are needed from each fabric. Then I figure out how many patches fit on a strip, and calculate yardage from there.
Favorite ice cream?
mint chocolate chip
What do you sip when you’re in the studio?
In the mornings and early afternoon, coffee. In the evenings, just water.
Favorite vodka if you have one?
Do you use more than one size rotary cutter?
Typically, I use a 45 mm, and will switch to an 18 mm for cutting small patches or curves.
Thread for piecing? Is there a specific color?
I love Gutermann for piecing, either eggshell or gray color depending on the project.
And then there’s the opportunity to win a copy of Adventures in Hexagons (softcover in US, e-book international) simply tell us your favorite batting by Tuesday August 1st, we’ll announce the winner Thursday August 3rd.
Congratulations #28 Chatwell! You are the winner of a copy of the book. We will be in touch!
Be sure to visit our friends on the tour!
July 24 – C&T Publishing
July 25 – Generation Q Magazine
July 27 – Marti Michell
July 28 – Clothworks Fabrics
July 29 – Cathi Godwin
July 30 – Paper Pieces
August 1 – Mary Huey
August 4 – Cheryl Sleboda
August 5 – Wendy Sheppard
August 6 – Emily Breclaw