Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Technique Tuesday: Transforming 10x10s into Hexagons!

It's Technique Tuesday here on the blog! Debby Kratovil from
Debby Kratovil Quilts will show you how to turn a stack of
10x10s into an easy (yes, we said easy!) hexagon quilt.

Here's Debby!
Are you looking for a creative way to use a stack of 10" squares? 

Benartex sent me this beautiful Essence of Pearl 10x10 pack in the Purple colorway. I asked for a companion fabric to go with these,
1 yard of the light lavender Tossed Sprigs.

Essence of Pearl 10" Squares

I was aiming for hexagons (surprise, huh?)  Hexagons are wider than they are high, so I cut 2-1/2" strips from each of the 10" squares. This gives me 7-1/2" x 10" rectangles to work with for my next steps.
2-1/2" strips cut off each square
There were 42 squares in the pack, so I ended up with 42 strips 2-1/2" x 10". Trust me: I will use these later on. Nothing is EVER wasted in my quilting (even if I have no clue where I'm going!) You can see the Purple Tossed Sprigs fabric that I'm going to use to tie all this together.
Beautiful strips cut from the Essence of Pearl Purple pack

I'm going to cut hexagons from each of the squares. I used my Creative Grids 60 degree ruler to do this (this will NOT work with rulers that have a pointy tip; only those that simplify the cutting and have a blunted tip).

My 7-1/2" hexagon will finish to 7". Half of 7" is 3-1/2". I fold my 7-1/2" x 10" strip with the fold at the BOTTOM, align the 3-1/2" line on the ruler with the top cut edges as shown, and then slice on both sides of the ruler. GASP! Really?

Cutting my hexagons

I can tell you don't believe me. Sigh! Take a look, ok?

Perfect hexagon with remaining (and usable) triangles

I didn't use the 6 lightest fabrics, so I ended up with 36 hexagons (not all shown here):

Hexagons cut from the 10" squares

Now, what was my plan? First, I need triangles to set with the hexagons. These will enable me to sew straight seams (ie, no y-seams). Take a look:

I cut 4" strips. Why? These will finish to 3-1/2" (which is half the finished height of the hexagons). Flip flop the ruler up and down to get the needed triangles. The end patch I will use on the quilt rows. It is called a 30 degree triangle.

4" strips cut into triangles
 Triangles are joined in this manner:
Joining triangles to the hexagons
 Join the triangles to the hexagons as shown.
Join triangles to opposing ends of the hexagons
An end hexagon uses one of the 30 degree triangles at the far left. Notice that my seams will be diagonal, yet straight, when I join the hexagons into a horizontal row!

Partial horizontal row

 More triangles and hexagons. Notice the right hexagon, which will be the right end of my row. It also will have a 30 degree "straightening" triangle.
Another row

 Let's see the rows. It's always a good idea to lay out your hexagons to see where you want them to appear in the quilt. Then, identify the rows and then join the triangles (as in the pic above).

I decided to have rows of 5 hexagons alternate with rows of 4. Those large 30 degree triangles are cut from 11" strips (7" plus 3-1/2" plus 1/2" seams = 11")

11" strip is folded, wrong sides together. You are cutting mirror image triangles (one for each side of a row).

Side setting triangles
 Mirror image triangles.
Large 30 degree triangles
And here are my first 3 rows.

Three horizontal rows
Row 1 is sewn as follows:
Row 1 sewing

Row 2 is sewn as follows. It is then sewn to another Row 1 with the large 30 degree triangle.

Rows 2 & 3

Then they get repeated again, twice more.

Now, let's see the whole quilt center. It measures 40" wide and 50" high:
Essence of Pearl quilt center: 40" x 50"

Remember those large triangle pieces leftover from cutting the hexagons? I had a plan. I put them together with some of that light background fabric and created a traditional Whirling Hexagon.

These are the 30 degree triangles leftover from the hexagon cutting:

Each set has a left and right side angle

And here's my first Whirling Hexagon block (also called Spinning Star):

Spinning Star/Whirling Hexagon

And just for a variation, I can straighten up the sides using another pair of the triangles:

Spinning Star with side triangles
Hope you enjoyed seeing how easy it is to cut whole hexagons from a stack of 10" squares. I think I will use a single piece of border fabric in order to cut down on all that stitching!

Click here to see the entire Essence of Pearl collection.

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  1. Wonderful use of the 10” squares in this wonderful fabric!

  2. What a neat tutorial! I got a new layer cake for Christmas that may be perfect to try this. Thanks, Debby and Kanvas.

  3. A New Year. Fresh thinking. I like it. (but then, I'm a 'hexie')

  4. I have the perfect layer cake for this pattern. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow, fantastic project and thanks for sharing .Great tutorial!!

  6. Debby did a great tutorial. I always like what she shows and the detail she includes to make this easier to put together. Thanks.

  7. Thanks for the math lesson. I knew my 60 degree ruler could make hexies but I couldn't figure out the math. Then I had also wondered how big to make the side triangles. You answered a lot of questions for me. Thanks!

  8. Brilliant! I've got beautiful layer cakes perfect for this

  9. Wonderful designs. I like these all. Thanks

  10. Hey Very Nice Blog!!! Thanks For Sharing!!!!

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