Teach Yourself a Contemporary Quilting Technique

6 Dec 2009

I’ve always loved the past—I studied art history in college, after all—and therefore have a deep fascination with antique quilts. I’ve collected only a few so far, and this one (my first, actually) is my hands-down favorite:


The dozens of different fabrics and hundreds of little hexagons never cease to amaze me. Of course, I’d considered doing some hexagon piecing of my own, but hadn’t found a technique that really appealed—until recently.

You see, one of my favorite things about working on International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene was the way in which this magazine really brings the tradition of quilting alive, emphasizing the ways in which it can be innovated and applied to the modern day quilter while holding onto its roots. Malka Dubrawsky’s article, “Mini Hexagon Quilt,” is a perfect example:



So I spent this snowy Sunday using her contemporary machine piecing technique to create a mini hexagon quilt of my own:



To be honest, at first I thought this technique might be just a little too tedious and finicky for my liking, but it’s not—actually, it’s incredibly addictive and I probably would have kept on going if I hadn’t run out of fabric. There’s something very rhythmic and calming about this steady, precise process; it’s a wonderful way to relax with your sewing machine on a winter day—and, personally, I love feeling like I’m connecting to the rich quilting tradition at the same time.

It still has to be quilted and bound, but once it’s done I may very well hang this little quilt on the wall next to my antique beauty. Coincidentally enough, another one of my prized possessions is an antique log cabin and Dubrawsky’s other article, “Inside Out Mini Quilt,” is a contemporary approach to that classic pattern. I may have to try it out. So as the winter settles in and perfect indoor sewing weather arrives, check out your own copy of Quilt Scene for a project that takes a modern spin on the rich and wonderful quilting tradition.

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Carol DK wrote
on 7 Dec 2009 5:25 AM

I am excited to get the Quilt scene, it is on my wish list, especially since it is not available in digital format and the postage will be part of the gift....

I too love love love hexagons, and not only for simplicity of the design but for the opportunities for illusion.