Monday, April 20, 2015

This probably isn't what I should be doing...

but I am!  This is THE WEEK... my older son gets married on Saturday.Over the last several months I've worked on several projects for the wedding... there were the invitations, and then I worked signature blocks for the guests to sign... I made 120. After that I worked on runners for the dinner tables and some little squares to top the round hi-top tables. It felt really good to have all this finished. After that it was on to some alteration work on the groom's vest, hemming my younger son's pants and hemming the slacks I want to wear. As of 9 pm EST last night all of this is DONE!  Now the week still has lots of errands but I don't think there is any other jobs that require a needle and thread.

Okay in the interest of honesty, I did sneak in some quilty time during those wedding preparations. I HAD to make some more of those hexagon blocks with the new Phillip Jacobs Spiral Shells fabric. You can see the fabric here. I've got 30 partially made and I played with them on my design wall. This is the layout I began with...

vertical rows... all lined up...hmmm...not really doing it for me. I wanted to use a different layout than I normally pick when I made these hexagon Stack N Whack blocks, but they just seem to mush together. I like each block to shine like the special little snowflake that it is... in my eyes...LOL!

So I moved a few things around and reverted to my standard design and they look like this...

and I really really really do like this better. Each block sparkles and shines... okay... that may only be how I see them, but that what counts!

Did you notice I used a yellow fabric as the background? Again I was going to go in a different direction. The darkest color in the blocks is a chocolate brown and I went to Fabric Shack intent on finding a nice brown tone on tone. Now if you know me even a little bit, you know this is crazy talk. I am not the person who buys brown fabric... if I did, my friends would have me taken in for a psychiatric evaluation.  I did actually lay some of the blocks out on a brown background and well... it was blah... very blah... very very blah. So I perused some of the other tone on tone fabrics and well this one just jumped off the shelf and said "please pick me"... and how could I not acquiesce to its wishes. (Yeah... this is still making me sound like I need a psychiatric consult, isn't it? LOL)  But the yellow fabric knew what it was talking about. I love how it frames these blocks.

So far this is one of my favorite blocks...

It is fun when people look at the blocks that they "see" different things in them. There are a couple where my younger son "sees" vanilla/chocolate swirl ice cream. I actually "see" pineapple slices in a couple of blocks...and a bunch of them remind me of those cheap special effects from the original Batman series with Adam West (yeah I'm showing my age here... POW!!! BAM!!)

I can make about 30 more blocks from the first stack of this Stack N Whack. I still have the other half of the yardage to play with. I'm thinking of pinning it and then cutting strips parallel to the selvedge rather than perpendicular to the selvedge. I think I'd get a bunch of other design and my curiosity is killing me to see them. Really, it is all the fabric's pushes me around all the time...such a bully! LOL

I had a couple of comments last week asking how you get this effect and I would refer anyone who wants to know more about this technique to research Bethany Reynolds, Magic Stack N Whack. You can see the book here. She wrote this book and several other books on the subject back in the late 1990s. I have ALL of them and Amazon has them too and you can see them here.

There are probably some videos out in the world wide web showing how to do this technique too. It isn't hard. You do have to take your time when you pin the fabric. Accurate pinning gives you great results. And you have to use those flat head flower pins. I've noticed that some people do this technique using 4 repeats of fabric and cut squares. I've made one this way myself. I call it a 4 patch version of Stack N Whack but others refer to it as a 4 Patch is the same thing and Bethany Reynolds showed this in her book Stack N Whackier. Also there are lots of quilters doing the hexagon version I'm doing but they don't add the background like I do. They arrange one hexagon next to another, letting the colors flow and it is called One Block Wonder. Maxine Rosenthal wrote a book with that title and you can see it here. I also have that book.

If you want to play with this technique large scale prints work great. I like a print that has a bit of a curve in it... a flower petal, a curved stem, a swirl. I would caution you to stay away from large scale animals... you know those cute novelty fabrics with cows and sheep and pigs and maybe a chicken or two. I know I've mentioned this before but I think it bears repeating. The very first Stack N Whack I ever made involved an adorable children's print featuring a barnyard full of animals. I made an Lemoyne star block and I couldn't wait to see them develop... and then it hit me...oh my goodness... somehow I all I got were butts and udders!  Keep this in mind if you choose a fabric with animals... the resulting blocks can be quite disturbing... LOL!

Don't know if I'll be posting anymore this week. This is the calm before the storm. My list of things to do today is short so perhaps I can sew a few more hexagons, but every day for the rest of the week gets progressively busier. Hope your week is a good one!

happy stitching-
carol fun


  1. Stacked hexagons can be quite habit forming! You picked the perfect fabric for your SnW, and the perfect fabric for the background -- it really brings out the yellow in the blocks. Second setting, definitely.

  2. Wow! I love your quilt! Those blocks are amazing.

  3. Carol I love this quilt--and that cheddar background just makes the blocks pop!
    I have never done Stack n Whack --yours look like kalidiescopes (sp??) to me. Just gorgeous..hugs, Julierose

  4. I think Stack n Whack is going to take over the world - great choice of fabric.

  5. That fabric is wonderful for S&W and your yellow background is perfect. Glad you can now relax and enjoy the wedding week!

  6. You have been busy Carol. Amazing that you had any time at all to quilt or stitch with all the wedding prep. I much prefer your 2nd arrangement. The squares do not bleed into one another but have space to shine.

  7. You have been busy Carol. Amazing that you had any time at all to quilt or stitch with all the wedding prep. I much prefer your 2nd arrangement. The squares do not bleed into one another but have space to shine.

  8. Each of your blocks are so much fun and amazing. I do think they show up better on the second layout. What a fantastic quilt this will turn out to be.

  9. These blocks are fantastic, and the second layout really does sparkle. I hope your son's wedding goes off well and that you all have a marvelous day.

  10. Good luck with the wedding- hope it's a spectacular day!t

  11. The yellow is just right for the blocks! They are amazing. I hope you will have some photos of the big day. You did so much , now you can sit back and enjoy! I hope it will be a perfect day for all of you!

  12. Wow, my son is getting married Saturday too!! I didn't realize our weddings were the same day! Lovely progress on your quilt. It is going to be beautiful! Laura

  13. Congrats on the wedding. Hope everyone had a great time. I love the blocks you're working one, your favorite one is really sweet. I really like the one with the blue center and the green on the outside with the yellow spikes coming out. Or the white one with the swirls, or the.....darn so many cute ones here.

  14. Looks great. I do like that colour way for the shell fabric. Your hexagons all look great.


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