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In the Quilting World

Looking Forward to a Simpler Quilting Style

Let me introduce myself: I'm Carolyn Vagts, editor of Quilter's World magazine and writer of this update. That's my day job, and at night, I'm an addicted quilter. I tend to eat, breathe and sometimes sleep with my quilting. I have a beautiful studio with my work space right in it. How convenient, since I work at and with quilting. As editor, I am very hands-on with every issue. I'm also very hands-on with this update. I love to share my experiences with other quilters in hopes it will inspire them to explore the endless possibilities available to them.

With each update I select a book or pattern to accompany it. It's usually something that I feel goes along with the content of my update. This time my suggestion is our new book Farmhouse-Style Quilting. One of the many trends I've noticed this year is the return to the simpler style of the Depression era. Reusing and recycling has become the new way of thinking when it comes to decorating the home and it has also made its way into quilting. With all the new reality shows about decorating the home, flipping and redoing homes to a wider, more open floor plan, and working within a tight budget, upcycling has become the newest trend for the younger generation.

Farmhouse-Style Quilting
The Farmhouse-Style Quilting book can be purchased at AnniesCraftStore.com.

I've found that I really like the simpler style and the inspiration of these reality shows. They have such awesome ideas that I find very appealing and refreshing. Sometimes less is more. I love how they take something that has been basically forgotten, such as a piece of old furniture, and they make it fresh again. With all the attention on upcycling and repurposing I've begun to rethink some of my projects along with my stashed fabrics. Another thing I often try to do is use my AccuQuilt GO! cutter and dies. I love the quilt on the cover of this book, and I really wanted to do something with this idea. Traditional hexagons can be tricky with the inset seams, but through the years, there have been a few new ways to accomplish the same look but with a few easier techniques. One of those techniques is using a half-hexagon die and making a seam down the middle of the hexagon. This technique eliminates the inset seams!

I love it when I have the opportunity to put one of my dies to use on a project, and it's wonderful when I can also use some of my stashed fabrics and scraps!

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My AccuQuilt Go! cutter and the half-hexagon die I'll be using for this project.

The quilt on the cover of Farmhouse-Style Quilting is called Chicken Wire. I absolutely love it. It is my inspiration for this update. I thought I would put my own spin on this quilt since I have a lot of beautiful fat quarters I've been saving. I love batiks and have plenty for this project.

This is a project that I can work on in my free time. All it really involves is the time to prepare. The first thing to do is sort and press all the fat quarters I plan to use. I know I won't get it done in a day, but if I have all the pieces cut and ready, then I can work on it when some free time presents itself.

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Cutting the strips and then cutting out the half hexagons.

I first cut my fabrics into strips wide enough for the half hexagons. To do this I measured the length and width of the die shape. To make hexagons this way, with a seam down the middle, you need to have two pieces of fabric to complete each one.

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Cutting two pieces of fabric to be used to make one hexagon.

After cutting a good number of pieces, I began to lay them out on the floor to see if I liked the colors and textures together.

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Matching the hexagon pieces and auditioning fabrics for positions

When working with half hexagons, it's best to lay out the pieces, matching up the like halves. Then, after you like the placement, start stitching the vertical rows together. I like to work two rows at a time so that I make sure that the correct hexagon pieces will match up. To make the vertical rows, match up the angled ends and stitch together. I like to press after each piece is added.

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Gathering the rows in order and then stitching them together.

After I have a row stitched together, I lay it down where I can see it and then I stitch the next row together, again making sure that the pieces match up. Once I'm sure that I've placed the pieces in the right order, I stitch those two rows together.

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Two rows assembled and then stitched together.

Laying the stitched rows down again, I match up the next half hexagons with like fabric and repeat the process over again. After looking at what I started, I decided I needed to select some more fat quarters and head back to my AccuQuilt GO! cutter. I think I just may make this quilt a bit bigger. It would look great in one of my guest rooms!

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Adding the third row.

Now this is a great project, but just a word of warning: If you decide to make this quilt the way I'm doing it, know that it really does have to be laid out to match up all the pieces. It can be confusing if you try to just jump in and start sewing. Take the time to plan your rows and I guarantee you'll be happy you did. The beauty of this project is that it can be an easy project with beautiful results, as long as you just take your time.

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