Friday, July 23, 2010
Hexagon Turtle Quilt
A finish! I've been very busy lately so haven't been able to post on the progress of this quilt, but here it is finished! This was a commission for my dear friend/boss Angela for a friend of hers who is due soon. Angela wanted a giant turtle but didn't know how I would achieve that. Hmmmm. Me neither! I originally thought I wanted to make the turtle shell kind of like a spider web but that meant a hex center with parallelograms and arcs surrounding, and no cutting directions. Huh? Yeah, not that. So I remembered that I'm good at hexagons, having hand pieced literally thousands of them for the feedsack GFG quilt a few years ago, so I tried that and it worked!
I printed a small hex off the internet and blew it up to get about a five inch hex and then made a cardboard pattern from it. Angela wanted ric rac around the edge of the shell and a turned head to mimic the turtles in the Wendy Slotboom fabric I used for the piecing. I made the eye and chin out of wool felt so it could be ironed if desired.
I chose the Amy Butler honeycomb for the background because it echoes the shape of turtle shells and also kind of looks like water rippling, so the turtle is swimming. I outline quilted all the hexagons and used the Slotboom turtle fabric for the backing.
I had to applique the whole thing onto the honeycomb piece, then I cut out the part under the hexes to save it for scrap. It sure would have been a lot easier to applique this thing if I'd had a machine! I kind of thought the edges of the hexes would be cool as the edges of the shell since some turtles look like that, but that wouldn't have worked with the ric rac. So as I desperately searched for something oval that was big enough to trace around, Mr. Babyquilts simply said, "Why not fold it in half like a Valentine heart and cut it even that way?" Smarty. That never even occurred to me. So I did and it worked perfectly.
I was in a super rush for time or I would have done a few extra things like successive rings of outline quilting around the hands and feet to show paddling movement, and I might have embroidered claws on the turtle too. I would have also made a separate binding out of the blue honeycomb instead of having to turn the back to the front for binding, which I consider cheating but is sooooo much easier and faster! Hope you like it. Cheers.