“I used to hate hexies; they were boring. I mean, look at the old style quilts.” ~Quilting Guru
I mean, she is kind of right. These hand-made, 6-sided pieces are the foundation of any “Grandma’s Flower Garden” pattern, one hexagon, surrounded by 6 hexagons, surrounded by more hexagons, like flowers. Many, many many flowers. Sooooo many flowers! You’ve seen these quilts on Etsy or eBay, or on your great-aunt’s guest-bed.
If you associate antique quilts with the 1930’s and 1940’s, you wouldn’t be totally wrong. This pattern actually harkens back to 18th century quilts in England and France. According to one historian, “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” was the first pattern ever publicized in “Lady’s Book”, a United States womens’ magazine, published in Philadelphia. It was the most widely circulated magazine of the Pre-Civil War era.
These quilts became popular in the United States in the early 20th century, when many a war-time and Great Depression quilter sought solace in needle and thread, and scraps of fabric, to weather through the toughest of times.
Today, our economy is again, limping ahead after our worst economic time since the Great Depression, which makes it extra fitting for modern hexagons or “Hexies” to be making a comeback, and they are no longer just for quilters. Quilters, fashion designers, DIYers, and stylists are finding new and exciting ways to assemble these traditional, usually hand-assembled pieces, into modern and sometimes wearable works of art.
As I sat with the Quilting Guru counting the Hexies, she encouraged me to “look at the modern designs that are being done with hexagons ” I cannot wait to see how she assembles the 99 I have counted today!
When I got home, I decided to do a little hexagon research. The Guru was totally right! I found and explosion of ways to use a Hexie. Here are some of my favorites. Most are easy DIY projects.
Let’s start with quilts! Amy Butler makes the most beautiful Hexie quilts. This particular one is my favorite. It so beautiful and tropical. I love the large, oversized hexagons. She is really great at balancing color with busy patterns yet, still exuding a peacefulness.
If you would like to make your own Hexies, be warned! They can be addictive! That being said, we really like the Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night Hexie tutorial! Check out some of our favorite Hexie creations on our Pinterest board (we even have a specific board devoted to Hexies – Proclamation Hexie) or follow us on Facebook (where one of us who shall remain nameless, goes a bit hexie-crazy on the regular basis!)
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