The Hexagon Vortex

My friend Sarah calls it falling into the rabbit hole…I prefer to think in geometric terms so for me, its more like free-falling into a spinning vortex! Either way, it’s an addiction to continually play the “what if” game when it comes to quilting.

Such was the distraction that innocently happened almost two weeks ago…

I wanted an escape, needed to do some “mindless sewing” – you know, when you just need to hear the hum of the sewing machine making something simple that doesn’t have a purpose (or in my case a deadline).

It all started with a 2 1/2″ strip package of my Vincent’s Garden collection by Island Batik. I found a “jelly roll” book in my library and immediately was drawn to a quilt with hexagons. Simple enough, right?

Before you knew it, I had my strip sets sewn together and was happily cutting out beautiful hexagons.

As I was laying out my hexies on the design wall, this thought occurred..hum, what if I turned a few to add a little interest? I mean, after all, the pattern in the book was just an inspiration, right? No one says I have to follow the instructions completely (grin).

Okay that was intriguing…but “what if” I did a little extra sewing and surrounded the hexagon with more strips to make the design even more interesting? Yep, that vortex was beginning to swirl!

Hum…what if I dolled up those triangles a bit – you know, by adding a triangle into the triangle? I mean, after all, the vortex had a lot of momentum by now – what’s a little more sewing when you don’t have a deadline?

I have to admit, by this time I was truly liking what I was seeing on my design wall!

All these extra parts and creative pieces were making my simple lap-size quilt rather large…there was no way I needed, or wanted, to make a king size quilt…sigh…what to do with those extra (beautiful) hexagons? What indeed? Border design anyone?

Here’s proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks!

I’ve spent most of my quilting career AVOIDING those “dreaded” Y-seams…well, let me tell you, my friend Pat shared a tip with me and I can now say I’m no longer afraid of Y seams! I’m more than a conqueror!

Time to put it all together!!!

Quilting friends, I present to you my week long distraction….Surrounded!

Surrounded, designed & pieced (and placed in the ‘quilts in waiting‘ longarm pile) by Karen E Overton – and no, I’m not writing a pattern, this is a “just for me” quilt.


Well, you’d think that would have cured the hexagon vortex syndrome … except there was one little teeny tiny problem…I had these cute little parts and pieces leftover after I cut out the hexagons from the strip pieced strata… what quilter if any, could clearly with a good conscience, leave these darling little guys to just sit in a scrap basket…

Oh! And what about the rest of the hexagons that didn’t get used in the Surrounded quilt top? Yep…that vortex was still spinning!

Spoiler alert. These cut offs are going to find themselves on the back of “Hexagon Vortex Quilt Number Two” which is still in the works.

Yep, all those “extra” hexagons from Surrounded have found their way on the design wall with yet another “what if” tangent…it’s almost finished, I promise..but, what can I say? I got distracted yet once again.

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Geometric Shape!

True confession…I got distracted, again. I had to put quilt number two on pause to figure out how to do this geometric shape called the impossible triangle.

I have to admit when the idea hit me at 2 o’clock in the afternoon I just had to graph it out…then around 4 PM I found myself picking out fabric (more Vincent’s Garden of course) and by midnight I had the quilt pieced and floating in a huge sea of Vincent’s Garden background fabric…poor family, they have learned to “fend for themselves” when I get in these moods!

Okay, so it looks a little lost in that huge background. I’ve played with the idea of adding borders, or even taking it apart and adding more design elements…but the quilt doesn’t really have a purpose except to prove to myself that I could draft it and make it. Mission accomplished…however, I will say that as I’ve seen it hanging on my design wall for a few days I’m thinking I could really doll it up with some fancy longarm quilting…time will tell. But I really need to get back to quilt number two!

But Wait, There’s More

Of course there is! I’m still working on the quilt made from my leftovers from Surrounded….I can’t wait to finish it and share it! I’ve added a few more “new to me” design elements and a whole lot of fun!

I’ve also been taming my Vincent’s Garden scrap basket as, gasp, I needed more “leftovers” to finish this top! I’m heading back into the hexagon vortex, right after I finish the dishes and laundry (grin). Anyone want to bring my poor family dinner?

Stay tuned!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler – enjoying “just playing” in my studio

5 thoughts on “The Hexagon Vortex

  1. Brenda @ Songbird Designs says:

    Beautiful, Karen!! Love all the projects and especially the triangle with the building blocks inside!! Fancy quilting will definitely do the trick!!

  2. patricia j reed says:

    Absolutely delightful!!! After you dry out from the ‘flood’ I hope to see more of your creations!!

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