Surely you have noticed that most appliqué blocks are square. Don’t get me wrong, squares are great, and I do love them, but other shapes deserve some love too. One day last year I woke up itching to work on an appliqué background that was not a square or rectangle! I had been working with EPP hexies, and so it was a short jump to the idea of appliquéing on hexagonal blocks.
The first decision I had to make was how best to design the appliqué to show off the shape. Hexagons have six sides, so it made sense to break the block down into six wedges.
Each wedge holds one flower. Appliquéing on a wedge would lead to stretched edges, so each flower is appliquéd on a rectangle and then trimmed to the wedge shape. These blocks are surprisingly fast to appliqué, and the flowers radiate around the block as if they are dancing!
Each flower has a stem, leaves, and the flower itself, and all of the parts have a purpose. It’s easy to focus on the flowers because they dominate the block, but the stems are especially important. They pull the flowers together into a cohesive whole.
Stems are tricky, especially when they repeat in a design. If stems are too dark or bold, they will be the first thing you see when you look at the block—and in most cases you don’t want your stems to be the focal point in a floral block. I used brown-and-white prints for all of my blocks, fussy-cutting the fabric so that the stems look light and a little bit scalloped.
The flowers are anchored in the center of each block with hexagons. The larger green hexagon simulates grass. Each of the smaller hexagons is a spot of color influenced by the flower colors.
I enjoyed making these blocks so much that I wasn’t done when I finished the bigger quilt. I decided to make a quilt showcasing just one block, using solid fabric. I call it Tequila Sunrise—I must have been thirsty!
Look close and you may notice that this block is not sashed. The red block background merges with the red fabric around it. The hexagon is there, but it’s softer. If I make another Hexie Garden quilt, I will push this idea a little farther, using the same color for the block backgrounds and setting fabrics.