Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vintage Hexagon Quilts

At the recent 2013 Arizona Quilters' Guild Show, we enjoyed a lovely display of vintage hexagon quilts from years past, along with some more recent variations on the theme. It was heartwarming to see these obviously well-loved quilts, which were in excellent condition.  We'd like to share these photos of the hexagons, a geometric shape with 6 sides. (For information on how to hand-sew a hexagon quilt, please see the excellent instructions from Sharon at Simple Things).

Hexagon Medallion quilt, exhibited by Cherry Ehrhardt

Imagine the work that went into this intricate pattern, done in rich autumn colors of russet, olive green, and burgundy. We love the look of all-hexagon blocks here, even the hexagon border, which creates an eye-catching "prairie points" effect.

Large Hexagon quilt, exhibited by Vicki Bohnhoff

 Large hexagons of alternating solids and stripes give an almost "snowball look" to this quilt, which would brighten up any room in the house. A matching solid red outer border adds to the cheerful effect created by these blocks. 

Close-up of Large Hexagon

This fabric seems as if it might have been manufactured in the 1930's or 1940's, maybe even from cotton feed sacks, which comprised many quilts made of early 20th century. We always love to see hand-quilting, especially with small, evenly placed stitches, as some very patient quilter has created here.

Hex Lily quilt, exhibited by Pam Green

This calm, soothing color motif of sage green and white lilies is comprised of larger hexagons, which are placed point-to-point with triangles in between. It's tricky to discern the way in which the flowers are pieced, as their triangle points of the lilies extend over into the next block.

Close-up of Hex Lily

Notice the leaf-shaped quilting pattern which  surrounds the center white lily and carries out the floral theme of the quilt.

Stars and Hexagons quilt top, exhibited by Marge Imperatrice

Some people see six pointed stars in the expertly pieced colorful fabric surrounding the large hexagon centers, and others see tumbling blocks tilted on their side.  Can your eyes pick out both patterns?  

I Dare You, exhibited by Sheila Arnold

This darling mini-quilt is enhanced by beautiful crewel embroidery around the center of each star, lending texture and a floral effect to these tiny blocks.  

Six Point Star quilt, exhibited by Sheila Arnold

Soft blues and oranges, brightened up by raspberry pink, make this quilt with its zig-zag border so cheery and homey !  The artist did a wonderful job of selecting fabric colors that created a very pleasing and definitive contrast in each block. 

Close-up, Six Point Star, exhibited by Sheila Arnold

Even though this quilt has seen years of use,  you can  see the attention that went into what is apparently hand piecing of this quilt. The fabric may have been very soft, loosely woven, and without much stabilizer, but still the quilter put a lot of loving care into making sure that the centers of the star met as closely as possible.  We will always admire the patience and dedication of our quilt-making foremothers.   

Hexagon and Ohio Star quilt, exhibitor unknown

Set "en pointe", these blocks in the Ohio Star pattern, alternating with hexagons and quarter-square triangles create a more contemporary, modern look to this traditional pattern. Soft blues, reds, taupes, and cream hues create a gently sparkling effect and cause the hexagon "flowers" to really pop out as the focal points.

Close-up of Hexagon and Ohio Star quilt, exhibitor unknown

Look at the pretty quilting pattern on the background surrounding this hexagon flower !  This curved pattern perfectly complements the strong geometric lines of the surrounding blocks.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. The Hex Lily looks like a Trillium - a rare flower that grows along the wooded roads in WI. It was always a thrill to see them in the spring. It was thrilling to see them as a quilt block. Thanks for sharing these examples.

  2. Preciosos todos! noalcanzan los ojos para verlos!

  3. Wonderful collection - thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Beautiful - thank you for sharing!

  5. Ooooh....all those gorgeous vintage hexagon quilts...they make my heart sing. Thank you for the visual feast....just visiting your lovely blog from the bottom of the world!


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