What is the longest work in progress you have ever had? Almost 2 years ago I started a Kona® Cotton quilt. I blogged a little about it in 2012, but somehow this was that one quilt that just always got pushed to the way side when I was busy. Finally, 271 colors later, I am happy to say that it is finished!
I went back and forth a billion times on whether to make this a pattern or not. Ultimately, I decided I would just post about my process making the quilt and if enough of you all want an actual pattern then I will take the time to do so.
When I started the Genetics Quilt, Robert Kaufman did not sell the pre-cut Kona® Cotton hexagons yet. So, I started off with a charm square in every single Kona Cotton color.
I spent a few hours with my good friend, the Kona Cotton Color Card, and using painters tape labeled each charm square with the appropriate Kona Cotton color.
Next, I used a friend’s AccuQuilt machine to cut a 1 ½” hexagon from each square. I also cut 1” hexagons from a leave-in applique foundation (as opposed to using paper).
Now you can actually buy pre-cut hexagons in every single color which would save you a ton of time. You would need all seven packs Summer 13, Pastel Palette, Neutrals Palette, Dusty Palette, Dark Palette, Classic Palette, and Bright Palette. The pre-cut hexagons are cut 2”. If you baste them onto 1” papers your quilt will come out to the same size as my quilt, 45” x 45”, or you could baste them onto 1 ½” papers and the quilt would come out to approximately 60” x 60”.
Next, I put the hexagons in order of my design and labeled them 1 to 271. Each hexagon was thread basted using the leave-in applique foundation. The reason I chose to use the leave in foundation is, because I wanted the hexagons to have a little loft and I wanted to be able to glue the rows to the background without having to take papers out.
After all the hexagons were basted, I separated them into rows and put them into zip-lock bags. Over the span of about 6 months I hand stitched the hexagons in rows together. This was my “I don’t feel like doing anything else, so I will stitch and watch a movie” activity. I only got about four rows done and then recruited my friend Danny who is much faster at hand piecing, she stitched the rest of the rows for me.
Once the rows were done, I cut the white Kona Cotton background. I didn’t want any annoying pins poking me when I stitched around the rows, so as usual I used glue. Using Elmer’s washable glue with a fine tip, I put a thin line of glue around the edges of each row and glued them into place on the background. As I glued each row down I removed the basting stitches. Again another reason why I used the leave-in foundation!
I set my machine to a zigzag stitch with a 1.0 width and 1.5 length, and using clear monofilament thread stitched along the edge of each row.
For the backing I didn’t do anything special, just a single backing in Ash Kona Cotton. Using my walking foot and white Aurifil thread I echoed the shapes of the hexagons in lines across the quilt.
For the Kona® Cotton Solids logo I used Pellon® EZ-Steam™ II again. I cut each itty bitty letter out, fused them into place and then stitched around each letter with a zigzag stitch and monofilament thread.
As you all know I love Kona Cotton and use it in the majority of my quilting projects, but did you realize I loved it so much I would be crazy enough to make this quilt? Funny thing is Robert Kaufman is coming out with even more colors this summer, which of course I am very excited for, however those new colors will not be getting their own quilt :).
Thanks for stopping by and reading about my process making the Kona® Cotton Genetics Quilt.