The Vintage Vibe
If you love nostalgia you’ll adore the humble hexie patchwork quilt – and who doesn’t! It’s those cute vintage prints and feedsacks from around the 1930s that give us the warm fuzzy feeling. The ones that were thriftily patched together to keep the family cosy before central heating became a thing. This one in plain fabrics is in The Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Museum. Gorgeous isn’t it? It’s a layout called Grandma’s Flower Garden.
This photo of Johnny Cash Boyhood Home is courtesy of TripAdvisor
But the hexagon patchwork dates back to at least the 18th century in England and it’s thought to be one of the oldest recorded patchwork patterns there is. They’re made using a technique called ‘English paper piecing’, where fabric is folded over individual paper templates and then sewn together. Some antique tops still have the papers inside, which can help historians to date them: paper was expensive so was often reused. You can spot personal letters with dates and even post marks on them – it’s almost as exciting as looking at the patchwork itself.
Making your own patchwork quilt connects you to this wonderful heritage, but as well as the vintage vibe it offers a surprising opportunity to experiment with colour and design too. You can make a hexagon patchwork that looks anything but traditional by using bright, contemporary fabrics, enlarging the hexagon shape, experimenting with different placements to create stripes, flowers, diamonds…or any pattern that floats your boat! You can even use the hexagons to create appliqué designs.