06 August 2010

Stack and whack

I took my first stab at stack and whack today. That's when you stack several layers of fabric, being careful to align the print in each layer, then cut identical shapes through all the layers. You can get surprising pinwheel effects by arranging the identical pieces into a block. Even non-floral prints can begin to look like flowers.

I used six layers of fabric and cut equilateral triangles (60 degree angles) about 4 inches per side, then arranged the pieces in hexagon blocks. Four pairs of hexagons in the above picture have almost identical prints, but the triangles are rotated to create different effects.

Not sure what I'm going to do with them. I think I'll sew the hexagons and wait for inspiration -- maybe something like this blanket by Kristin La Flamme. I like the strip of hexagons surrounded by solids, and the fabric is great. I'm less enthusiastic about stack-and-whack blocks cut from purely floral prints. The results can be beautiful, but the effect is usually just too floral for me. It's floral raised to the second power.

My fabric is from a curtain project for my friends Matt and Jason using a print from Amy Butler's Nigella collection. Matt bought 20 yards two years ago to sew curtains for their living room. Well, there hadn't been much progress so he asked me to help him out. Now the eight curtain panels are almost done and there are a lot of scraps -- hello hexagons! The triangles are carved out of long 4" selvage strips left when I cut the curtain panels from the center of the fabric.

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