Thursday, July 7, 2016

Stack 'n Whack TBT

I will always remember the utter excitement that gripped me when I watched, and then tried, Bethany Reynolds' ground-shaking, game-changing technique, Stack 'n Whack.  I saw her on the illustrious Alex Anderson's "Simply Quilts" on HGTV.  I took my discoveries to that month's guild meeting, 7 little flimsy hexagons made with the only somewhat-suitable fabric I had in the house at that moment.  I later turned them into a tablemat.

I will also always remember the gasps at another meeting as I held up a finished Stack 'n Whack throw quilt, and the comments, "That can't be all from one fabric!"
 Oh but it was/is.
This was my third quilt, no make that my fourth, using her hexagon pattern.  The first was the throw size using this farm fabric, and the motif was a bit too small for the triangles that make up the hexagons.  However it was dynamite for the triangles less than half that size!

So let's back up a bit, shall we?  Here is hexagon stack 'n whack quilt #2, the throw size in a larger, better-suited motif fabric which I bought at Lori's Country Cottage, my then LQS:
This measures 52 X 58"
You can see the original fabric in the border.  By the way, that is a real flange gold border! I'd forgotten that until I unrolled the quilt!  The quilt is kind of Christmassy but not exactly.  I quilted it as Bethany suggested, (YAY! she had quilting suggestions!) in a swoop-dee-swoop from one point of the triangle to the next, with a meander stipple in the green background.  I left the red star points unquilted, which, in this larger quilt, has led to them being a bit puffy.  I wouldn't do that today; they'd get some dot to dot work fo' sho'!  I used a beige and a green cotton for quilting, mostly likely Gütermann or perhaps Mettler.  It has Warm 'n Natural batting.

Although I boycott WalMart these days, after finding out about their business practices that lead to small town businesses being out of business, I will confess that I did buy a fair amount of fabric from them back in the day.  This one was a terrific find, a Northcott fabric, marked down to around $3/metre.  I bought lots.

I made my own label!
Hmm, looks like it needs a bit of a touch-up
When you do a Stack 'n Whack quilt you always have enough left to make another quilt.  So I made another, a third version of Hexagon Star, the wallhanging.  I also taught the technique as a class more than once to my guild, and once at a local sewing machine dealer.  So I had to have demos, right?

This one measures 39.25 X 43.5"
I quilted this one the same way as the throw.  I used a gold Sulky metallic thread that still glimmers as beautifully today as it did in 1999.

I used the same David Textiles red fabric (why/how do I remember that? Probably because I ADORED this fabric) in both the throw and the wallhanging.  Interesting in that the throw has been used every Christmas, washed many times, and the gold flecks in the fabric are almost completely gone.  Not so, as you can see in the wallhanging.

The red hexagons were quilted with a Sulky gold rayon.  The quilt is lovely and straight, and has never been washed.  It was rolled up and stacked on the top shelf of my closet for more months than I care to think about; we aren't usually here for Christmas, and we don't have nearly as much wall space as our previous home.

Guess what I used on the back?
I did a little fancier quilting motif in the border, and I clearly remember using a dinner plate to mark the arcs!
Got it in one!

Here is the label; I am SO glad I am a label freak.

Clearly I wasn't that into naming my quilts then as I named them both Hexagon Star, which is Bethany's name to boot!  I did my bindings a little wider then too, and always hand-stitched them to the back of the quilt.

So remember how I said you always have leftovers, stacked perfectly of course because of the technique used to make these kaleidoscope-style quilts?  Well, I was pretty good with the 60-degree triangles by this time, hated to waste a perfectly good 2" stack of strips, so just for fun, I made the mini with farm fabric leftovers!  Each triangle finished at 1.5" tall.
It is quilted the exact same as the previous two, with gold Sulky rayon thread.  I was getting a little fancier with my border motifs, but couldn't always figure out how to make pretty corners. No matter; it adorns my sewing room wall just fine!  This one has never been washed either.  I think it has flannelette as batting; it is a lighter weight feel to it. It measures 20.25" wide by 23.75" in length.

Ooh, real creative with the name for the mini!
All three of these Hexagon Stars were stitched and quilted by me on my Elna Air Electronic, which I still have by the way.  Man I was ahead of my time, LOL, doing minis before the mini craze of today. Or is it that quilting, like fashion, is cyclical?

Linking up with
NTT at My Quilt Infatuation


  1. Wow, you squished a lot into this post! I love Stack 'n Whacks; they always are amazing.

  2. I want to play with this technique! I think if I get my repeats lined up, I can cut away with my die cutter. One of these days!

  3. You were whacking and stacking like a mad woman :) (whack and stack sounds like it should be a mofia term, like cement shoes) It seems like this craze maybe came about as I was just getting into quilting. I remember seeing quilts hanging in the shop and being in awww but thinking that's way over my head.

  4. I have never tried this technique, but it looks interesting. I'll insert it into my mental list of quilts LOL

  5. Sulky gold thread is perfect for those, against the deep red and dark green. and I think perfect for Christmas time. What a wonderful collection, and a great technique.

  6. I love that technique, such interesting and cool results!

  7. Fab trip down memory lane with you 😀 it's good to see how we all develop, how our tastes change etc... love this bunch of Quilts 😀 xx

  8. My first quilt I made was a stack'n'whack. Points don't match but I still use it.

  9. Hi Sandra, your quilts are gorgeous. I've been wanting to make a stack'n'whack for years but got intimidated when a few of the guild members said it was difficult. I haven't had the nerve to try yet. Your quilts are very inspiring.

  10. I love this setting for the stack and whack blocks! I've never made one, but now I'm tempted. What's one more item on the "want to make" list?


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