Hundreds of Hexies

So thrilled my art quilt “Kirsten” is in ArtPrize 9, a huge international art competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Kirsten Art Quilt by Carolyn Zinn


“Kirsten” (named after my daughter) is 54 inches wide and 81 inches tall. I created it by sewing together 480 fabric hexagons by hand, using the English Paper Piecing technique, which involves wrapping paper shapes in fabric and then stitching the fabric together.  Approximately 60 different commercial fabric prints were used. I quilted it using mono-filament thread on my home sewing machine.

I’m often asked how long it took me to make. I don’t really keep track, but I would guess almost 200 hours total. I probably spent about 80 hours over the course of 4 weeks creating fabric hexagons and carefully choosing the placement of each hexagon on my design wall, guided by a reference photo. I didn’t start sewing anything together until all 480 hexies were in their final location and orientation.  Then I probably spent 100 hours over the course of 2½ months hand-sewing the hexies together (being careful not to rotate or disorder anything!)  Quilting and binding took about 10 more hours.

“The amazing thing seeing this close up is that these are large quilt hexagons, in some heavily patterned colors, (and some white with writings on them), which does not look at all like any picture. Then, miraculously, as one steps back a few more feet….all of a sudden, it is a picture, and even like a painting!”
– Quilt Viewer

I hope you can see it in person, on the upper level of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum through October 8, 2017.  Please view it from a distance as well as close up – I think the difference is amazing!  If you agree, I’d love your vote! Please use code 64662! 

4 thoughts on “Hundreds of Hexies

  1. Carolyn
    What an honor and a super terrific quilt! Your mother was always my critique before I layered each quilt top to find the piece out of place.

    • Hi Martha,
      How nice to hear from you! It sure has been bittersweet not to be able to share this experience with mom. Please give my best to the neighborhood!

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