Monday, November 14, 2022

Design Wall Monday 11/14/2022

My plan had been to spend much of last week working on some free-motion quilting projects, but machine problems (read about them HERE) put an end to that idea. I switched gears to work on a very old project that had been hiding in the quilt closet. The center of this quilt top was pieced many years ago and had been waiting for borders. It seemed like the perfect project as we get closer to Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Hexagons Stack & Whack
46.5" square

Bethany Reynolds published her first book on the "Stack-n-Whack" technique in 1998, and it is still available today from many sources including American Quilter's Society. I made my first S&W quilt that same year, and that unquilted top is still hanging in my closet! 

My first Stack & Whack quilt

I made many S&W quilts in the late 1990's/early 2000's and also taught classes on the technique during that time. One of the keys to a successful quilt was the fabric choice. The necessary elements were multiple colors and medium to large-scale prints with not too much background showing. I knew this vegetable print would be a good option.

I don't know exactly when I pieced the center part of the quilt shown at the beginning of this post, but I do know that I bought the fabric in September of 1998. Most of the S&W pieces I made happened between 1998 and 2001, but I would guess that this piece was on the earlier end. I still have more of this fabric, plus a couple yards of the same print on a black background. 

The magic of stack & whack happens when the pieces are cut, then stitched together. You can't ever completely predict how each block will look until it is stitched up. My favorite block is the last photo with the multi-colored corn.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I still had some of the dark orange marbley fabric that makes up the star points. I cut off a chunk of it to make into a binding if (when?) this top gets quilted.

While I had the fabrics out, I went ahead and made the backing too. I used a panel of the main print, with additions on each side for width.

Check out what other quilters are working on this week at Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts. 

Happy quilting everyone!

Julie in GA 


  1. I have the book and took a class, but never finished it. I have made other kaleidoscope type quilts including 2 one block wonders and a four-patch posy. I think the most fun part is testing the various block layouts. My piecing abilities have improved so much that I'm not sure I could go back to the unfinished S&W and be happy with the blocks that are completed. Maybe I could just make a table runner with those. I hope you push through to get this one done. Love the fall harvest fabric.

  2. I am constantly amazed and enthralled at what all S&W-like processes produce.

  3. A very fun and season appropriate S&W. I've never tired a S&W, they look like fun.

  4. Some design concepts deserve a comeback! I recognize the exuberant autumn print -- Kessler for Concord (or VIP)? The prints were popular for home dec projects as well as quilts. Soon they'll be considered vintage, LOL.

  5. I believe that I have special expensive fabric that I purchased years ago to make a S&W. I made one but cannot remember where it is! LOL. Hugs


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