Fen Koan–A Quilt Finish


Well –  I’ve been working on this quilt, sort of in secret, for awhile now.  FabricFascination BOM all 12 blocksIt actually all started in 2012 with Fabric Fascination’s BOM quilt blocks.  I had a great time making these blocks using fabrics I typically wouldn’t – but look just how beautiful they all look together!

My next task was figuring out how I wanted to put them together for the finish.  Of course, I couldn’t just put them together like a typical sampler. 


In my dreams one night – I figured out what I was going to do!  First – I had to add some thicker strips of fabric onto each side of the blocks.


Then – Jared figured out the dimensions a hexagon would have to be to encompass a 12” block with 1/4” seam allowances.  After that – a family friend used those dimensions to make a Plexiglas template for me to use to cut out my blocks.


And finally – I made each of my sampler blocks into hexagons. 

For my layout to work I had to make some ‘filler’ blocks.


I made more hexagon blocks using the lighter batik fabric and then adding strips of the other fabric as well as some fun orange batiks. 


Once it was all pieced I sent the quilt to my aunt, Barb Raisbeck of Quilts by Barb, to quilt.  She put an all over hexagon pattern on the quilt – a perfect fit!


I’m sure at this point you’re wondering what in the world does ‘Fen Koan’ have to do with my quilt finish reveal?

So – I have a great friend, Trish Frankland of Quilt Chicken, whom I go to when I have trouble coming up with names for things or coherently writing something important. 

After some coffee and time on the internet – Trish came up with ‘Fen Koan’ for the name of this quilt.  Of course I had to ask how she came up with that for the name – so … here’s what she wrote. 

I went looking for zen words because it's a peaceful quilt. When I found koan (which is often thought of as an unsolvable riddle), I went looking for hexi words.

Honeycomb is another hexi word - and another use for the word honeycomb is to RIDDLE something, like with holes. OMG - so koan-honeycomb-riddle.  So then I went looking for nature words for the color scheme - and fen is a irish-type word for the peaty bogs (good for water blues and grassy greens!) And there it was ...

fen = grassy marsh, wetland which describes the color scheme

koan = a paradox to be meditated upon and koan applies to the peaceful feeling evoked by the quilt, and the fact that your quilts aren't usually this quiet - that it's something to wonder about and think on


So – there you have it!  My very first large hexagon pieced sampler quilt!  What do you think!?


  1. That is gorgeous Kim! Thanks so much for sharing it with me. I will definitely post to my blog with a link back to yours.

  2. Holy cow, great quilt! So imaginative. And lucky you to have someone to cut plexiglas for you! Looks wonderful!

  3. Wow Kim! I absolutely love it!!!

  4. Oh my gosh that is so fantastic! Love it. So clever and imaginative for a batik BOM

  5. I saw the quilt in your email newsletter and had to check out your blog. I am totally enthralled by the story behind the quilt. (I think you should market that Plexiglas template!) The colors are spectacular and I really liked reading about the naming process. How great to have a friend who can help out with that process. The quilting is wonderful, what an artistic aunt you have. Congratulations on finishing the quilt. Now, will it be displayed on a wall, a bed, or somewhere else?

  6. Amazingly beautiful and peaceful!

  7. Love this. Yup, not your usual style but you gave it some sassy Kim flair. The name rocks as does your template. Yay for friends who are there to help. Also for dreams that have just the right idea.

  8. I like quilts just for themselves--the imagery, texture, colors...but it always makes them more special to know the story behind them. Thanks for sharing about this one. It is beautiful--and how cool to have so many different people involved.

  9. Very beautiful. I would never have thought to turn a sampler into a hexagon, but it looks fabulous.

  10. So clever! I love how you took sampler quilt blocks and really went out of the box with them. Great job!

  11. Wow! This piece is incredible! Persimon Dreams is the name of the blog, but you really do dream in quilts. Using the hexagon shape to put your sampler blocks together was brilliant! Love the addition of those lighter blocks and the streaks of orange. It's a beautiful finish!

  12. Love the quilt....please market the template. ...


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