Through empirical research I have discovered that it needn't take a lifetime to make a hand-stitched hexagon quilt top. No indeed, it can be done in four weeks, and this top is proof of the matter.
It's not that I have super-fast stitching skills, or a little Rumpelstiltskin tucked away somewhere busily turning fabric into hexagons while I sleep, or even all the time in the world.
It's much simpler than that: I used large hexagons.
I don't know why small hexagons are the norm in patchwork when they clearly send people round the bend with their size and fiddliness and slow rate of growth. Why not just blow them up, think big, and work on a scale that gives economies of scale and time?
I printed off the largest hexagons I could fit, two at a time, onto A4 sheets of paper - a single hexagon per sheet would have been possible, but I needed some sort of economy of paper, even though I printed on the back of used sheets.
I aimed to make a daisy a day, ie cutting out, pinning, basting then stitching together seven hexagons into a simple flower shape. Then I had three or four evenings of sewing the whole lot together to make the top. My only problem now is that I really like it with the papers left in; it gives the top a certain stiffness, and a sound that is really appealing.
Plus I am tempted to leave in the pieces of the old OS map I used for one of the flowers, as it's there that I saw the solution to the hexagon problem stitched into the top itself.