Friday, 29 July 2016

Hexi Madness!

As stated in the last post, I promised to show you my hexies that I had got started for my Dropped Diamonds Quilt, designed by Tacha Breucher.

The first one is the first full hexi block in pinks/reds. This is as big as any of the blocks will get and I only needed to make one of these. The second, smaller, blue one is just the start of two blue blocks I need to make, that won't be so complete. They miss a few hexies in the corner, where the border will interject.

I'm thread basting my hexies, as I prefer this to glueing. I tried glueing and found it made my needle all sticky and hard to sew through. So I changed where I did the glueing, so that it wouldn't be near the ladder stitch, but I found that it didn't hold the fabric as well, it kept unfolding and I was also getting glue all over my fingers! When you start sticking to everything, you lose your temper very quickly! And as sewing is meant to be relaxing, I stick with thread basting.

I choose not to sew through the papers, I just tack a stitch on each corner fold and that works very well for me, then I hold the pieces flat to ladder stitch. This makes the hexies easier to hold and sew.

This week, I ordered some more hexi papers. I thought I'd ordered more one inch papers, but I must not have been concentrating because when they arrived, they were two inch papers and huge! Lol. Never mind, I will put them to good use. Because of their size, I thought I might (at some future point) make some pieced hexies (a la Mickey Dupre in her book Pieced Hexies and Pieced Hexies Deux) and I think they will work very well that way.

I've also been looking on Pinterest at hexi quilts and trying to design my own. I'm not very good at my own designs, but I've been looking at some other peoples and you can see the ones I like here. Visually, I'm going to use hexi graph paper to plan them out, in case I want to reproduce them.

So do you sew hexies? Have you designed your own piece? What are you working on right now? I'd love to see or hear all about it. Please leave a comment and let me know!

Happy sewing,

Louisa xxx

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Decision Time!

Hello everyone! How are you enjoying July? It's been stiflingly hot here in the UK for the last few weeks and believe you me, that's RARE. I've actually (for the first time in my entire life) got a tan. My legs, arms, face and back of my neck are now brown! You can see when I take my Fitbit off, how white my skin usually is!

I've been walking the dogs every day and getting two and a half hours exercise every day. I get to walk along the beach, or here, which is part of the Hayling Island Billy Trail, as well as being part of a nature reserve. We get quite a few birds nesting here and there's wildlife wherever you look.

Quilting wise, I made a decision. After a long argument with myself, I finally realised that I just wasn't enjoying doing the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses BOM. The fabrics were lovely, I loved being part of the whole group, but sewing those shapes? Elongated hexies and small squares? I just didn't enjoy them. At all.

I like standard hexies. They're easier to baste, they're easier to sew together. So I decided to abandon the Lucy Boston. The blocks I have already gotten finished I am going to appliqué onto cushions and the fabrics that are still coming in the BOM can be used in other hexie patterns.

It was incredibly hard to make this decision. I didn't want to feel like I was giving up on this project, but like the Passacaglia quilt, I realised I really didn't like working with those other shapes (pentagons, triangles, etc) I'm a traditionalist and so I went back to my hexies, returned to my preferred ladder stitch and began a new project. I'm doing this. Its called the Dropped Diamonds Quilt and is designed by Tacha Bruecher, in her book, Hexa Go-Go. Will show progress pictures in my next post.

Oh and Bonnie Hunter has started the new Leaders & Enders challenge. It's the hourglass block made with quarter square triangles and can be done really nicely using jelly roll strips. Go to her website to check it out.

Anyway, hope you're all enjoying sewing. Have you had to make a decision regarding your quilting recently? Perhaps you've had to give up a project? Have you given away any UFOs? Perhaps you even realised that English paper piecing isn't for you and that you're a machine quilter? Whatever it is, leave a comment! I bet you're not the only one!

Happy sewing,

Louisa xxx