Saturday, July 11, 2015

hexies is what I'm working on

I have several hexie projects I'm working on right now ...

1. Continuing with my "Reaching Out" Forever Project™.   I've finished all the hexie flower units and "leaves" that I need.  The next step is to start sewing the individual flower units together into a column.  This column of hexie flowers will eventually be connected to vertical columns of applique vines and flowers on a white background.  To make it easy for me to attach the column of hexies to the column of white background fabric, I'm filling the voids along the sides of the hexie columns with white half-diamonds.

I've used this technique before, although it was on a larger size of hexies.  *This* is a smaller hexie and so the half-diamonds are correspondingly smaller.  Exactly HOW much smaller was decidedly demonstrated to me when I attempted to wrap the white background fabric around the paper template.

HOLY MOLEY!  These half-diamonds are SMALL, being 7/8" along the edge.  Somehow, making the 7/8" hexagons wasn't a problem at all but these half-diamonds???  Geez, Louise!  They are definitely a pain.   I'm thinking they aren't going to be as soothing and mindless as the hexies were.

In the picture to the left, I've outlined the white half diamonds I've already done in a dotted blue line.  The red lines show where the next half diamonds will go.   I have about a bajillion of them to do.  Good thing this is a Forever Project™!  :-)

2. From somewhere on the internet, I saw a hexie quilt where all the centers were the same color.  It really tied the entire quilt together and I wished I had seen that picture *before* I started on  Reaching Out!  But, just because that project didn't have a consistent center color didn't mean that I couldn't experiment with ANOTHER hexie project!   (I must have been delusional).

So, using the same paper templates, I started making a whole messload of hexies with a white tone-on-tone center.  I knew I didn't want to make a big quilt like Reaching Out.  I didn't want to make yet another throw pillow.  I didn't want to make a tote bag or purse (I have lots of tote bags; I don't use purses).  Then *what* could I use all these new hexies for?

Well, once again, perusing the internet, I saw what I later learned was a miniature quilt. (On that blog, no credit was given for who made the miniature or if a pattern is available.)  The size of the sample didn't bother me; it was the *layout* that I really liked.   Although the sample showed a center of equally spaced hexies in a grid pattern, I realized that I could replace those hexies with my hexies but all mooshed together into one great humungous center medallion.

Then, I could follow the sample photo of surrounding the center medallion with a narrow border, followed by a simple applique border of hexie flowers.   So, that's the current plan with my same center color hexie flowers.  I'm not quite sure how big my final quilt will be.

3. From the June/July 2015 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts, I saw the most AMAZING hexagon quilt.  From reading the description, I found that it was created using fabric PRINTED with hexagons!   What a sneaky, sneaky way to use a cheater fabric!  I *so* approve!  :-)  I promptly found the fabric used in the magazine and will be making my own version .... ummmmm ... "soon".

In the meantime, I was rummaging around my stash and found ... to my utter astonishment ... two pieces of  *printed* hexie fabric!  Now, to be sure it wasn't the same as what I had just ordered and it wasn't the same scale and it sure wasn't enough to make a quilt using the magazine's layout .. BUT .. surely I could come up with something in the same vein?

One piece was simply small hexies placed smack dab right up next to each other.  If you tried to cut them apart to use them individually, you'd lose most of the fabric.  Instead, I put that small piece on the bottom of a background fabric as a "band".  Unfortunately, it wasn't long enough to go from edge to edge .. but it'll work out.

printed Grandmother's Flower Garden fabric
The other piece of printed hexie fabric were larger flowers in a Grandmother's Flower Garden layout.  To use these hexie flowers, I sacrificed the "path" around the flowers so I could then applique each of the flowers onto the background fabric, above the band of hexies.

As with so many printed fabrics, these hexie flowers were not printed strictly on-grain.  Many of the flower units along the cut edges were askew.  I didn't want to waste any of them and I wanted to use all that were there, so where the flower units were incomplete, I simply stuck them right up against the edge of the background fabric.  As a result, there are several flowers stacked up against each other on both sides ... it was the only way I could reasonably use those flower units.

The rest of the flower units had the edges turned under and were machine appliqued with a narrow zig-zag stitch.

the "band" at the bottom is a different printed  hexie fabric
This layout isn't the most fantastic I've ever done but it was an interesting method to do ... and it gave me some experience before my other printed hexie fabric arrives.

When I quilt this, I'll put some filler stitches in the background fabric area.


  1. On your diamonds................could you not just applique your units to fabric and then use it that way instead of fussing with all those bothersome little half diamond units? I love your fun new project with the cheater fabric!

  2. I like that you showed how you put your hexi's on the cloth....using the zig zag. Can't wait to see how ya quilt this one!

  3. Ami - hmmmm. Hadn't thought of that. It wouldn't look out of place because the next column will be *all* applique. :: thinking ::

    Oh. Wait. That won't work. The white fabric I have for the applique columns will yield *EXACTLY* 3 equal width columns of 14" each. There won't be any fabric on the long sides for the applique to be stitched to; I'd be encroaching on the vine applique.

    Oh. Wait. Who cares? The vine applique is undulating. It zigs and zags. *I* control the placement of the vines, leaves and flowers. I could just *barely* overlap the hexie flower columns onto the white fabric. It surely *would* give me the exact same look-and-feel without the fussiness of the half diamonds (which I was using to straighten out the hexie edges for ease of attaching the white column fabric).

    WOWSER! Ami, I do believe you have just saved me a whole messload of time and unbelievable tedium.

    Consider yourself the receipt of "Escape one skewering" card, useable on any occasion. :-)

  4. Val .. the narrow zig-zag for attaching the appliques is a sop to my need to get this little quilt finished rapidly. From my garment sewing days, in my mind, zig-zag stitching is not decorative but utilitarian, designed for mending. :-) So, when I see zig-zags on appliques, I kinda turn up my snooty nose. (See, I admit it!)

    *Normally*, I will use a narrow buttonhole stitch. My machine has several variations to choose from and I typically use the one that has a small "bite" to it (Janome 6500, mode 2, stitch 34. If I want the "bite" further apart, I'll use stitch 36).

    If I use a matching or coordinating thread, the applique is very unobtrusive. If I want a definite look, I'll use a high contrast thread, usually black. I do have Superior's Monopoly polyester invisible "thread" but I'm very hesitant to use that on a baby quilt or any quilt that I'm going to give as a gift. I, personally, don't know how well that stuff holds up over time and I would hate for a gift of mine to become undone. (My own quilts? Heck .. I don't care; I'm here to fix it. I can even berate the quilter! :-) ).

    I almost never use a tight satin stitch. I think of embroidery patches when I see that *and* it's a very, very heavy stitch.

    I'll admit that I'm quite the snob when it comes to machine applique. :-) Not to say that my machine applique is perfect, but I sure do have my preferences! :-P