Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fun with Hexies!

Way back in March, I was very excited about going to Bloomington, IN to take a class with Mickey Depre called "Hello Hexies! - Mug Rug".  Unfortunately, two days before the class, my hubby fell getting off his motorcycle and fractured his femur.  He spent 2 1/2 weeks in the hospital, and I spent a lot of time sitting by his bedside.  So I thought, I should probably just teach myself to English Paper Piece.  I mean, I retaught myself how to knit continental style after learning English style when I was 10.  Problem was, I heard that it was kind of addicting!
Yeah, they are kinda addicting.  I started out just making enough to make some mug rugs.  But then, I really wanted to keep making them.  So I fired up my trust EQ7 and designed this little wall hanging.  I churned out blue hexies, and thought how cute some bees would look, so I pieced some black and yellow and to make a pieced hexie!
My original thought was to do some hand stitching ala Laura Wasilowski, but I changed direction when I saw how well my Bernina 550 did a double blanket stitch with King Tut thread.  And I was inspired to free motion quilt the petals in the hexie petals, and pebble the flower centers!
And I am pretty proud of the back, also!  I usually would match my bobbin thread to my backing fabric, but I was afraid of having black thread pop up in the blue sky, so I threw caution to the wind and went for white!
Mickey has written a book "Pieced Hexies - A New Tradtion in English Paper Piecing" which will be available in September.  Pieced Hexies has its own Facebook page; if this has interested you, stop by and like it, and browse at all the fun things you can do with hexagons!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A quilting challenge!

The day started normal enough.  Drinking my coffee, and checking on my friends on Facebook.  One of my friends, Teri Lucas, said she was awaiting the mail for a special package.  Turns out she was waiting for a delivery of Robert Kaufman Radiance.  I mentioned that I had found some in my sewing room while doing a reorganization.  Teri challenged me to make something out of it.  I accepted the challenge!
I considered making some piecework, as I had just watched a Sally Collins' video yesterday on precision piecing.  Then I thought about doing a crazy patch.  But what I really think of when I see Radiance is how beautiful it looks quilted!
I could have done a simple feather wreath, but I wanted to do something different.  I mean, if it is a challenge, it should stretch your abilities.  So I searched my Quilting Designs and found this design!  Perfect!  So I did a practive piece on muslin, with turquoise Isacord thread.  Started to add some thread painting details.  Yeah!  That's a good touch
So I created this!  But this wasn't Radiance, it was a piece of cotton sateen.  Not the same.  And although you probably couldn't tell it over the net from the picture, I would know that it wasn't Radiance.  So although it was great practice, it was back to the drawing board.
Taking inspiration from my favorite coffee mug, I drew up this design.  I wanted to add the snail, because I know how to stitch 'em!
Sorry for the sideways picture...grrr!  So this is done on a light brown piece of Radiance.  Superior threads of King Tut, Kimono silk, Rainbow, and one YLI.  I think the drawing looks better than the actual execution.  But it was fun!  I used a wool batting, which gives it a bit of loft!
So, the moral of this story is, sometimes it pays to just keep your fingers off the keyboard rather than adding your two cents worth!  Have a quilty day!