I find myself in that awkward stage between projects, where one quilt which took what seemed forever to hand piece/applique/bind is actually mailed off to its first show, and another is waiting to be started. In all honesty, I have been busy with plenty of client quilts, samples and preparations to teach at MQX too. But another problem is creeping in that makes my days frustrating and miserable. I am sleeping horribly. It's been a combination of everything from general discontent, to kids stressing me out, to just wanting to run away and live somewhere warmer. At night, I get my kids into bed, and proceed to fall asleep in my chair. I awaken at 10, and go up to bed, only to lay there for hours trying to fall asleep again. By dawn I am ragged. I believe part of this problem is because I fall asleep between 8 and 10pm, so...it is time to dream up a hand stitching project. I am not sure that this will matriculate into a show quilt, but as I am plagued with issues of perimenopause, it will hopefully address the sleeping prematurely issue.
Last year I did the elongated hexagon blocks, and actually enjoyed the process and portability of these. I decided this year to dig out some of the large-scale floral and mostly modern prints that I have been hoarding for 3-5 years, not knowing what to do with. As I migrated into show quilts, these bold and colorful prints became harder and harder to use. I learned with my last quilt (which I will fully reveal in 2 weeks just before MQX) that they can be successfully used on a show quilt.
I have a plastic template for a 1" hexie block. I stake no claim to being so crazy as to make 1/2" hexagons. That would take my lifetime to complete, and it would be torturous to quilt. I still have to consider that this needs to showcase machine quilting, so it will have sufficient background space for that when it is done.
Here are a few of the first blocks I cut out...I am using predominantly orange, pink, green and aqua prints. Something about these colors just sings.
mess...I mean "blocks.
The first one I hand pieced is here. Let me show you how I do these, because it is different from the typical English Paper Piecing that most folks do, that requires those annoying cardboard papers and basting. That, in my opinion, is for the birds. My way is easier.
My primary motivation for using this method is this...I hate the papers; I'd rather handle bare fabric. AND I really dislike the look of whip-stitched hexagon blocks. I do not want the stitching to show, whatsoever. Below is what I do. Using pins, I align 2 hexagons. I then do a small running stitch only where the line is (do not go into the seam allowance). I stitch 2-3 stitches (aka 3/16") in the opposite direction at the start and stop of each seam, before knotting. My seams are very secure, and invisible, my word of today.