Hexie Patterns – Ready!

I’ve been working hard over the last month or so to create patterns for all of my hexie quilts and projects, and I finally finished them all! I have them up at Craftsy.com where they might be seen a bit more than here. I’m really happy with the work I put in, I think they’ll be good.

It was interesting going back in time and looking at my notes to how to do certain things, and how those things evolved over time. I really do love working with the hexie shape!

Do you EPP? Which one would be your favorite? Leave a message below telling which pattern you’d choose and why.  I’ll do a random drawing for a winner who will get the pattern of their choice in a digital .pdf format! Drawing will be on September 5, 2017.

2016 Quilt Finishes

Oceans Of Blue Quilt

When I look back over this crazy year, I realize that I’ve been quite productive in my quilting efforts compared to previous years. I think it’s because I’m loving my new Juki machine!

Here are all the quilts I finished this year:

Green Cross Quilt #3
Green Cross Series #3
Green Cross Series #4
Green Cross Series #4
Earth Energy Quilt
Earth Energy Quilt
Green Gardens Quilt
Green Gardens
Oceans Of Blue Quilt
Ocean’s of Blue – Swirling Oceans Quilt Pattern
Big Hexies
POP – Big Hexie Quilt using my own fabric designs from Spoonflower
Root Chakra quilt
Root Chakra Quilt
Hexie Hummingbird Finish
Hexie Hummingbird
Manipura Quilt Front
Manipura Quilt

I hope 2017 proves to be just as productive for me. I want to follow through and do 5 more quilts based on the Chakra system to complete that as a series, finish my 2nd Hexie Hummingbird, and possibly start a new hexie project!

What are your 2017 quilt goals?

Changes…

Hexie Hummingbird No.2 Layout

Phew… boy oh boy. I have been on a crazy physical and emotional rollercoaster lately, and I’m pretty sure I can chalk it up to getting older and being female. Ugh. I’m sure some of you know exactly what I’m talking about!

Yeah, I think it’s that time. I’m 47 and the average age is 51, so it looks like I’m right on schedule. This is one of those times I wish I could talk to my mom and find out more about her health issues. Instead I’m reading up on the subject and learning a lot on my own about this somewhat intangible thing called peri-menopause.

This could be the base of a lot of my recent ‘mystery symptoms’! The thing that tipped me off was I recently started getting morning sickness… and I’m definitely not pregnant. Who knew this can be a symptom?!? I sure didn’t, and if it’s anything like the morning sickness I had while pregnant 26 years ago, I will be miserable every morning till it’s over. This along with many other fun things like hot flashes are my new reality.

As you know, I need to find a silver lining in everything, or else my depression can take hold and pull me to never never land. So… I’m excited that this may be the cause of other awful symptoms… and it all could be going away soon!!  I just have to get over the hump. To do that, I’m immersing myself in quilting.

I brought my Juki in for a cleaning and tune-up and since I’m now without a machine, I started another hexie project! Hexies always cheer me up – they are so freaking cute!

Hexie Hummingbird Finish

A good friend purchased my Hexie Hummingbird Quilt recently, so I decided to make another one with my left-over hexies. This was much harder to lay out than the first one due to my dwindling resource of made hexies… but I’m still happy with it. This photo is close to the layout I ended up with:

Hexie Hummingbird No.2 Layout

Pretty cute, right? I like it because I’m using bright, big patterned fabrics. Very different than the usual monochromatic patterned fabrics I usually choose. This is going to be fun to sew! I’m going to keep track of my time on this too. It was very interesting to see my time spent on my last quilt, and that helps give me confidence to value my work more accurately.

manipura quilt-gail weiss

Speaking of which… this is me with the Manipura Quilt at our most recent PMQG meeting – thanks to Kimberly Lumapas for the photo! I was so nervous I don’t think I was even making any sense up there… but my guild is so supportive! As soon as the quilt unfolded, there was a bunch of applause and it made me feel like a rock star! (a little embarrassed too – if I’m being honest)

I’m really happy with how this quilt turned out, but – I really enjoyed the process of making it more than any other quilt I’ve made so far.  Now that I’ve made two Chakra quilts, I think I’m going to follow through and do all seven. It will be a fun design challenge, and if I use the process of quilting for healing – it can only be good!

 

Hexie Hummingbird Quilt Finish!

Hexie Hummingbird Finish

Super excited to share my last quilt finish – the Hexie Hummingbird! This was a super fun project – especially trying to make-do with the fabric I have on hand. It’s a smaller quilt, finishing at 34″ wide x 39″ tall, perfect for a wall hanging.

Hexie Hummingbird Finish

When I last blogged about this project, I was trying to decide on a background fabric to appliqué the Hummingbird to… well, I think I found the best thing hidden in my stash. This is Petals in Violet by Alison Glass, and I think the hand-dyed nature of it makes the Hummingbird look magical. I also thought it was neat to use a hand-dyed fabric for my hand stitching work!

I had a small piece of Tula Pink’s Free Fall backing fabric that just barely covered the back of this piece, it was very dreamy to hand quilt. I only hand-quilted the Hummingbird itself – the background was free-motion-quilted with my Juki. I really loved how the hand quilting made a neat pattern on the back.

BackHandQuilting

The hummingbird idea came to me while I was having cranial sacral work done, and I feel it has a deeper meaning than just an idea for a quilt. I know it’s a sacred totem for certain native tribes, but I do not know what exactly it symbolizes to them. For me, right now, I’m just seeing it as a good sign that I’m on the right path forward – where ever that may lead me.

Finish Closeup

I was able to finish up the binding at our PMQG monthly All-Day-Sew yesterday, which was really fun! I got to meet up with a quilter-fried from Minneapolis who is here visiting – we have many mutual friends, so it was really sweet to catch up. It also felt a little like worlds colliding, talking about people and experiences from years ago, all while happily quilting the day away. It was really grounding for me, and that is a good thing.

Yellow-Fabrics

Lately, I’ve also been thinking and dreaming of making a yellow quilt, so I recently came up with a new design. At first, I wanted to try to make it monochromatic, but I decided it needed a little grey, white, and cream to make the yellow pop. The design is done and ready to go, but my yellow fabric supply is looking orange. Funny how yellow is… and then isn’t – as soon as you change the shade! I think it’s one of the hardest colors to work with, but I’m plugging forward. More about this quilt to come!

 

 

 

A Quilt Finish!

Teal Sparkles Finished Front

Last night we had our yearly PMQG picnic, and I was able to finish a quilt to bring for show and tell. I brought it because I wanted to share a ‘frustration’ quilt. I know we all have them from time to time – that quilt idea that never really came to fruition the way you pictured in your mind…

I started this quilt last year, and have added bits and pieces over time and every time I pull it out to work on it, I became frustrated by my placement choices and would put it away again for a while. I tried working on it a bit every month, but would get irritated by looking at it. Have you ever made a quilt like that?

Teal Sparkles Finished Front

Last month I decided to just get it done already!!  I put it in my mind that it didn’t matter how it looks, I’ll just use it as a couch quilt anyway.  So I finished the front and used my questionable pieces for the back making a 2-sided quilt, and was very unhappy about it until I started quilting it.

Teal Sparkles Finished Back

For some reason, quilting this piece, connected me to it and I started to appreciate the work… and once I was finished, I felt it was good enough for show and tell. At our picnic, I received some really nice feedback and now I’m liking it even more 😉 I’m definitely my own worst critic!

In other news, my hexie hummingbird is coming along nicely! Here is the backside of the piece – showing my stitching work before hiding it forever…

Show Your Work

I’ve finished piecing the bird itself, and took out all the papers and appliquéd it onto a backing fabric – I’m in the process of quilting right now, but I wanted to show how I take the papers out of the piece before appliqué.

First I need two important tools: a seam ripper and a wooden BBQ skewer.

Paper Pulling Tools

I work in rows so I don’t get confused – and I start snipping my basting threads with the seam ripper. I snip once on each hexie – then I use the wooden skewer to pull a basting stitch or two, then to pop the hexie out:

Pulling Papers

Before I basted the hexies, I punched holes in them for this very purpose – my seam allowances are big and cover the back of my small hexies… so it’s very important for easy paper removal. Once they were all removed, I pressed it well. At this point, I’m quilting this piece, and hoping to have it ready for our next guild meeting!

Contemplation

Hexie Hummingbird Pieced

I recently finished piecing my Hexie Hummingbird together! It went so fast… not adding a full hexie background certainly helps in the time department.  However, now I’m faced with a big decision: what to use as a background fabric?

Hexie Hummingbird Pieced

This decision has taken days – I want to only use what’s in my stash, and I don’t have many pieces large enough (1 yard) to use. So I spent some time in contemplation, and I’ve settled on a great piece that looks a little magical to me. I’ll be sharing soon…

In the meantime, I’m working on a binding for a quilt that I’ll have finished for our next PMQG meeting, which is also part of the PNWMQG Meetup! I’m really happy there is one event where I can meet new quilty friends that is free. Will you be coming to town? Wanna meet up? Hit me! I don’t get to travel much anymore, and I love meeting new friends and talking quilts.

 

Making Progress

whipstitching on back

I’m steadily making progress on my Hexie Hummingbird! Currently, I’m stitching the rows to each other. whipstitching on back

While I make the rows using a ladder stitch, I change it up when I’m sewing the rows together and use a whipstitch. I think it’s easier to work as a flat piece when the rows are coming together.

To start, I take the piece I’ve stitched together an place in on my design board exactly where it needs to be:

Finished section

I check my layout to make sure it’s in the right place then pin the two sides where I need to start stitching:

pin In Place

From here I flip it over and start my stitch a little in from the edge:

stitch Start

The blue fuzzy thing I’m working on is a stuffed animal in the shape of a bolster pillow. I find by using this pillow on my lap while sewing, it helps me keep the piece flat while working on it, I can see my stitching better, and sew with less stress on my wrist… I can also wrap it around the pillow as it gets larger.

I start stitching here and work to the edge then back up the way I started:

stitch Start 2

I’m testing a fine silk thread as a double strand right now. Usually I use an all purpose thread, and that can be used as a single strand. I’m still undecided as to which way I like better.

stitch Start 3

I like using the whipstitch here because you can really tighten it up and make super strong seams – and you can’t see them from the front:

top

So this is my progress! I’m looking forward to the appliqué process – it will be a new thing to try for me!  I just love how quickly this project is going – and it’s because I didn’t do a full hexie background. Food for thought!

Tonight is the PMQG meeting, and they’re having a mini-trunk show of all the quilters who had quilts show in the PMQG section of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Since I’m in that group, I’ll be bringing some quilts to show tonight, even my hexie quilts! I’m a little nervous, but really excited to be able to share my quilts again!

Sewing Hexie Rows

Needle Through

I’m working on a Hexie Hummingbird right now, and I sew in rows, and in my previous post, I show how I take my hexie-row sewing to go. In this post, I’m going to show you how I stitch these little guys together! *I feel the need to say: this is my own technique – it may not be the “right way”, but it works for me!*

First, you’ll need all your ‘tools’. For me, this is a well-fitting thimble, John James #10 needle, Superior Silk Thread, Thread Heaven, and a scissors.

ToolsNeeded

After threading my needle, I run it through the Thread Heaven – this makes the thread easier to work with and last longer. I make a quilters knot in the thread – and start in the center of my first hexie, and tie a knot:

Starting Knot

Then I push the needle up through the center, staying on the inside of the hexie:

Needle Up

Next, I take the hexie I’m going to add and make sure it’s nicely aligned to the first hexie, with WRONG sides together, and then do a ladder stitch to one end:

Ladder stitch 1

Flip the hexies over and ladder stitch all the way to the other end:

Ladder stitch 2

Flip the hexies again, and ladder stitch back to the center:

Ladder stitch 3

‘Open’ the hexies, then carefully send the needle through to the backside without catching any fabric (if you do catch fabric, you’ll see the stitch on the front):

NeedleThrough

Tie a knot on the back, close to where the thread emerges from the front:

Back Knot

From here, you can make a running stitch up to the top, where the next hexie will go, and make another knot – this way, if the running stitch accidentally gets snipped, the knots will keep the stitches in place:

Next Knot

Voila! Well stitched hexies… with NO stitches showing!

No Seams

I have just finished sewing all my rows for the Hummingbird – next up I’ll be sewing these rows to each other.

finished Rows

It’s really going fast! It makes such a difference with the decision to appliqué this onto another fabric, rather than making a full hexie background. It feels real good to be able to get a hand-project done quickly!

Hexies-A-Go-Go

Hexie Travel Roll

I’m just about ready to start stitching my new hexie hummingbird design, and I thought I’d share how I take my hexies to-go with me so I can work on piecing anywhere!

I physically layout my whole design before starting to stitch. That means you need to have a layout space large enough for your project. The hummingbird is on the smaller side, so it fits on card table. For other projects I’ve used a 4′ x 8′ piece of foam insulation covered in batting and rested it on a table top.

Once you have your layout exactly how you want it… you can take your piecing on the go with a handy little roll:
Hexie Travel Roll

Here’s how (get ready for a few photos!):

You’ll need • a long strip of batting about an inch wider than your hexie pieces, • a strip of fabric same size as the batting strip, and • a scrap of practice quilting

Needed Items

The scrap of practice quilting should be the same width as the fabric and batting. Roll it up and secure it with paper clips.

innerRoll

Next, start laying out a row of hexies – centered onto the piece of batting:

Travel Hexies 1

Continue lining up your hexies exactly as they are in the layout:

Travel Hexies 2

Travel Hexies 3

Leave a little space between separate rows, so you don’t accidentally sew them together.

Travel Hexies 4

Travel Hexies 5

Travel Hexies 6

When you run out of space, lay the strip of fabric over the hexies.

Fabric Cover

This piece of fabric will keep the hexies from sticking to the backside of the batting.

From here, take the pre-rolled quilted scrap and place it on the end where you just ended your layout. This piece will keep your hexies from getting bent in the roll.

Start roll

Carefully roll it all up, adjusting the fabric strip as needed:

rolling1

rolling2

Rolled up

Now you can pin it on the sides to keep it all in place:

pinnd

When your ready to stitch, place the roll in a small plastic container like this:

Plastic Container

I put a spool of thread behind it for stabilization, because this roll is a little small for the container. Once in place, you can un-pin and carefully start to pull the batting:

Carefully Unroll

Lay the batting over the edge of the container and pull as you need – it’s sort of like a Pez dispenser for hexies!  It’s a great way to sew in rows and keep all your hexies exactly as you had them laid out.

Hexie Dispenser

Once you have a completed row stitched up, you can lay it back on your design table, and start on another row.

If you try this little hexie-dispenser idea, please let me know how it works for you!

Hexie Hummingbird – Start!

mass-O-hexies

It’s been almost a year since I’ve had a hexie project to work on – I really needed a little break, and I wanted to focus on some machine stitching – which was great, but I’m starting to really miss having a hand-project.

mass-O-hexies

It took some time to figure out what I wanted to make next. I have a whole bunch of 1/2″ hexies basted, ready to use… but I needed a plan. Last week I saw my therapist  (Shiatsu, Rolfing, Cranial Sacral, & Energy Healer) and while on the table in full meditation mode, I envisioned a hummingbird. No reason… but I came home and felt the need to make it come to life, so I spent a little time on the computer and laid out a Hexie Hummingbird!

Since I have so many basted hexies already, I didn’t want to make anymore – and just use what I had in my stash – which turned out to be much more difficult than I imagined. I wanted to share the evolution of this layout:

First I print out my design layout and use that as reference for hexie placement. This was my first layout:

Hexie Hummingbird Layout 1It’s not bad… but it could be so much better, so after a day of rearranging, this is my second layout:

Hexie Hummingbird Layout 2Wow… that just got super messy – but I really liked the purple wing and the orange tail feathers… I just needed to get that back wing and the head to read better.  So this is my third layout:

Hexie Hummingbird Layout 3Now that back wing is just driving me nuts… I’m about 4 days in at this point and about ready to dump the table and start over. I do really like how the face looks better a bit lighter.

I took a full day off of looking at it – sometimes you just need a break, this type of creative work can be exhausting… but the time invested always pays off!

Next time I worked on it, I spent another day picking and switching and changing my mind, then I came to this layout:

Hexie Hummingbird Layout

I’m really happy with this! I posted it on IG late last night and got a lot of great feedback, so I think this is IT! For this hexie quilt, I plan on just doing the main image in hexies, then I’m going to try appliqué and place it onto a solid background… and maybe add some hexie flowers too. I’m excited, because this approach should make this a fairly quick project.

I’m so happy to be back in the hexie swing again!