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.

The Squid Hexie Pattern

The Squid Hexie Quilt

I’m so excited to have this pattern ready to share!

The Squid Hexie Quilt
The Squid Hexie Quilt

I started the Squid quilt in 2010 after going to my first PMQG meeting and learning about English Paper Piecing (EPP). We practiced basting hexagons (hexies) and the possibilities I imagined in quilt patterns was so inspiring, I went home and designed the Squid that night!

It took 7 months of hand stitching, and a lot of learning to get it finished – but I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get started on the next one (The Wood Dragon).

Fast forward 6 years to now with 3 large hexie projects under my belt, I’m being asked often for the patterns, I finally sat down and wrote one up for The Squid. You can find it here on Craftsy.

As a bonus with my patterns, I’ve attached the Illustrated Stitching Techniques as a print out, and I set up the Hexie Portal with links to tutorials and other information on hexie stitching that I’ve written about here on this blog.

I hope I can inspire other people to become a hexie addicts like myself!


Hexie Quilt Patterns


I’m making some progress over here! I have a new page on this blog called “Hexie Portal“. I’m hoping it will be a good resource for tips and tricks for hexie stitching.

I have a few links listed there with tutorials I’ve written in the past. I’m also sharing new illustrations that show my stitching technique.

Last but not least, I have my Wood Dragon Hexie EPP Pattern finished and now available on Craftsy!

I will be following up with patterns for the Squid, Jellyfish, and Placemat as I get them finished. YAY for progress!

So Much…

There is just so much to write about.  I guess that’s what happens when you don’t blog for as long as I have.

We are now in our new home, working from our new studio (we print t-shirts), and I even have a new sewing space!  Everything is still in boxes, so no great ‘new house’ photos today.

Instead I wanted to tell you that my Wood Dragon Hexie Quilt was accepted into the NW Quilting Expo which is happening next weekend 9/19 – 9/21 at the Expo Center here in Portland.  I’m so excited… and a bit nervous.  It’s really hard to let go of that quilt.  It felt like leaving my daughter at the airport to go to Europe by herself… but at some point you just have to do it and move on.

I’m super excited to share this quilt with others.  It’s the best part about making a quilt… especially one that took 18 months to complete!!

I am getting the quilt judged at the show.  I had the squid quilt judged there last year and their comments were very helpful. I’m always interested in critiques by people “in the know”.  Seems there is a lot of judgement on quilts these days based only on design.  I thrive on learning more about the actual construction of the quilt and how to make it better, than on the design.  But that’s just me, and honestly, the design part comes naturally to me… it’s the actual stitching, piecing, and quilting that I stumble over and want to get better at.

Hope to see you at the show… and I promise new pictures next post!

Here are some pictures of my hexie process:

Lots of 1/2″ hexies… and notes to keep it all straight!
dime for size
Getting the layout right took over a month in itself!!
This is how I looked for about a year… my hexies were always a reach away.
My daughters’ long pillow worked great as a form to roll the growing quilt onto as I stitched.
Back of the dragon… my hexies completely covered the paper hexies making the whole quilt a little thicker.
Picking the papers out… good thing I punched holes in them before sewing – a toothpick made the work quick!
Finished Hexie Top
Fully quilted on my Singer after it was basted professionally by Nancy Stovall / Just Quilting
Super proud of my woodgrain free motion quilting pattern.
How to quilt the dragon?? French knots to the rescue!
Finished top.

Quilt Documentation Day

I was super lucky to be able to go to a Quilt Documentation Day that the PMQG hosted recently.  I’ve never been to anything like that… plus I was able to get my Dragon Quilt documented, and eventually it will be listed this Quilt Index.  The Oregon Quilt Project has forms and information if you are interested in the process.

The day was spent looking at old and new quilts alike, measuring them, describing the patterns, fabrics, battings, quilting details, and bindings.  You really get a feel for what is important in a quilt when you start looking at the quality of the work.  This quilt was a great drunkards path that was all hand quilted ~ and while it has definitely aged, it had a very modern feel

Here is the first “modern” quilt to be documented (it’s a PMQG group quilt) – which is so cool!

This is Susan’s Modern Crosses Quilt which is just so beautiful when you see it in person:

These two quilts were made by the same person… and I really fell in love with the more traditional quilt with the blooming nine patch pattern

AND… I finally got a great photo of my Wood Dragon Hexie Quilt!!

I heard that the PMQG plans to host more documentation days in the future, I hope I can make it to all of them.  It’s a great place to learn a lot about the history of quilts and other quilting goodness.  Plus it was really fun just hanging out with others who love these things.


I have some photos to share!  Here’s my caveat: these are home photos… when the sun actually makes an appearance here in Portland, I’ll get outside and get some decent pics.  I just didn’t want to make you wait much longer 😉

Details:  4,132 1/2″ hand-pieced hexies in this quilt.  Stitched from Oct. 2011 to Feb. 2013.  Partially free-motion-quilted on my domestic Singer sewing machine, partially by hand using french knots. 

Here’s a couple photos of the back too:

And one last photo of me and my quilt at the PMQG meeting on Thursday:

That meeting was really fun!  We actually did a hexie demo and everyone got to try their hand at them… it was great, and I think we may have a few more hexie addicts soon 😉  There were a lot of amazing quilts shown (as usual!), if you’d like to see them go here.  That group is just amazing when it comes to support and motivation ~ I love my guild!

IT Is Finished!

Woo Hoo ~ time for a little celebration:  I finished my Dragon Hexie Quilt!!!!!!!

 Too many exclamation points?  Too bad, they are there to stay 😉

I WILL be posting photos soon.  I’m just getting better after a bout with a flu bug, so I haven’t had a chance to get good pics yet.  I just wanted to share my joy!  However, I will be bringing it to the next PMQG meeting (7pm tomorrow night at PNCA room 101) if you’d like to see it live!

French Knots

I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post, there is just so much going on! 

Progress report: After quilting the background wood grain, it took a while to figure out how I wanted to quilt the actual dragon.  The super dense quilting in the background makes the whole dragon puff out… and I LOVE that!  I wanted to keep that aesthetic, but I wasn’t sure how to do that.  I was going to hand quilt this part, but the layers are too thick for me and I can only get 4-5 stitches per inch.   After some frustration, I came up with the idea to use French knots! 

So far so good!  I’m about half done with the body, then I’ll still need to do the green belly and the red scales on top, the horns and beard… then it’ll be time to bind!!!!    I really hope to have this quilt completely finished by the next PMQG meeting in February so I can bring it for show and tell.  While I love this quilt more than anything else I’ve ever made, I am more than thrilled by the idea of working on something new!

Woodgrain – Check!

Since this is a Wood Dragon, I really wanted the background to look like wood.  One week of free motion quilting and 4 spools of thread later….

and I finally have the background all quilted!!  I was inspired by Angela Walters and her wood grain pattern she showed when she recently lectured at the PMQG.  She also was encouraging when it comes to dense quilting.  I LOVE how it turned out, it’s very textural and organic looking!  The only major problem I had was quilting over batiks ~ there are not many in this quilt (thank goodness) but where there were batik hexies, I had to readjust my tension, and even then I was breaking thread  often.  Also… since I do this on my Singer, the stitch lengths are not perfect ~ but the overall effect is great!

Now to start quilting the dragon proper!  I’m saving a full quilt picture for the final unveiling 😉

Slow But Sure

Working on the dragon quilt quilting tonight. So far so good… At least I think so 🙂 Just wanted to show my  progress, more to come soon..  

Quilting The Beast…

Yes,  I finally started quilting the dragon hexie quilt that I’ve been working on all last year! I’ve been quite anxious about it, especially since I quilt on my domestic Singer machine… it’s hard to maneuver the quilt in the machine to make smooth lines in my free motion quilting. 

So, I started with the border:

Straight-line quilting with the walking foot, super happy with how it came out… I even added another two red lines of quilting in the red stripe to make it stand down from the brown. 

Then I started quilting a wood-grain pattern in the background.  I was using the same brown thread I used on the border… and had to take it out, it was just too dark.  Got new thread yesterday, a lighter more golden brown which goes with more of the background fabrics:

With the new thread I sat for a full day before starting.  I was/am a little scared… but like my hubby keeps telling me:  “don’t worry at all, it’s a ‘Gail Quilt’ so anything you do will be perfect.”  I love that guy!!  So I jumped in yesterday and here is what it’s looking like:

I’m tightly quilting the wood grain background so that the dragon pops up off the brown, it’s going to look great ~ the quilting is FAR from perfect.  I keep breaking thread and having to start over… but I’m happy with it so far. 

So… Happy New Year to all you awesome quilters!!  Here’s to a new year full of goodness, friends and awesome quilts!

Happy Holidays!

This makes for a great day to do a little writing, since it feels like the whole city shut down.  It’s very calming and I like it. 

Just thought I’d post what I received for the Holiday Swap at the last PMQG meeting.
I got this AWESOME bag and little pouch:

Here’s the pretty yellow inside, it has a hard bottom too so it can sit on it’s own:

I was super happy with this… and I REALLY needed a bag like this too ~ thanks so much Tamara King!  You rocked it!   Although I think I would have been happy with anything on that gifty table, (see photos here) there are some amazing creative types in our group! 

This is what I made my swap partner:

It’s a pillow cover… I fell in love with the deer fabric.  So Northwest. I might have to get some of my own! 

I also started quilting the hexie dragon quilt this week!!  After a few weeks of practicing hand quilting, I’ve decided to free motion quilt most of it with my machine. 

It’s a basic Singer dometic machine with a darning foot attached.  I set the stitch length to zero and away I go.  I used to tape over the feed dogs, but I find it doesn’t seem to matter on this machine if I do or not. 

I went around the whole outer edge of the patterned hexies, and around the dragon itself.  Then I started a wood-grain looking pattern… I think it’s looking pretty good, but I’m concerned about the color of the thread.  I want the wood grain affect to go vertically, but the hexies go from light to dark… so if I use dark thread you’ll see it on top, and if I use light thread you’ll see it on the bottom.  I’m considering two thread colors??  but am unsure how to have them meet in the middle.

While I’m thinking about this, I’ve started straight-line quilting the dark brown border horizontally.  It’s looking really cool.  Since it has wool batting, the quilting is very dimensional and dynamic!  In these shots you can also see the blue basting thread which will be pulled out after I’m done quilting. 
Oh… I’m so relieved to have started!  My quilting is by no means perfect… at this point, I’m just going for overall effect. 

So that’s what I’m off to:  a little family time and some sewing.  Doesn’t that sound like the perfect holiday?
Hope your holiday is just as great!! 

Basting A Dragon

Exciting news! I just got back from Nancy’s studio’ with my newly basted dragon quilt! It is already so much sweeter than I could have hoped… now I just  want to start quilting immediately, but I better do some planning first.
I really want to hand quilt parts of this… Soooo- hand quilters, what are your favorite tools, thread, tips and tricks? There is an all day sew tomorrow, and I want to get thread and  needles while I’m there… and get started on this while I still have confidence.
Another quick bit o news is that I got a new WiFi tablet – YAY! So this is my first post from a device… hope it works

Hexie Dragon Top… Finished!


It’s still not the best photo… but I think the colors are correct.  I’ve been waiting for a sunny day with helpers at the same time, and it just hasn’t worked out until today.  Even so, it’s hard to get a good photograph of something this big and flowy. Our feet are left in for size perspective 😉 

… so what do you think??  I am loving it!  Is it okay to say that about your own work?  Hope not  ~ after a committed year of stitching, it feels pretty awesome to have it finished.

 I’ve been contemplating just how I’m going to quilt this.  At the last PMQG meeting, Angela Walters was there and spoke to us about free motion quilting.  She was very inspiring and I loved her quilting work!  She likes dense quilting… and so do I!  Even though she uses a longarm, and I’m working with my basic Singer ~ I think with the right set up and practice, I can quilt this well enough. We’ll see.  I need to think on that for a while before jumping in. 

In the meantime, I’m starting some other projects and I’m pretty excited to start something new… and a little sad to see the end of this one!

ps:  If you’d like to see the beginning of this project, go here to my old blog archives.

So Much

You may have noticed my blog moved ~ this will be my first post at GailLizette.blogspot.com.  Please follow, or re-follow my sewing updates.  I love getting all the feedback!  There are many reasons for the changes, but that’s a story for another day.

The PMQG All Day Sew that happened last Saturday.  It was great, as usual ~ I started two pillow covers for my daughter using a new technique a saw on Elizabeth Hartman’s blog: quilting as you go.  I had a lot of fun trying different quilting patterns and practicing.
Here’s a pic of the 2 unfinished pillow tops:

And here are some close ups of my favorite quilted areas:

Funny story too:  After the All Day Sew, I went out to the parking lot to find my car missing!  I called my husband and he came and rescued me and we made a police report as soon as I got home.  At 3:40 that morning we get a call from the local police saying they found the car and if we can get there in 15 minutes, they won’t have it towed…. so we jump out of bed and take a bleary-eyed drive to meet up with the police and our car.  Turns out some guy had a similar key that worked in the door handle and he got it jammed in the ignition enough to get it started.  So we were able to start the car and drive it home.  The next day my husband was able to work the key out ~ so it was a very dramatic  non-issue

A couple other updates:  The dragon quilt top is completely finished!  I’m waiting for a sunny day to get a good photo, but it will be soon, I promise!  I showed it at the last PMQG meeting and it was warmly received and it made me feel pretty good ~ almost too good.  Got so nervous in front of the group I completely forgot everything I wanted to say about it.  Oh well… another time!

I also made a cute little reversible apron for the Michael Miller Stripe Challenge.  It was really fun, bright fabric to work with:

Okay… I think that’s about it for now.  Thanks for joining me at this new site ~ I hope to regularly blog through the next year!

All Pulled….

 Here’s the box of all the pulled paper pieces from the dragon quilt… and thread too.  I’m done!! I feel like I should throw it in the air for confetti effect in celebration, but I don’t really feel like cleaning it up.  So, for now, they’ll just sit in the box.  It’s hard to tell how many pieces are there, so I stuck my hand in for a better visual:

If you’re wondering… this is what 3,942 1/2″ hexie pieces look like without any fabric.  What a great tool ~ the quilt top is very square and lies flat… which is a great start before actually quilting!  Today I’m working on the border to finish the top.  Well, actually, I think I’ll be cleaning my sewing room first, then the border.  Priorities! 

Next Step: Pulling Papers

I finished piecing the Dragon top this week, and the next step is pulling the foundation papers. 

 Luckily I got some great tips from Rachel at 2nd Avenue Studios.  One of the best was to punch a little hole in each paper hexagon before basting the fabric on.  It makes things super easy for this step… all I have to do is use a toothpick to stick in the hole and pull.

Pulling these papers could go really quickly… I wouldn’t even have to take out the basting.  However, for this project, I’m removing all the basting stitches too.  I think it will help make the quilting easier in the end.  

Speaking of which, I’m planning on bringing this to Nancy at Just Quilting for her to baste on her longarm.  This will help keep my free-motion-quilting smooth because I won’t need any pins.  I’ll just have to remove the basting stitches after quilting.  Yep, I’m going to machine-quilt this one… and I plan on adding some hand stitched elements too. 

So I’m saving the “big reveal” of the quilt top for the PMQG meeting on Oct. 18 for my quilty friends to see first ~ they’ve all been super supportive of this project.  I’ve been keeping it from friends/family/neighbors until I pull all the papers out, and add the border to the front.  I also want to have a good photo taken… THEN I’ll post a final shot (after the meeting, of course) but hopefully it’ll be worth the wait 😉


LOOK, look, look:

After a year of stitching, here are the very last six strips I have left to sew onto the dragon quilt!!!  I’m going to finish the top tonight ~ and I’m sooooo excited, and a little sad.  It’s like reading the last chapter in a 10-book-series, and you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to your favorite characters. 

Yesterday I went into my sewing room sty and realized I have a lot of cleaning to do before I start the next step on this quilt, or start any other.  That should be fun.  I haven’t really been up there much lately since I do my hand-stitching in the living room… and the dragon layout took up most of the space.  I’m working on a list of organizing stuff I need from Ikea, and maybe I can get that room into shape quickly… we’ll see. 

Either way, one part of my HUGE project is almost complete ~ and I’m a smiling girl today 🙂 

An Update

It’s been a while since I posted!  Crazy how time flies.  One fun thing that happened was the Northwest Quilt Expo show here in Portland.  I went with my husband ~ that was an experience in itself… he’s never been to a quilt show before!  We met up with some other PMQG members on Saturday morning, then veered off on our own little adventure.  It was pretty great to see my squid quilt hanging someplace other than my sewing room!

I wanted to take a bunch of pics of other quilts from the show, but (of course) my camera battery died.  I have the worst luck with photography ~ oh well, got one of the squid and that was pretty cool. 

I am CRUISING on the Dragon Quilt right now… there are exactly 18 strips left to sew on, and one of those is only 2 pieces long!!  I will be done within the month… and my goal is to sew on the borders and take all the papers out so the whole top is complete before our next PMQG meeting, and then I can bring it to show and tell!  ~ I can’t even explain how excited I am to show it. 

Of course now the thing that’s rolling around in my head is how I’m going to quilt that sucker.  I’ve pretty much decided it’s going to be done by machine rather than by hand, but I might add some hand quilting for accents and details.  I’m thinking of having it basted on a long arm machine so I don’t have to deal with pins or glue… So I guess some things are figured out. 

Before I do any quilting on it, I think I’m going to work on a few small quilts so I can practice my free motion quilting again… it’s been a while, and I don’t want to start fresh on the Dragon… and over the last year of hand-sewing, I’ve put together a nice long list of machine-pieced quilts I want to make… so it’s time to get started!

Shorter Days…

The shorter days of recent are reminding me, again, how time flies.  I was feeling under the weather there for a while… and now I’m starting to have a little energy again and so things are looking up! 

One super awesome thing that happened recently is that The Squid Quilt was accepted to show at the Northwest Quilt Expo here in Portland, September 20-22.   I dropped it off yesterday, and took my little paper receipt in exchange… it was a bit hard to let go, but I’m so excited to see it actually hanging in a show.   It will be in the Portland Modern Quilt Guild area, in case you can make the trip. It’s also the first time I’ve been to the show myself… so there will be a lot of new things to explore.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

In the meantime… I just keep stitching on the dragon!

I roll the quilt around one of my daughters’ stuffed animals to help maneuver it while sewing    


Since I’m needing to do a Dragon Quilt update… I thought it would be fun to show the back of the quilt… the B-Side.  Funny how all the work of a hand-stitched quilt gets covered up with the quilting, no one gets to see all the actual work. 
So… here is where I’m at on the Dragon Quilt ~ from the backside:

I’m OVER halfway!!  Actually 3 strips over the halfway-point, so each strip from here on in will get shorter and quicker to stitch. 
Here’s two close-ups of the backside:

When I stitched the long strips of hexies together, I used a ladder stitch, and now, sewing the strips to each other, I’m using a whipstitch which is working very well to keep the quilt nice and flat.  There are still papers inside each hexie that I will need to take out… but I don’t need to think about that quite yet!  I do have a plan for that, and I think it will go quickly enough.  I’ll post about it when I get there. 

For now, I’m just keeping on~  I’m figuring at least 2 more months to finish the top of this quilt… then onto the actual quilting!!  Ideas for quilting patterns anyone??  I’m thinking of free-motion-quilting along with some hand-quilting ~ so there are lots of options.

Update: Dragon Quilt

This project is sloooowwwly coming together… here is where I’m at today:

I still have 6 full strips to get to the halfway point… then it’s all downhill from there baby!  I’m super happy with how this is turning out ~ and I’m starting to design the border for this too ~ it’s going to be very simple with a little color pop.  It’s nice to see these photos for me too ~ helps put the sewing time in perspective. 

If you’re interested in starting your own hexie project there is a nice hexie-quilt-along here with lots of information on how to sew these little addicting things.

Quilt Finish!

I finished the orange stripey quilt I’ve been working on ~ YAY!  It was a total improv quilt using solids and some prints from the Joel Dewberry Heirloom collection. 

I did an improv back too ~ it turned out a little wonky… but I like it:

It’s feels great to finish a quilt… especially when my other quilt is taking sooo long.  Here is a pic of my Dragon Hexie quilt progress:

I’ve been rolling the part that’s sewn together around one of my daughters old stuffed animals ~ it’s long and round like a bolster (only lighter) and If I wrap the quilt around it, it keeps it at a nice height on my lap to sew ~ as well as keeping it all together… it’s starting to get big!!