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!


Number 200!

This is my 200th post! Woot Woot!

To celebrate, I’m going to be posting some free downloads. You’ll find my Unbe-weevil-ble quilt pattern, and a file to print to cut your own 1/2″ hexie paper templates. I’ll be adding my layouts for the Squid and Dragon Hexie quilts soon too – kind of exciting to be able to give back a little!

Timing is on my mind as I feel I’m going very slowly on the Jellyfish Hexie Quilt… I’ve started sewing rows together from the bottom up. I’m sewing about 25 hexies together a day, so I am making some progress.

Missing rows are currently being stitched together – bottom right rows completed.

I figure it will take about 3 months to sew the rows and another 2-3 months to sew the rows to each other. Fingers crossed to finish this year! Here’s my layout sheet – you can see I make really good use of it for note-taking, counts, and a little math. I used a piece of cardstock for the dragon quilt… much better than regular paper.

Jellyfish Pattern – all marked up, and a row of stitched hexies.

Help me celebrate my big 200 by leaving me a comment. (comments make my day!)
I’d love to know if you have done English Paper Piecing before, and if so – what was your first project… and how long did it take you to finish?
If you’ve never tried EPP, what would you make if you did?

In Print!

I’m totally buzzing! Not only did the Blazers go into the next round of playoffs on an amazing buzzer beater (basketball), but I’m also in print in 2 magazines this month!

First is the new issue of The Quilt Life – on page 54.
My friend Bill and I were talking one day and after relating some of my life story, he said I had to meet his friend Victoria because our stories were so similar. I was like: “sure – why not?” and in a few days I received a very sweet email from her asking if I would be willing to do an interview for a magazine she was writing for. I said yes, and then we had a wonderful phone conversation in which we totally connected. Our families come from the same small town in Minnesota, we both had some crazy life struggles and worked hard to get our shit together… and we both found quilting!

After our conversation, I was super excited and a bit nervous about how she was going to write what we talked about, but there was no need… she took what I said and made it all sound wonderful. If you get a copy and read it, let me know what you think!

I knew it was coming out in the June issue, so when I saw the current The Quilt Life at Fabric Depot the other day, I had to buy it immediately… actually two. The woman at the counter asked why I was getting two and I told her about the article – and she went right to it, right there (while people waited in line) and started reading! She made me feel all giddy inside and my walk home was a great one.

The second is the new issue of GenerationQ – on page 14.
I entered a quick block building contest a month or so ago – and they picked my entry as one of the winners! This is pretty exciting to me – I haven’t entered many contests, so it feels great.

Life is good – from basketball to quilting and everything in between!

New Fabric

New fabric is always fun to get! I’m pretty lucky that a big fabric store is now walking distance from my house… yesterday I got some very pretty solid fabric for the border of the Jellyfish Hexie quilt. It’s called Cerise and I pretty much love it.

I’m also adding a row of white hexies so that this quilt will sort of match the Squid Quilt I made a few years back and they can hang together.  I think I will do a few rows of the Cerise hexies instead of adding strips of fabric for the border, which means I’ll have to make some half-hexies for the edges so it will have a straight edge on the sides.

Finished Squid Hexie Quilt

I haven’t been too happy with all the blue hexies I made, so I’m making more… this is making this part of the layout take more time than I was hoping, but I’ve learned to wait until I’m happy before moving forward on a project, otherwise it may never get finished.

My daughter has been using my sewing machine for her latest cosplay costume… and I’m jonesin’ to get it back. I have two quilt backs to make and I like to do those as improv pieces, I have fabric and a general plan – I just need my machine back. Luckily this is a good push for me to finish the layout and get to the piecing part of the Jellyfish.

What are you working on this week?

Jellyfish On My Mind

Gaaahhh…. I have jellyfish on the brain!!  
I’ve been keeping up with the news about Fukushima, and it’s distressing to say the least. I don’t plan on getting political on this post… but I keep reading an articles, like this one, about how the jellyfish in the oceans are so prolific (due to fishing of their natural predators) that they are being attracted to, and then get sucked into nuclear reactors so the reactors need to be shut down to clean them out.  
I don’t know what to make of it, other than our planet is definitely changing… and maybe these amazing creatures are trying to save us. Unlikely, yes – but I like to think big!
While pondering my possible translucent global allies, I decided they would be the focus of my next hexie quilt. Here is the base design I made last night:
Jelly Hexie Quilt design – Gail Weiss

I think a jellyfish would look great with The Squid Quilt.  On this quilt I really want deep turquoises, aquas, blues… so deep they are almost black for the background.  A hot pink top and bright colors will make up the rest of him. Since this design is flat with no patterns depicted, it will look completely different as a quilt. I love that element of surprise!

As it’s laid out, it will be approx 24″ x 48″ made out of 1/2″ hexies. I just printed the pattern out so I can count how many hexies in each color way I’ll need. Oh… it’s just so exciting!  Who would have thought I could miss hand stitching so much?

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    

Portland Modern Quilt Guild Show

Last night my daughter and I went to the PMQG quilt show at PNCA ~ and we really had a great time.  It’s been a while since we did anything with just the two of us, and now that she’s all grown up ~ she has her own life and friends and so we spend even less time together.  So I’m always happy when she joins me on any outing! 

The show itself is pretty amazing given it was the first show by this budding new group and there was very little lead time to plan and organize it *great job PMQG board!*  It was nice to finally have time to talk and chill for a bit with some new quilty friends!

There were a lot of other people there too ~ I stayed till 7:30ish and there were still quite a few people there, and more keep coming up.  It was a beautiful Portland night for First Thursday so there were a lot of folks out in general. 

I took photos of the quilts and came home and realized that I had taken no pictures of the crowd or the whole show put together ~ so lame.  I am again reminded that I am really not a photographer.  But I did get a nice pic of my squid quilt, and in good light so you can see the true colors.

So while I do have photos of all the amazing quilts in the show, I think they are SO much better live and in person… and since they are hanging until April 21 at PNCA ~ anyone can go see them… so GO!  When the show comes down I’ll post some pics for the peeps who live outside of Portland 🙂

Separation Anxiety

Well… yeah, just a little. 

I dropped off my squid quilt yesterday at PNCA for a quilt show they are hosting for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.  So on one hand, I am fully thrilled that something I made is going to be in a show… but on the other hand, I’m missing it already. 

Funny how that happens.  I guess when you spend so much time on something, it becomes your baby… until you make something new.  I’m sure anyone out there who makes things would understand.  I think of my good friend who is a stone mason ~ he works so hard on these amazingly beautiful projects, but he has to leave them behind when he is finished.  I think it takes a bit of maturity to do that… so I guess I better grow up already.  🙂

hee hee… I am pretty excited to see this show however!  It will be at PNCA (1241 NW Johnson) in gallery 214 *upstairs* this Thursday (First Thursday), April 7th starting at 5:30.   I believe there will be 16 quilts on display from the PMQG ~ it’s going to be great!!  There are so many super-talented people in this group of quilters, everytime I go to a meeting and see the quilts they bring for show and tell, I’m always VERY inspired.   If you’re like me and LOVE going to see the quilts at the state fair… I think you’d be pretty excited by this show too ~ so maybe I’ll see you there!

No Patience

I have absolutely no patience at all.  I finished my squid and took some photos and I want to show it off even though I should wait and put the hanging sleeves (and my little tag) on the back… and have it photographed on a nice wall with good lighting and a tripod so the photo itself is good… but I just can’t wait!! 

  *happy dance commencing* 

and here it is:

 I keep staring at it and daydreaming of my next big paper-pieced project…. aaahhhhhh.

Sunday… Squid Binding

So I think I’ve finished quilting “The Squid” ~  I’m so close to completion, I’m giddy!!

I’ve been free-motion quilting it over the last week.  It has been quite an education.  I had to practice every idea on little quilt sandwiches of scrap fabric… and I still had a hard time with controlling my stitches.  It doesn’t really matter, because it’s little things that you wouldn’t notice unless someone pointed it out. Plus, I’m sewing for fun and relaxation.  The last thing I want to do is get all anal and stressed on sewing.  But… I now have a list of things I want when I’m able to purchase a newer machine:

  • Pedal speed regulator.  I found there is very little play in my pedal between too slow and too fast, so I often ended up with micro-stitches.
  • Bigger “throat” space.  Not much room to move around.
  • Needle down control.  How many times did I stop and have to manually put the needle down while my fabric moved a little?
  • Feed dog control.  There is a cover for the feeddogs on my machine, but that leaves little space to fit the thickness of a quilt sandwich.
  • and if I’m rich: Stitch length regulator.  mmmm, how nice.

It was hard for me to pick thread colors too.  I went back and forth with the idea of using just one color for the whole quilt, or using grey for the back… but in the end I decided to go with color! It worked out great… the back of the quilt is almost as cool as the front now 🙂

Last night I stitched the top of the binding and today I’m handstitching the binding on the backside.  I think it was Petrá’s idea of using clothespins to hold the binding in place.  Sweet ~  I didn’t want to have to buy anything extra this week, and I had clothespins already… so YAY! 

Here’s a teaser pic:

It’s ON!

Okay… it’s ON!  I started quilting my squid.  It’s about time too ~ it’s been sitting on a table in my sewing room looking at me for months now.
I was inspired a great deal at the last PMQG meeting!  I have a long list of notions I want (need) to get, and again I saw some amazing quilts ~ my favorite being Jill’s monochromatic quilt – it was fantastic!

So, I spray basted this quilt.  The back is solid Kona Coal  I figure I have only a few days before the tackiness of the glue wears off, so I feel like I want to sew and sew and sew until it is finished.  BUT this time I WILL take breaks.  I have something called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) from an accident that hurt my neck when I was a kid.  So everytime I get tense in my shoulders, it pinches nerves down my arms (painful) and makes my hands and fingers go completely numb.  I still haven’t regained feeling in my right thumb since I quilted my yellow circle quilt… hmmmm, might be time for some bodywork!

Until then, I will be at my machine (on and off with breaks of course) working on my current favorite project.

Squid Quilt Top… Finished!

I was so excited last night to bring my finished quilt top to the PMQG meeting… and a little nervous.  I had so much I wanted to say about it and I kinda froze in front of the group, but I’m good at hiding it.  Not a big deal though… I’m just happy to be able to be in front of any group without throwing up 🙂 not only that, but everyone was really supportive and hearing their reactions made it all worth it! 

What I wanted to say was how much I enjoyed the paper-piecing, hand stitching of it all ~ so relaxing, addictive, and fun.  Plus I’m loving the new community that seems to be blossoming at PMQG. It’s very inspiring, and motivating for me and sharing accomplishments feels great.  I started the squid in July, shortly after our meeting about hexagons where I first learned how to make them.  I’ve been addicted since then.  There are about 1400 3/4″ hexies used in the quilt top.  I made them all first, then sewed them into rows, then sewed the rows together.  Altogether I have logged approximately 245 hrs. to get it this far.  The question asked the most:  “Why a squid?”… well, my answer to that is:  “Why not?”  Really, I’m just a weird girl and you just never know what’s going to break out of my head!

There will be another “unveiling” of my squid for my birthday this Sunday.   I can’t believe I’ll be 42 already… time just flies.  I’m always amazed when I make it to another birthday.  Honestly, when I was younger, I never imagined I would live past 25 with the way I was living. 

I haven’t really written much about my past, but as you may have noticed my web address is xstreetgirl.blogspot and there’s a reason for that.   After being disowned by my family when I was 17 because of religious differences,  I spent many years as a homeless or squatting gutter-punk.  Long story short, I was somewhat depressed as a young adult and I made it my mission to OD so I could move onto something other than this life.  Soooo… I spent years drinking VERY heavily and doing every drug that came my way.  One day I found myself pregnant, and sleeping in an unused MUNI station in San Francisco, so I became even more depressed and wanted an abortion.  Fortunately for me, I just couldn’t go through with it (even tho I’m pro-choice) and so I had to clean up my act while pregnant.  I fell back into old habits after my daughter was born, and I was an on again/off again homeless-single-mama for about 6 years until I stopped drinking, smoking cigarettes, and using meth in 1997.

I don’t mind sharing this information with anyone… I’m a pretty open person and I’m in a different place now ~ but I still have no real regrets.  I’m happy to have had all my experiences… and still be alive with a beautiful daughter.  That all said, it’s been an uphill battle with my health.  I’m not complaining, mind you…. just stating fact.  I can’t complain about things I did to myself!  In particular, my liver needs a LOT of love right now… but I’m so much more healthy than I’ve ever been before.  Most of all… I’m happy and content.  YAY!

I guess the reason I bring this all up is to show how much my sewing means to me.  It is my new addiction… and it will not hurt my health (except for maybe my finger joints) and I’m so happy that I am here and that I can be creative… and that I can share it all.   So when some people think: “Gee…. you must not have a life with how much time you spend sewing”  I  come back with: “Gee… I have the best life ever!”

Almost There!

Woo Hoo!!  I’m almost there ~ done with the squid quilt-top that is.   I’m really hoping I can get it done before the PMQG meeting on Thursday, I want to bring it to show to the rest of the group.  I’m just so excited!  I think this is one of the first projects I’ve done that I’m happy with all the way through (at least so far).  I’m also hoping to get some feedback on how much to add to the sides.  I could add enough to make it a twin size quilt… or I could just at a small border all the way around and call it good as a skinny quilt.  Decisions, decisions.

So I’m already thinking of my next quilt.  That’s because I’m going to wait to actually quilt the squid top until I get more practice with free-motion-quilting.  There is a quilt contest I could enter given by the Modern Quilt Guild and the theme is monochromatic colors… and a friend of mine asked me to make 2 baby quilts to put into her store (on consignment)… and so… I’m thinking of a monochromatic baby quilt! 

In the meantime, I’m going to try my hand at some “mug rugs” they are small little quilted pieces to use as coasters ~ and hopefully they can turn out really super cute like Megs here… hers are very inspiring.  I can use the mug rugs to practice quilting too. 

Sooo much to do.  So I’m ending this note here and am going to get busy on finishing my squid quilt!  Here is a progress shot taken about a week ago:

*sorry for the terrible photography!

A New Year

Happy New Year to everyone out in blogland!  So far… so good.  2011,  I’m ready.

I started and finished a quickie project last week for a friends birthday, so I can’t show it off just yet.  I was happy to take a break from the squid quilt, but now I’m back to it!  Here is the progress so far:

I think I have 4 more rows to go, then I’m halfway done!!  WooHoo 🙂  After this I’m planning on making 2 or 3 baby quilts.  I need to practice free-motion-quilting, and I think baby quilts would be a fantastic way to practice! 

Other than sewing, I’ve been tweaking my diet… again.  I know that there are things I just shouldn’t eat… but, I don’t think I can go through the rest of my life eating so strictly.  So I’m testing my digestive system to see just how much I can handle.  Sadly, I think sugar is completely out, along with potatoes, gluten, and coffee.  I’m hoping honey will do me good and that I can have some starches as long as I stay away from potatoes… but that might be asking too much.  We’ll see.  By doing these “tests”, my joints have started screaming at me, headaches are back, and I haven’t been able to sleep through the night… along with other little things.  So I’m pretty motivated to get back to eating right, and the new year is a good kick in the butt for those types of things.  

Piecing Away

12.26.10, originally uploaded by RamonaX.

I’ve been trying to make time for many things these days, but I keep coming back to sewing more hexagons to my squid quilt. I have 5 more rows to being at halfway point, so I think I’m making good progress!

It’s been hard to focus on this during the holidays when I thought or heard of so many fun projects to make. I am going to take a break from this quilt to work on a surprise birthday present for a friend… I’m hoping this is a small break and that I can get right back on track afterward. My goal right now is to have this quilt finished by March. Fingers crossed!

Chilly Days Cozy Nights

I love this time of year when there is some sort of gathering almost every night, and everyone is looking forward to some time off work and with family.  Everything sort of changes and people are just a little warmer… if they are not too stressed out, that is!  This year I’m planning on enjoying any free time by doing some more sewing.  My daughter kindly assisted me for the above photo a few days ago… and here is one I just took today:

I’m so excited by how it’s turning out, I’m becoming a little obsessive with it and taking it everywhere with me so I can work on it.  I’m keeping all the paper pieces inside the hexies, because I find I can bend them and manipulate the fabric without losing the points.  Amazing how quick this part seems to be going ~ and now once these are sewn… the top part is done!!

Last week I was able to get to the “Sew-cial” at Modern Domestic and got to practice some free-motion quilting.  It’s a lot harder than it looks, and I know I’m going to need quite a bit more practice before I quilt my squid!   Christina at A Few Scraps has many great tutorials and help with inspiration ~ so I know how I want to do the quilting… now I just need the practice.

Speaking of Christina, new officers were chosen to serve the PMQG for 2011 and she will be taking over Jennifer’s role as president.  The PMQG is fairly new ~ just started in 2010, so I think it’s already off to a fantastic start, and I’m sure it will continue to grow.  Last week I went to the last meeting of the year and it was really fun!  It was a potluck and there was a fun gift swap where everyone brought fabric to the last meeting swapped it and made a gift for the original fabric owner from their stash.  There are some amazingly creative people in that group ~ check out this blog to see all the things that were made ~ wow!!  Of course, I brought my squid quilt to work on, and I got great feedback from a lot of people about it and so that ends up being fuel for my obsessive sewing fire!  My goal is to have this quilt top done by my birthday in Jan… and hopefully have it quilted by the end of Feb.  I guess we’ll just have to see how much my fingers and joints can handle!

Getting It Together

upper corner , originally uploaded by RamonaX.

I just started putting the squid quilt together ~ this is the upper right corner. Super happy with how it’s coming out too!

I have all the rows made and now I’m making and adding on the extra cream and grey hexies then sewing the whole row onto the existing piece. With each row I get happier and happier with how it’s looking! Even though it’s all laid out on the table, it looks so much better when it’s actually stitched together!

I’m actually starting to get a callous on my fingertip, which is actually kind of cool! It helps by allowing me to sew for longer stretches. My joints tend to hurt much more in the winter than any other season, and all this sewing is taking it’s toll on my hands and finger joints. I can only sew for about 2 hours a day (spread out during the day) so this quilt may take even longer than anticipated, and my hands have been starting to hurt quite a bit. *sigh*

Wait! I should be happy I HAVE 2 hours a day to sew and stop this complaining – right? right! Also, if I curb some of my eating habits back to pre-Thanksgiving I know that can beneficially affect my joints and make them feel a little better. Avoiding dairy and sugar helps the most for me.

Here’s a pic with a few more rows I have finished up… and an up close shot.

Next Step

I’m finally finished with my piecing of the diagonal “strips” of my squid quilt!  YAY!  I got myself some cream and grey fabrics for the border… and so I need to make another 288 hexagons.  144 grey and 144 cream, and then I’ll add them onto the strips and sew them all together. 

This is becoming more and more a practice of patience and of following through… and I’m doing it! 

Busy Times

I’ve been slowly working on my squid quilt.  I’m sewing the hexies together in angular rows, and I’m on the 14th one (50 altogether).  I’m hoping that sewing the rows together will not be too hard.  I would try to sew a couple together now, except I really want to pick out a border fabric first and make extra hexies to go around the whole thing.  If I do that, I should sew the border hexies on the ends of each row before sewing the individual rows together.

That said, I’m having a hard time deciding on a fabric for the borders of this quilt.  Currently, I’m thinking a solid (or very subtle pattern) aqua blue color.  If anyone has a suggestion as to a specific fabric they would use ~ I would love to hear it!   Eventually I want to quilt the water with a free motion pebble pattern as shown here.  I LOVE how that kind of quilting looks, but I don’t know if I can do it well enough for this quilt or not.  Time to practice!!
I have to get over to Modern Domestic already.  I keep hearing about it through PMQG and I still haven’t had the chance to get there myself.  From what I understand it is an open sewing studio where you can pay by the hour to use their space, tools and machines… and I’m guessing they would have a great sewing machine in which I can try some pebble quilting with!  I have a few smaller projects that I can test it on and if they turn out good, then I’ll try the quilt. 

There is plenty to do, and my project list will take me a few years (or decades) to complete, so I’ve given up on being in any kind of rush.  I just work as I can, and try to enjoy the process.  I was hoping to be much farther in this squid project, but times are very busy for my husband and I work-wise.  We have a small screenprinting business together that we run out of our home studio.  It’s just the two of us, and he is having a big surgery in 3 weeks and afterwards he won’t be able to print for at least 6 weeks.  That means that we have to work as hard and as fast as we can to get all our work done by surgery time… then we have to hope that we will have brought in enough $$ to get us through 6 weeks of recovery time, and the deductible.   So… not much sewing time for me right now.  Luckily when he is all laid up, I’m going to take advantage of the time and try to wail through a bunch of neglected sewing projects!

Here’s a quick pic of a cute caterpillar I found on our recycling bin the other day… just wanted to share ~ he’s so cute (check out his little feet)!  

Piecing Time

I just signed up for Rossie’s Process Pledge so I will start with the project I’m currently working on… my squid quilt.  After I got all my little 3/4″ hexies made, I laid them all out on a big table according to my pattern, without caring how the water blues looked.  Here is how it looked:

Then I spent almost 4 days re-arranging over and over again until I was happy with the blends.  It turned out to be a bit tougher to blend the colors than I thought ~ but now I love it:

So last week I started the big process of piecing the hexagons together.  This is one of the first hand-stitched projects I’ve done, so I tried a few different ways, but the way I found to work for me best is to:
•1 run needle under back of hexie and through the corner, so the knot is under the fabric and not showing:

•2 with WRONG sides together I start my stitch:

•3 I use a ladder type stitch and go all the way across to the other side

•4 because I feel the need for stability, I flip it around and go back across one more time:

• then I run the stitch to the center of the hexies and pull my needle through to the back:

• from there I tie off the thread in a stable knot on the backside:

• and voila… the front tends to have no showing thread:

At this stage, I’m starting to consider the edging of this quilt.  I’m thinking a solid color fabric maybe… or I have some nice blueish silk with green strands running through it that could look nice with this, but I don’t know about mixing silk and cotton in the same quilt.  I’m also trying to decide if the edging fabric should be made into more hexies and added to what I have so far, then when I sew the straight edges, the hexagon shapes will be visible.  So much to consider… luckily I have plenty of time while I piece these together!

Can’t Wait

I’m too excited… I had to share a teaser photo!  I was going to wait until I have the whole thing put together… but I can’t wait.  I’ve been geeking out on the layout of hexies for 2 days now ~ I’m trying to make all the different blue and green hexagons for the water colors all blend.  I’m almost there ~ once I’m done I can start stitching them together!!  I’m also posting my initial design so you can see what the plan is.  I’m so motivated I wish I had more time to spend on it.  I guess we all have to take time to pay the bills though, right?

I Think Sew

For those of you wondering… I just changed the name of this blog from “Just Another Girl” to “I Think Sew”. 
I started this blog a few months ago and,  as this endeavor continues, I’m finding that what I want to write about and share most is all about sewing.  Lately I’ve really had sewing on the brain!  I think sew ALL the time.   So bear with me as my blog morphs!

I have finally finished all my hexies for my squid quilt (1122 of them) and I’m laying it out today… eeeeiiiii!!!!  So exciting!  I decided to wait to post pictures until I’m all done.  I’m such a tease!

I’m so glad I started going to the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meetings.  They are so inspiring, and that is exactly what I need to keep motivated.  Last Thursday we listened to Elizabeth give a nice starter seminar on dying fabrics.  Wow ~ I have so many new ideas now… although, I do have about 10 projects in my head already before I will start something new.  But she did talk about using a product called iDye that uses a simpler process, and I’m excited to at least try that out sooner than later.  She had created some “over-dyed” fabrics with iDye that were gorgeous, and I really want to try that with some of my not-so-favorite fabrics. 
Also at the meeting Jen did a little 10 minute demo on how to make pin cushions and we are going to do a pin cushion swap at the next meeting… even for that project I have about 5 different ideas on design and colors ~ I may have to make more than one!  They seem to be the perfect project for using scraps.
I even brought my Rooster Quilt for show and tell… but I was a little nervous and words didn’t really come out of my mouth well ~ I wanted to say that the quilt represented my first attempt at paper piecing AND my second attempt at applique.  I have made a couple quilts before, but now I’m trying out different techniques on each new project.  
In my current squid quilt project I’m hand sewing hexagons (a first) and I plan on doing some free-motion quilting on it when I’m done.  Modern Domestic has an open sewing studio in North Portland, and I want to check out their facilities and see if they have a better machine for free motion quilting because my machine is very hard to do that with.  I’m nervous about it… but I’ll make a few quilt sandwiches to practice on first… and if I can’t do it good enough, I’ll quilt with straight lines.  For now I’ll just enjoy my time piecing my hexies together.

Getting Close!

I did a count last night and I have less than 80 hexagons to go!!  Woohoo!!

I just saw the Modern Quilt Guilds’ Quilt Challenge for September… and I really want to be a part of this project, but I feel like my squid quilt needs to take precedence, or I probably won’t get back to it.  I wonder if I can finish this quilt in 3 months and see if I couldn’t still enter it…?  Who knows 😉   For now, I’ll just see how long it actually takes to finish.

It’s been hard to find relaxed time to sew these days because my husband and I are getting ready for the Belmont Street Fair.  Our screen printing business always has a booth for this event, but this year we decided to set up a booth WAY DOWN on 45th and Belmont because it’s closer to home and we can spread out space-wise.  Plus I don’t really have any new t-shirt designs this year (I’ve been obsessed with sewing more than printing) so we are going to try to clear out our studio by selling all of our sample shirts and old designs on brand new t-shirts for really cheap! We are hoping these funds will help us financially through my husbands upcoming hip replacement surgery.  So… if you need t-shirts… this is the time to visit us ~ seriously!  Here is all the info on the fair.

I’ll try to post again before the fair… I may pull out some of my sewing projects to see how they do ~ we’ll see.