Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I put a hex on you...

I've always like hexagons. I don't know why, just like the different shape to them. Squares are nice but can be boring. I was searching the web looking for new things to do (like I need another new project) and came across Sunshine's Creations English paper piecing tutorial. I thought I would try to make a hexagon quilt. I've always loved Grandmother's flower garden and thought I would give it a try. I decided to use all Halloween prints since I have so much in my stash.

As usual I just dove right in and started. Not knowing exactly how many hexes I needed but having a basic idea of the main flower design. I decided to make the hexes have a 2" side to them. That makes them somewhere around 4" across I guess. I just stuck my template on my cutting mat and decided a 5" square would be the right size to start with. I cut bunches of 5" squares out of the Halloween fabric pile. I figured if I cut too much, I could always use them for another quilt or a patchwork trick or treat bag or something.

I set up a nice little station in my little kitchen and got started. This was of course after cutting out over 200 little hexes from freezer paper! I've never used freezer paper before but it worked really well. I have used a few of the hexes a couple times now and they are holding up nicely. So, I cut a bunch of hexes and ironed them onto the backs of the squares. Then I trimmed all the excess fabric from around the freezer paper hexes. The directions say to trim to a .25" but mine are more like .50". I didn't want to run short anywhere.

After getting a bunch basted, I started hand stitching them together. It isn't exactly what I had in my mind's eye, but I like it anyways. Once all the prep work is done, it goes pretty quick. I definitely need to pick up some of those leather thimbles though. My poor middle finger is sore from all the hand work. This is a great little project for doing in front of the TV. Since my sewing machine is in the living room, I don't like to run it if the family is watching a movie or something. This way they think I am still part of the family and I get to get some creative things done! Win win if you ask me :) I also take it to work with me to work on during break times. It's pretty surprising just how much basting I can get done in a few minutes time. Great take along project.

Here is a shot from the back. You can see where I pulled out the papers from the sections that were sewn on all six sides. I don't really like having the crinkly papers in there, so I took out the excess ones. Plus, this way I could reuse the papers if I needed to. I did underestimate how many black hexes I would need. I cut enough squares, just didn't cut enough freezer paper templates. I cut all I could from the roll of freezer paper I had in the house. I know I could just cut a few, but I didn't want to have to stop and iron on new hexes all the time. I probably have enough templates, I just ironed them on to mostly the orange squares.