Sunday, July 8, 2012

My New Project. . . . .


I have been saving my sewing scraps since I learned to sew in 1968 - 7th Grade at Lampson Jr. High School in Garden Grove, CA.  All the girls had to take homemaking, which consisted of one semester of sewing and one semester of cooking.  I sewed a lot of my own clothes after that,  and then sewed for my girls. 

I always wanted to sew a patchwork quilt using all my scraps, but nothing really seemed to fit.  I started out wanting to make a cathedral window pattern.

 I changed my mind and thought for sure I wanted to make a bow tie quilt.
Lately, I've been wanting  a hand sewing project, but wasn't quite sure where to start.  Then, one day, I discovered the blog Pleasant Home  and subscribed to her email updates. I instantly fell in love with just the blog header - cherries, quilts, fabric, a red kitchen aid mixer AND cupcakes with sprinkles (these are a few of my favorite things!) I almost wept with joy when I saw the wonderful projects and darling fabrics. And her sewing room - heavy sigh!

I was always so glad to find a new update in my mail, and this is the June 25th post that set me on fire:
All Ready to Go n Sew!
6 Point Diamond Paper Piecing post from PLEASANT HOME
As I read through her post and all the great links she provided, I began blog hopping and googling anything I could find about  'English Paper Piecing Tutorials' or "Sewing Hexagons' or 'Hexie Tutorials' like she suggested....Pinterest is such an amazing resource and I found dozens of blogs and web sites dedicated Hexie Love! Pins and Boards galore!!!  Who knew???   Plus YouTube has tons of how-to videos.  So, I decided to make a GRANDMOTHER'S FLOWER GARDEN quilt with all my beloved sewing scraps.
 hand-pieced hexagon quilt by badskirtamy
Grandmother's Flower Garden (English Paper Piecing) Video Tutorial by MagnoliaFly, via Flickr
This is the look I am going for.  I'm using Kona Snow for the background (all hexies) and a butter yellow center for every flower. I'm still not sure how to border, bind or quilt it - but I'm pretty sure I have plenty of time to figure that out. . . this will take awhile.
I started by gently "washing" my fabric. . . by just soaking it in cold water and letting it dry.  I pressed and cut hundreds of 2 1/2" squares.   I bought a few pkgs of  1" hexagon patterns at a local quilt shop and then ordered 1500 online. ( I will need  about 2100 for a completed quilt and I will be able to reuse some of the patterns).  Since I knew I would be driving to Utah, it seemed like the perfect place to start, with 7 hours both ways.
I completed all these on our trip, almost 40.  The top fabric is from the first dress I ever made. It was an empire waist with puffed sleeves and a pleat down the center front.  I thought it was fabulous at the time!

These hexies are all basted and ready to stitch together.I still have tons of background hexies to baste.

After the flower is complete, 5 background hexies are added.
I was playing around with a few that had the background hexies.  This Raggedy Ann & Andy fabric is from a shirt or a poncho with white fringe that I made for one of my sisters.  I need to research this one.

I now have my very own board on my pinterest account: "HEXIE LOVE".  There are so many beautiful, amazing ideas.  To say this is addicting is an understatement! It's all I want to do. . . Oh dear.

 As I have  stitched each flower I am reminded of the time and place in my life each garment was sewn. It has been fun walking down memory lane and remembering the events and people I sewed for.   I have fabric from my clothing, bridesmaid dresses, little girls dresses, curtains, quilts, baby quilts, and even some polyester double knit from my maternity outfits.  There is a lot of kettle cloth.  And a lot of batiste, eyelet and light weight fabrics that I had to line with a lightweight fusible "stacy" interfacing ( recommended by the quilt shop). I just hope it all comes together into a fun, scrappy quilt.

It will be fun to watch this project grow. Here are my favorite links and tutorials:
Paper Pieces - Precut Paper Shapes and Patterns
These are the experts on English Paper Piecing.  They recommend cutting squares instead of hexagons and I used these directions and it was super easy

Pleasant Home - Diamond Paper Piecing Tutorial

Bee in My Bonnet - Hexie tutorials 


No comments: