Saturday, February 26, 2011

Embroidered Centres for Hexagon Flowers

This week  I was picking out small scraps of material and making a selection of centres to use in the hexies.  I have quite a lot of small cream scraps and thought that using too many of them would look a bit bland. So I decided to do a floral embroidery on some of the centres. I'll just scatter these through the quilt among the hexies with plainer centres.

I am taking part in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap

I must do something different next week as I risk becoming obsessed by hexies to the exclusion of all else.

And this week's reading.  Not a new book but Barbara Kingsolver's first novel "The Bean Trees", from 1988. I've enjoyed most of her books.

Also found a DVD of a 2010 movie which though terribly sad was well worth while.  It was "Matching Jack".  Just how does a family cope with finding out their child has leukaemia, I'll definitely watch this film again.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hexagon Flowers and my way of making them.

I have just joined a group where I will swap a hexagon flower with another  member each month.  This way I will get the benefit of  fabrics which are different to the ones I already have, and I'll also benefit from other people's perception of colours which work well together. This  will  add variety to  my  future hexagon flower quilt, a garden of flowers.

These are the first four flowers I have made and one of these flowers will be heading off to a new owner tomorrow.

It is quite some time since I have done one of these so at first I was getting in rather a muddle.  I read several ways that other people construct the hexagons but paper clips and clothes pegs kept snagging and knotting my thread.  In the end it was trial and error that developed the following method which works for me.

To make a hexagon with 1" sides, cut a 2 3/4" square and snip off the corners.

With wrong side facing you, lay the hexagon template  in the centre of  the fabric and mark the position of the corners.  Remove the card.

  Start a tacking thread with a tiny stitch (see my knot in the top left hand corner) about 1/8" outside the line of the marked hexagon.

Working anticlockwise take tiny stitches in the centre of each side and at each corner.

Take your final stitch at the corner where you started, then take another tiny running stitch to take the thread through onto the right side of the fabric.

Place the hexagon card back in position and gently gather the fabric on the thread, so holding the card in place.  Keep gathering until you have nice crsip edges where the fabric comes over the card.

Your card will now stay nicely in place while you stitch the corners.

Starting at the same corner as your thread make your corner in the usual way with a crease then a fold and stitch the fold down with two or three stitches.


 Slip the thread under the fabric, take a small back stitch about half way along the side then repeat the crease and fold on the second corner.

Continue in this way until all corners are done.

Use a small pair of sharp pointed scissors to carefully trim the seam allowance to about 1/4". 

 Now to find some fabric to make  petals to suit this centre.

Civil War Quilt Blocks - Log Cabin

After the stress trying to put together the last few Civil War Quilt blocks it seemed so strange to be working with simple right angles.  Sheer joy. So this is what I whipped up after breakfast this morning and it turned out the requisite 8 1/2" square.  There's a bit of an optical illusion but I've checked that all the strips are the right width.

Pattern taken from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts

and a check of my understanding of the assembly method at Lillian's Cupboard

I've been doing a lot of reading lately and have been fascinated by three of Henning Mankell's books , this time ones not connected with the detective Wallander.  Am thoroughly enjoying translations of Scandavian crime fiction. So I recommend Henning Mankell's

The Return of the Dancing Master
Italian Shoes
The Man from Beijing.

A very thoughtful writer.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Civil War Quilts - Richmond

Didn't seem to have as much trouble with this block as the previous one, but it's still not really good.  At the outside edge I now have the very scantest of scant 1/4" seam allowances.   It is 8 1/2" square.  Next time I am definitely going to allow 3/16" seam allowances on the outside edges to allow for trimmimg up when finished sewing. This time it might be an idea if I put a border around it straight away before it starts to unravel.

One thing that I got wrong was the colour allotment. I find it hard to keep track of the colours with this light, medium-light etc descriptions. Somehow I even managed to unnecessarily add a fifth colour.

Have to wait for the weekend now to see what BB has in store for us next.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kansas Troubles Quilt Block or The Case of the Vanishing Points

I'll say it straight away.  There is no way I will be making a complete quilt  from this block pattern.  It is hard.  If I did make a quilt I would have to call it The Quilt of the Vanishing Points. Now that I've muddled my way through I have the feeling that my work would have been more accurate and done more speedily if I had hand-pieced it.  With hand-piecing there is more wiggle room. I also know that I feel more comfortable with a 3/16" seam allowance

This is my effort made up to the Kansas Troubles block pattern from Barbara Blackman's Civil War Blocks blog.

I wonder what she has in store for us this coming week.