Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Wee Bit Crazy?

One of my New Year's goals was that I was going to finish more of the projects I start. I know that I've definitely kept that up, although I still have quite a few that I began long ago that someday I'd like to finish but all these new ones keep popping up. I read so many blogs that are FULL of inspiration and the gears just get a turning. 

I don't know exactly why, but I've become strangely addicted to pinwheels and hexagons. Browsing through Flickr, those items always draw me right in. In looking through so many wonderful projects, I kept coming back to the same one. One that I know would take a LONG time. One that I kept trying to sweep under the rug and cover my eyes about.  I kept telling myself I would hate this project once I started it, even though it is a beautiful quilt.

So I gave in. I thought by now I'd be sorry, but far from it!! I am actually really enjoying it and I can't wait to see how it comes along.

Have you ever seen the Grandmother's Garden quilts? Oh. My. Goodness! They are beautiful. They are (in most cases) completely made my hand, meaning hand stitched. No machine.

This is my next endeavor.  I think I might be a wee bit crazy. I know I've tried to do hand piecing before with the Josephs Coat quilt along, but as pretty as that quilt was, the prep work was awful for me. All that gluing and I kept getting stuck with all those applique pins.  Whine whine whine! I know...but this one is different. No pins. No glue and no accuracy when cutting these babies out.

Here's how I started...

I chose a Moda Layer Cake, Boutique which has 42 10 inch pieces of fabric in it. I am using 1" hexagon pieces to do the English Paper Piecing. You can purchase your own HERE, or you can print  your own as well. I am too lazy to print and cut those all out. :) I also used their hexagon cutting guide. Its the one at the bottom of the page. Using this chart I knew my squares for piecing had to be 2.5". Using a layer cake makes this easy. I take about 5-7 pieces, keeping them all lined up and cut at 2.5", 5", and 7.5". Then I rotate my cutting mat and repeat. If they are not perfect 2.5" squares, its ok, just as long as they are close. Do this for all layers and you have 672 squares. 

Now, for the actual sewing...I followed THIS wonderful tutorial but made a few of my own changes. I did not cut my fabric into hexagon shapes. I left mine 2.5" square. Why waste time trimming? The other thing I did different, was I did not use a pin to keep the paper in place and I back stitched twice on each corner. I found that this held them down better for me, but it's not required. The best part of this method is that you can leave your basting stitches in your work because it is all in the back and you are NOT sewing through the paper, so no clipping of any threads!!  What a time saver! The only time you might have to is if you use hexagons bigger than 2" because you have to make an extra stitch on the sides.

I haven't decided officially on how many rows my flowers will be. Right now I am just doing the center with one row, but I think I will add one more row of colour and then white to surround the flowers. We shall see. Once I finally decide, I will figure out just how many of these little guys I am going to have to hand sew together and begin a count down. :)

My Very Own Flowers

**Edited to add a photo of the back of my hexies per request. Hopefully this will make more sense with the visual. :)

Day 94 - Back of Hexies

They really are quite simple and addicting. Wanna give it a go with me? Hee Hee!! :)

Much Love!!!


  1. Thanks for the link to the Paper piecing site, what a great source for papers, their prices are great.
    I'd love a picture of the back of your hexes, as I can't quite get my head around how you are basting them, but it sounds like a great innovation. :-)

  2. I love those and I use the popout ones as it makes it so much easier and stays neater. I'll dig mine out and send you a pic.
    Yours with this line is awesome!!

  3. Those are so cute. Sizzix is coming out with a die for their die cut machines that makes different sizes of hexagons. Here is the 2".
    that would sure make it easy to cut lots of paper templates all at once. They have sizes from 1.5 to 2.5". I didn't think I needed them...until I read this post.

  4. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I am just loving these! :)

  5. Your hexagons look great!!!! I love english paper piecing its so much fun. I have began a stash of oinks, green and yellow to make a grandmothers garden after i finish my pie and tarts quilt ( sometime in the next ten years lol)

  6. you don't know why?? your probably attracted to pinwheels & hexagons because of rachel & i ... i mean she is the queen of pinwheels.. and i'm the queen of hexagons!!

  7. I came across grandmother's garden quilt recently and like you was drawn irresistably to it. I a cutting and stitching hexagons in my dreams right now and wake up wondering if I should do it or not. Yours look lovely and coincidentally I decided my hexies would be 1" too. I have to do it the hard way though - cut out from paper after drawing them as there are no quilt shops in my country. It is not going to stop me though. Will share pictures with you sometime once I get started.


Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really love hearing from you!! :)

Happy Quilting!

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