Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hexie Love

Hello, everyone. No more dithering here. For this quilt, anyway. Thanks for all of your input after my post last week. It was fun to read your opinions. Here's the arrangement I chose. It's pretty much the layout that got the most "votes" with just a couple of tweaks. Still low light for picture taking. January. Sigh.

I had started thinking that was the layout shortly after I hit the "publish" button, so of course I was pleased that a lot of you agreed with me. I still like the layout with the line of dark hexies down the side, but I was having some trouble with the distribution of those hexies given the assortment I had available. Maybe the darker coral hexies I rejected early-on will find themselves with some partners in that layout in another quilt. I feel like I've learned a lot about what I might want to put with them. 

When I put pictures on Instagram of what I was working on, I got a couple of comments about the construction. Sewing hexies by machine can be intimidating because it's basically a lot of Y-seams, which can be off-putting for a lot of quilters. Let's not call them Y-seams. That will help. And using large-sized hexies probably makes it easiest. Sewing hexies together by machine is pretty much the way quilters years ago sewed Grandmother's Flower Garden quilts by hand. (I'm sure some people still do--when they're not doing English Paper Piecing.) When sewing by hand, you don't cross seam allowances, and this is the same technique. I'm not going to explain the whole process here, but there are lots of tutorials online that show how to do this, and I encourage you to check them out. The ones I'm most familiar with are Jacquie's at Tallgrass Prairie Studios and Lorna's at Sew Fresh Quilts. There are also some good videos if you look around online. Each does the process slightly differently from the others. After reading several sources, I did what felt best for me, using tips from more than one. 

One of the things I did that helped me start and stop seams easily was to draw little registration marks on the diagonals. 
Close up
When sewing a hexie quilt, you first sew the columns and then join them together. Here I have the first two columns joined. I'm doing the joins as I go. 

Look how neat those corners come out! And they haven't even been pressed. (That gets done after it's all put together.)

Anyway, I'm having tons of fun. I'm taking my time sewing one seam at a time instead of using shortcuts like chaining, but that's most comfortable for me right now and keeps me from getting sloppy. 

I did take time out for a couple of other things this week. On the top of my rehabbing shoulder, I have a muscle that wants to take over and do all the work. Sometimes it gets pretty tight and sore, so I made a new rice bag heating pad that I can drape over my shoulders while I sew. It has lots of channels so it bends easily. Here's how it looks naked:

And here it's in its pillow case on Teddy. Isn't he a cute model? 

I also spent an evening de-papering the quilt top that I made for the  Autumn Abundance blog hop hosted by Needle and Foot. One step closer to a finish. 

I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social

Have a good quilting week, and if you haven't machine sewn big hexies, consider trying them yourself. They're fun, and not hard at all.


Linda said...

Oh that looks so pretty! Thanks for sharing this. Now that I've seen how you sew your hexies together, I don't feel so intimidated. In fact I love your colors and layout in the hexies so much that I want to try some now. There are so many different things I want to try this year and so much I want to do now that my "sew-jo" is back. :)
Your DIY heating pad looks perfect - great idea!

Louise said...

Thanks for linking up another couple of y-seam tutorials. I've been practicing mine with my stripey triangles and it definitely gets easier with time. But when it comes to the more "advanced" quilting techniques, I like to read and watch many different methods until I have that "aha!" moment :)

Rachel said...

Your points look so perfect! Very pretty!

Preeti said...

Love all the various ways you are trying to arrange the hexies. Beautiful soft colors make my heart ache for spring and summer. Sending lots of love and healing vibes for that problem muscle of yours.

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Love your quirky low voloume approach!

Kaja said...

Well now, if I can do them by machine I might consider hexies. Yours are looking perfect.

LA Paylor said...

well thank you for reminding us to take our time. Everything doesn't need to be done fast. Sew a seam, cut the thread, make sure it's straight! Good model you have there