Monday, June 24, 2013

Hexagons take over

I started making hexagons to have something to do during the hockey games, but these hexies have taken on a life of their own.  I now have 37 hexies basted and ready to sew.

I thought I would like to make these into a tote like this one, so I started looking through my stash to see what fabrics I had that would coordinate.  I found these fabrics which I like


I also found this fabric:

I just had to try a making a few hexagons featuring the little girls at play.

How could I resist? They were the perfect size for the 1 inch paper pieces I am using, and the colors were just right to go with the rest of the fabrics.

So now I have 3 little additions to my hexies so far.

See what I meant about taking on a life of it's own?  Stay tuned...

I'm linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts who literally wrote the book on English Paper Piecing.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hexagons and .....Hockey?

With the Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing,  I've been keeping my husband company to watch the games on TV.  I only keep one eye on the game, and the other on some handwork.  Strangely, I didn't have a current project to work on, but I did have this set of charm squares:

I also had a package of paper hexagons for English paper piecing, so I grabbed them both and sat down to work.  Now I have a growing stack of these:

I'm not sure just where this is going, but I am having fun just making them.  There is not enough fabric  to make a traditional hexagon flower, so these will be stitched together in random style.

There's another game on tonight. More sewing time!
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Michigan rules

Today I finished the quilt top for my Michigan (aka Labyrinth)  quilt.

The inspiration for choosing this pattern came from a design that was on the elevator floor of the hotel where we stayed in Michigan.

As I worked on making this quilt, I realized just how many different rulers I used to create it.  I know I'm not alone in buying the occasional specialty ruler, but there are a few handy ones that I use over and over again.

First is the 6 X 24" long ruler for cutting strips:

Next is the 6 X 12" ruler for subcutting the strips into smaller units:

The one real specialty ruler I used was the "Rapid Fire Lemoyne Star" ruler that is used to make perfectly pointed Lemoyne Star blocks. (more about that ruler in this post)

Another handy ruler I use often is the "Tucker Trimmer" which comes in handy when you make a purposely oversize block, and then trim it down to size.  I used the large size Tucker Trimmer to trim the center star:

What's handy about the Tucker Trimmer is the diagonal lines, and the center square that help you find the exact center of the block you are trimming so that you trim it evenly all around.

I also used the small version of the Tucker Trimmer to square up all the 3" half square triangles:

You can use the large Tucker Trimmer to trim small blocks, but it gets kind of unwieldy to work so far away from your body.

Lastly, I used the Quick Trim and Circle ruler (more about that ruler in this post) to make the triangles that I needed to add to the Lemoyne star in the center:

A girl collects a lot of rulers when she's been quilting for almost 20 years!  Yikes! That's still a lot of rulers!

Other than the Lemoyne Star ruler, the cuts using the trimmer rulers could all be done using the markings on the average rulers, but being lazy, and since I happen to have them in my sewing room, I prefer the trimmer rulers.

I'm not advertising any particular ruler, just thought I'd share a couple that I find myself using most often and that are versatile enough to be used in a variety of projects.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Triple threat

I've been anxious to get started on my Michigan quilt.  The pattern I am using is called "Labyrinth" .

The central star is made up of 16 half square triangles.

I made the central star, put it up on my design wall and lived with it for a little while.  After a couple of days,  I decided I would prefer a  more traditional LeMoyne star made up of diamonds, so I redesigned the block.

All was going well, until I started to add the purple half square triangles to the four corners. That's when I realized I had made the new block too small!

Back to the drawing board, or in this case, the cutting table to start it over.
"Third time's a charm", as the saying goes, and I finally got my center star made the way I wanted it.

The one on the left just looks more like a star  to me, where the one on the right looks more like an "X".  

The rest of the pattern should be a breeze after all this!
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