Sunday, April 20, 2014

Fabulous Hexagons- La Passion.

I'm sure that many of you already know about this fabulous quilt made from half inch hexagons. It has been designed and made by Grit of Germany. Grit has provided this pattern on her blog Grit's Life. Other quilters have joined in with Grit's journey in making this quilt and the colours chosen all look wonderful as the design unfolds.
  I have chosen to make mine the same as Grit's in blues but where she has used some subtle hints of pale green I think I will use turquoise instead if I have enough of the fabric. As you can see I am only in the first first stages of making the quilt but I have Grit's quilt photo set as my desktop background so I admire it and become inspired every time I turn on the computer.
 Grit estimates that this quilt will use 17,250 half inch hexagons so it will be another long term project for me but a very enjoyable one. I just need to decide whether or not to take it with me and stitch it while we are in Germany too.
 Please go over to Grit's blog and see other lovely colour combinations as well as her other lovely designs. I'm going back to playing with my little hexies again today.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Hexagon Insanity?

 Some times it's best to just sit and stitch on something which doesn't require too much concentration and this quilt made from half inch hexagons is just what I needed. I plan on taking it on our travels and it is so easy to put together that I have made good progress. The pattern was originally by Rhonda Pearce and she called it The Insanity Quilt. When the pattern came out on the cover of an Australian patchwork magazine I didn't keep it as I thought I'd never be crazy enough to want to stitch such small pieces. It seems that I was wrong!
 I am going to tackle it like a Dear Jane by keeping a record of how many pieces I have stitched and I hope to be able to share photos of me stitching in various places on our trip to Europe. I will leave the largest piece at home though and just work on part of the top and then add it when we return.
 One thing which is making this project very easy is that I have bought a die from Accuquilt which cuts half inch hexagons (6 at a time) and on the other end it cuts fabric large enough to use with the half inch templates. IT has made it very easy to quickly cut fabric and more templates.
 I've found that the cardboard packages for a lot of grocery items are ideal to cut as templates.
 I'm using glue sticks as they work as well as the Sewline glue and I can buy 4 for $1 or $2. I have found it is easier to remove the templates and I can re-use them if I glue them rather than stitching them across the corners as I prefer to do with larger pieces.
My Insanity Quilt (with a huge thank you to Rhonda Pearce for sharing her pattern with us) will be known as "Memory Lane" as it's like taking a walk down memory lane every time I use up scraps from previous quilt projects.
 This quilt uses a total number of  10,339 hexagons sized at half an inch.
Total diamond flower shapes are 158 (1422 hexagons).
Total hexagon flower shapes are 64 (448 hexagons).
Total solid sashing uses 1068 (I am using a Moda red).
Total number of colourful random hexagons in the outer border  are 2012 hexagons.
Total number of white/neutral hexagons are 5389.

I am using a mix of white, white on cream, white on white, and cream for my neutrals.
Total Hexagons Stitched to Date:
 Diamond shapes: 27 of 158.
Total hexagon flowers: 13 of 64.
Solid red sashing 6 of 1,068.
Random hexagons for outer border: 101 of 2012.
Neutral hexagons: 85 of 5389.
 I have started to stitch some of the diamond shapes together as stitching all the neutral hexagons will be tedious if I leave them all to the last bit of the quilt. I think it will be a very good project to take with me as they don't take up a lot of room. I'm now having second thoughts about taking some applique work in case the lighting isn't good enough for that type of stitching.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, April 18, 2014

Plotting and Planning

 I finished a few more hexagon flowers last night and cut lots more to take with me on our trip which is fast approaching. I have a little notebook which I'm going to use to keep a tally of how many flowers and hexagons for the borders are needed. They are going together quite quickly despite not having much time to stitch at the moment.
Today was spent mostly typing up our itinerary and finalizing all the travel plans. DH played cricket for a team on the outskirts of London in 1968 and 69 and he's hoped to be able to meet up with some of the men he'd played with but hadn't tried to contact them. Last night I emailed the club and received a lovely response this morning inviting us to make contact and see them when we are there. Ray was very touched that they remembered him and I was so pleased that I'd been able to facilitate this for him as he has such happy memories of his time there.
  I also emailed the Quilt Museum in York (UK) to see if it was possible to see some of the quilts from their Heritage Quilts Collection. I was very pleased to receive a prompt email telling me that I could make a booking and select 5 of the quilts to see while I am there. It is hard to select just 5 but I have made my decision and will happily pay for the opportunity to see them while we are there.
  We fly off in 10 days time after a family wedding so time is passing very quickly now. I do hope the tulips are still in bloom by the time we reach Amsterdam at the start of June. I've planned lots of castles and World War 2 sites for DH as well as visits to two quilt museums in the UK. He was happy to tag along for those as he knows how much work I have put in to the planning of the trip.
 I still have some more stitching to prepare so I'd better get busy again.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pottering with Hexagons

 Not much time or energy to sew for the past few days but I have made a few more hexagon flowers using half inch hexagon shapes. This one is using lots of scraps from other quilts so I'm calling it Memory Lane!
Yesterday and today were busy with family commitments so i'm hoping for a restful day tomorrow and some time to stitch.
Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happiness Is Having Time To Applique.

 After working a week of night shifts I really need to catch up on sleep. I also had a quiet day today to rest up and recover which made it an ideal day to do some needle turn applique. This is the first block I've completed of my Flowers From My Garden quilt kit. I've been meaning to make this quilt for ages so it's lovely to finally have time to start it.

 This is the 4th block (on the top right hand side) and I think I'll tackle to 15th block next. I do love Lori Smith's designs and this one will go together quickly as the pattern has been made into a kit and having all the background fabrics provided makes it quick to get the blocks started. I've also completed another block for my Chester County Criswell quilt so I am catching up.

We are moving my Dad into assisted living accommodation tomorrow so I expect that I will need to do some more relaxing stitching when time allows.
  Hugs, Jan Mac

Friday, April 11, 2014

Quilt Without Guilt.

 I've been wanting to make this applique pattern< Flowers from My Garden" by Lori Smith for some time. It has 16 blocks which are 9 inches in size and will be a lovely quilt for me to practice on with my free motion quilting. I bought a kit on Monday and have almost finished the first block, after starting it yesterday.
I'm also making good progress on my half inch hexagon project too. I've been called back to work again tonight so not much stitching will happen now for a little while but it was lovely to just relax and stitch today.
I know I probably shouldn't have started another project but I have a few stressful things I'm dealing with at the moment so I decided to allow myself to just enjoy stitching without guilt. There will be time enough to finish off some more UFOs in the future. In the meantime the relaxing action of stitching is very soothing.
  Have a great weekend everyone. I won't be able to get to the AQC this year due to work and family commitments but there is always next year.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Beginnings.

 I have started a couple of new projects, even though the number of works in progress are still fairly high, because I'm auditioning projects that I will be able to take on our travels to Europe. I have been wanting to make a reproduction of Susan McCord's Trailing Vines quilt and I have the book, Quilts From Henry Ford, so started by tracing the leaves and vines. Then I realized that it made more sense for me to free-hand cut the leaves from scraps as that would be what was done by the original quilter. You can see my progress from just a few hours and I think this will be a good project to take as it doesn't take up much room and involves fairly intense amounts of stitching without needing a lot of precision  in placement of the leaves.
 I am also working with half inch hexagons and have made some good progress with the hexagon flowers as well as the random hexagons for the border of the quilt. This is another good project to take on our travels as they are small and won't take up much room in my luggage. We'll have some waiting time for trains and planes so some stitching may be done as a change from reading.
 In the meantime I'm enjoying working on some new things but I still have a couple of quilt tops ready to quilt so I should probably put in some time on them as well. I plan on having some more to show very soon and it maybe some new projects or some older ones finished. It will just depend on how I'm feeling at the time.
Hugs, Jan Mac