Joining the Hexagon Craze
When I was a little girl I remember seeing a grandmothers flower garden quilt on someone’s bed, or maybe it was just a picture of one, but I remember thinking I wanted to make one someday. Then I found out that they are done completely by hand. Oi. (I found this out when I was 12 or something, not when I read that post, but it has some great pics of a beautiful flower garden quilt.) I shoved that idea to far reaches of my brain for a really long time. And then last year I saw Leigh’s work in progress hexagon quilt. And Amy Smart has been talking about hexies on her blog for forever. And then at the beginning of this summer I got an idea and started my first hexie project. It is at a standstill. (Because I seriously SUCK at embroidery, which is not really related, but related. You know? It’s complicated. We are taking a break right now. Seeing other… stitches.) But whatever. I’ll finish it one day. And in the meantime, I did something else.
A few weeks ago Leigh taught a class at a SLC Modern Quilt Guild meeting about English paper piecing, which is how you make and sew hexagons together. And I got so excited about it I ordered some tiny hexagon papers and started stitching. And in one very sick day on the couch I had made these 6 hexies. All together this ring of six is just a hair over 6″ across. These are 1/2″ hexagons and they are tiny. I also ordered 1/4″ hexies. Tinier. (FYI: Hexagons are measured by the length of each side.)
A few weeks before that I had seen this floral fabric at JoAnn that reminded me so much of a Liberty of London print. And when I think of Liberty of London I think of Amy Smart. We met through blogland a few years ago and are now real life friends. She is such a wonderful down to earth person, who is also fabric crazy. A perfect combo in a friend. (In June when we got this news Amy was the one who let me stand on her driveway and sob like a crazy person and she gave me a hug and I didn’t feel stupid. That alone should get her some serious points in that place they keep track of all the points.) Anyway, I saw the fabric, it said Amy Smart all over it and I knew I was going to make her a little zipper pouch for projects. She always has handwork with her, I wish I was so organized… And then the hexagon inspiration came, and then Anna’s big wide zipper pouch tutorial. Throw in a little gray linen I was test driving for myself, an interior pocket and a bit of rainbow hand quilting and I had a game plan.
These hexagons on the back are 1″-ers. Much easier to work with, but you know how things that are tiny are just cuter? Yes. They are. I added the handle using this tutorial from my friend Colleen. It is the next best thing to having a big wide zipper bag. Truly, I’ll never make this bag for myself without it again. Or without a pocket inside. Important stuff here.
Before I stitched the bag together I quilted straight lines on the gray linen and then stitched each hexagon in place by hand. And then I decided to hand quilt around the edges in a rainbow. And in the end this bag turned out to be probably my most favorite thing I have ever made. It was almost hard to give it away. But in the end I knew that I could never look at it without thinking of my sweet friend Amy. Also this project magically came together much better than I ever could have dreamed. And you don’t mess with that kind of good sewing karma. No, you don’t ever mess with good sewing karma.
I gave this to Amy a few weeks ago. The best part about it is that she has been using it. For it’s exact intended purpose: to hold her latest hexagon project. And that makes my heart happy.
I have some more things to share. I am almost into a new routine with our new fall schedule. (Which I am telling you from my computer at 3am… clearly not part of the fall schedule). It still kicks my butt most days (even when I go to bed at a normal time) and then I feel totally justified in making brownies and a side of quesadilla with chicken nuggets for dinner. Or breakfast at 1:00 pm. It’s been a rough transition. We are taking baby steps here friends. Baby steps. Be back soon.