WIP: My First EPP Hexie Quilt!

epp_hexie_001Ever since I got into quilting, I have dreamed of making a hexagon quilt. I thought it took some fancy machine work with impossible Y shaped seams. I was half right. You CAN do it that way, or you can hand sew them all together.

There’s a process called English Paper Piecing,  EPP or Foundation Piecing (it gos by any of these names), where you take the pattern you want to make and have the pieces cut out of paper. You then cut out fabric larger than each piece, pin the paper to it, fold over the fabric and baste stitch (like my orange stitches shown in all of these photos). When you have enough pieces for your project or block, you then whip stitch them all together and take out the paper pieces. After all of this tedious work, you have yourself a quilt top.

There are loads of proper tutorials all over the internet. Heidi posted a tutorial and template for mini hexies this past week, and there’s a bunch on Pinterest. Plus if you search YouTube, I bet you’ll find some great instructions. Also, if you just want to start small but have an even bigger impact you could try something like Rebecca’s patchwork tote bag! (her IG feed totally made me want to start this project!)

This type of project is perfect for downtime, like watching TV, waiting at the DMV or when being a passenger on a road trip. I myself started it because I am being forced to rest a bit more. Plus it’s a quilt that I don’t have to sit at a sewing machine all day to make. My poor back needs a break from that.

epp_hexie_002I will admit now, I am NOT a strong hand sewer, and I am seriously not looking forward to whip stitching all of these together. For now I try not to think about it and just dream of what the finished quilt will look like… If I ever finish it!

I want to make a 70″ square lap quilt, and by my calculations, it is going to take 800+ hexagons to make. That’s a lot! I am able to finish around 30 a night, so if I work on it every night then it will take me a month. That’s a scary number to me btw, so I may just call it quits at 400 because I am also dreaming up a quilt that is just half hexies and the rest is solid colored gray. I guess I’ll decided when I get to the halfway point.

epp_hexie_003epp_hexie_004I’m happy I went with the 3″ size too! Because if I had done the normal 1″ size, it would have taken 2500+ hexies to finish a quilt. SCARY!!

Have any of you made one of these? Or are making one? Any helpful hints?

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I’m Dreaming of Dresses and Fabric…

dream_dresses_001I have been sewing up a storm lately. I have made my very first, second and third dress, and they all fit perfectly. Thats a first for me. (I’ll share actual photos of said dresses once the weather is a bit less unruly). I have also made a bunch of new bags, pouches, pillows and even new embroidered necklaces. I love sewing again.

Out of everything I’ve sewn, those three dresses were my favorite. I want an entire closet full. One in every colorway or pattern I can find. I’m finding a few fabrics I like here and there, but nothing is really catching my eye and making me think “PERFECT!” I keep doodling in my sketchbooks, but again, nothing was just right yet.

Well last night that changed. Instead of going right to bed, I decided to do a little bit of sketching. I’m so happy I did. I drew about a dozen new dress ideas (a few shown above) and a bunch of new repeat patterns for fabric (shown below).

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I’m excited! I’ve already ordered swatches of all the fabrics designs above plus some that include actual color. I’m thinking they will work well for dresses AND some pillows or small quilt. The repeats are actually rather large. Oh and I’ve started researching sergers so I can try my hand at one of those cardigans I drew up!!! I’m no fashion expert, at all, but I really do love the idea of making my own clothes. Who knows maybe one day I can make some for others too!!

 

 

Behind the Scenes: Organizing the Workroom

I spent some time this weekend FINALLY organizing my workroom, or trying to at least. The poor room has been in shambles since February, which is when I started on the gluten testing (and got super sick and weak). I had been just throwing stuff in boxes on the floor or on the table. Nothing was where it was supposed to be and it was starting to get out of hand. How could I start working again if I couldn’t find anything?

I wish I could say I finished the room, but if that was true, you would see more than close up pictures! I still have a lot of work to do. I need to install some more shelves in the closet for supplies that are only used every so often. I need a few more containers for scrap fabric (all the blue and green fabrics are just in piles until this happens). I need to get all my quilting fabric on bolts and out of the baskets to make room for more apparel fabric (I have plans). I need to transfer all my beading supplies to one area. I need some actual lighting and maybe a chair? Ha. yeah, that’s the state of things, I don’t even have a chair!

I’m also thinking of doing some cosmetic things in the room, just to make it pretty to me. I was thinking last night about maybe a chalkboard wall? I have one in my kitchen and love it, but I’m a bit worried about a mess. The one in the kitchen leaves chalk dust all over the baseboards and wood floors. It’s easy enough to clean up, but I don’t know how easy that would be on carpet. Has anyone else had experience with this? How about Chalk Pens? Maybe they wouldn’t have the dust? (I think I have one around here somewhere to try out)

Once this room is done, just like the kitchenette, I’ll share more photos!!

Oh and friendly reminder! make sure to check out yesterdays post where you can win a Blue Garden necklace, just by telling me your favorite color combo!

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Behind the Scenes: Pillows, Dresses and a Very Tired Jessee

I’ve been a little down in the dumps lately. I’m on a new test diet to see just how much I’m allergic to gluten, which has not been fun. Basically I have to force myself to eat something with a gluten ingredient in it everyday for the next five weeks (I take the weekends off). So I pretty much have been poisoning myself! I’m tired, grumpy and weak. I just don’t have the energy to do too many projects, so I’ve been trying to stick to the easy ones, or computer based ones.

Which brings me to the above photos! In my down time lately (which is pretty often) I have been dreaming up loads of new things. New Wonky Woodgrain pillows in the above colors, new monster pillows, and a whole pile of dresses for myself (remember that dress obsession I was talking about?). I was able to do most of the design work on the computer and then just order the fabric from Spoonflower. I also have been designing some new 3D pieces for a cold cast metal jewelry line I’ve been thinking about! I’m excited!

Everything was easy enough, and I feel accomplished in the end. I hate not feeling accomplished at least once a day!

I promise to post more photos when I get to actually work on all these things. I’m seriously counting down the days until I can be gluten free again. I miss the energy I had and how great I felt about myself.

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A Baby Chevron Quilt

I have been waiting FOREVER to post this! I made it back in October and wasn’t able to get it to its new owner until recently. Life just kept getting in the way! (or I’d forget to bring it with me, which is a normal occurrence for me)

I made this specifically for an adorable little newborn baby girl who’s mama loves pretty vintage things. So of course it had to be pink, dainty and have something vintage looking on it. I also wanted to give it a modern edge, which is where the off set chevron design comes in. Most of the solid fabrics are Kona cotton and the flower print is a piece of a vintage sheet! I made it a bit bigger than a normal baby quilt, only because I got a bit carried away while making the half square triangles!

I love the design so much that I’m thinking of making another one for CT, but a little bit bigger since she’s outgrowing all of her other baby quilts!

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Behind The Scenes: “My Favorite 80′s Sweater” Quilt

Say Hello to the brightest quilt I’ll probably ever make (unless someone know where to find good quality neon fabric). It started out as a sketch in muted tones last week, but turned into randomly picking out of my Kona Cotton stash for colors with enough yardage for each piece.

I’m calling it “My Favorite 80′s Sweater” because that’s all I can think of while piecing it! I probably owned a sweater, dress or jacket that looked something like this as a kid.

This thing is seriously forcing me out of my color comfort zone. My zone normally consists of purples, teals, pink and gray… LOTS OF GRAY! And normally it’s just one of those tones mixed with gray, not all of them blended together. I’m also using this quilt to practice different methods of sewing patchwork. I’ve tried out chain piecing, which saved me loads of time, and strip piecing, which also saved time, and I’m getting better with half square triangles (which I now love, instead of fear and hate). Oh and I’m getting better at sewing long straight lines, ha, something I wasn’t that great at before.

While sewing this top together I kept thinking of better ways to do each strip, in case I ever want to sew this again, which was really neat. It’s all a learning process, and I’m loving it! I seriously can’t wait to share the finished piece! I still have three rows to go and then it’s off to someone else who will quilt it for me. So it may be a few weeks.

 

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