Thursday, September 29, 2011

Worn and Washed

Mum me and Angela went on a roadtrip to Kim's Washed and Worn course at the weekend. It was great. A lovely sunny, autumn day in Olney; a very pretty place with a very pretty village hall with plenty of room to spread out in and plenty of material to choose from.

Basically you choose a roll of fabric. Above you can see mine and mum's in the background. She wanted to do flowers. I wanted to do greens. You simply unroll it, pick up two pieces and sew them together, then pick up two more and repeat. So no taxing learning curve, anyone can do it.

You end up with long strips which you move around and cut with scissors and resew until you are happy with how it all fits. It just a nice thing to do and it was nice having lots of space to spread it all out. A lovely excuse to spend the day making something you can finish in a day.

Here is my end result. I was too busy to take many photos. Too busy to even really examine the end result. I had to dash back to London leaving it behind with mum so more photos when I get back to it. It just needs quilting now.

See more photos here

The Hexagon Quilt


Progress is slow, but this is what has been keeping me quiet. I am going to do something very sombre after this as it's doing my head in a bit. I might have to put it away for a while when I've finished the top.

Sunday, September 04, 2011



So what's up this weekend? Not a lot really. I decided to embark on learning how to do these hexagons. I have been quite good really. The materials are all plains which means they are a lot cheaper than some of those nice patterned materials; a good thing when you are testing out a method. I decided to make my squares pretty big for this first attempt, plus it also means I don't have to make as many.


After reading up about it on the web I decided to follow the instructions from the card templates I bought from Birmingham. I bought HEX275 2-3/4" Hexagons from Paper Pieces. Apparently they measure one edge to create their sizes. In total my hexagons are 5 1/2" wide which is pretty big. So I set about cutting 6 1/8" squares, which they recommend over cutting hexagons (that perspex hexagon guide was a waste of money then). I have no idea if this is a good measurement, I just knew that I wanted a 1/2" overlap as 1/4" is harder to iron flat.


After I had started cutting, it occurred to me that I should be working out how many squares I need to cut, but I am terrible at maths. I made this picture to try and help me but I think the end result is a bit enormous so I might just make half of it. The white outlines are just to help me see where the flowers are so I know how many to make. This is what I plan to do first. So with this plan in mind I settled on cutting 6 blocks of each colour. I have split the colours into three bands: purples, oranges and yellows and tried to collect 6-7 colours in each band.

I'm not really sure if I like it. It's hardly subtle, but hey ho, this seems to just be how I roll. All that tasteful William Morris was bound to have a backlash. I have been informed that it has the potential to look 'hideous', but I must soldier on, even if it is just so I can learn the technique. I have a bag of treasured flowery scraps just waiting to be made into a smaller, more perfect version of whatever this turns out to be.


As for my technique. I decided to just iron the corners over onto the paper templates. I was a bit worried as the heat of the iron warps the card so I paused and started making one flower to see if it affected the outcome. It didn't seem to make any difference.


I made my first flower whilst watching the X factor and it doesn't look too bad. There are a few mismatched lengths, but I faithfully followed the card so I am unsure why they vary. Maybe they are small enough not to matter, I guess i'll see if that becomes a problem later on.


I used the basic whip stitch technique which some people say is not the best as you can see the stitches but I think I will reserve judgement. It looks okay to me and it does show that it's handmade.

Anyway I have run out of card templates now so I will have to start making my own. What a pain...