One of my New Year's goals was that I was going to finish more of the projects I start. I know that I've definitely kept that up, although I still have quite a few that I began long ago that someday I'd like to finish but all these new ones keep popping up. I read so many blogs that are FULL of inspiration and the gears just get a turning.
I don't know exactly why, but I've become strangely addicted to pinwheels and hexagons. Browsing through Flickr, those items always draw me right in. In looking through so many wonderful projects, I kept coming back to the same one. One that I know would take a LONG time. One that I kept trying to sweep under the rug and cover my eyes about. I kept telling myself I would hate this project once I started it, even though it is a beautiful quilt.
So I gave in. I thought by now I'd be sorry, but far from it!! I am actually really enjoying it and I can't wait to see how it comes along.
Have you ever seen the Grandmother's Garden quilts? Oh. My. Goodness! They are beautiful. They are (in most cases) completely made my hand, meaning hand stitched. No machine.
This is my next endeavor. I think I might be a wee bit crazy. I know I've tried to do hand piecing before with the Josephs Coat quilt along, but as pretty as that quilt was, the prep work was awful for me. All that gluing and I kept getting stuck with all those applique pins. Whine whine whine! I know...but this one is different. No pins. No glue and no accuracy when cutting these babies out.
Here's how I started...
I chose a Moda Layer Cake, Boutique which has 42 10 inch pieces of fabric in it. I am using 1" hexagon pieces to do the English Paper Piecing. You can purchase your own HERE, or you can print your own as well. I am too lazy to print and cut those all out. :) I also used their hexagon cutting guide. Its the one at the bottom of the page. Using this chart I knew my squares for piecing had to be 2.5". Using a layer cake makes this easy. I take about 5-7 pieces, keeping them all lined up and cut at 2.5", 5", and 7.5". Then I rotate my cutting mat and repeat. If they are not perfect 2.5" squares, its ok, just as long as they are close. Do this for all layers and you have 672 squares.
Now, for the actual sewing...I followed THIS wonderful tutorial but made a few of my own changes. I did not cut my fabric into hexagon shapes. I left mine 2.5" square. Why waste time trimming? The other thing I did different, was I did not use a pin to keep the paper in place and I back stitched twice on each corner. I found that this held them down better for me, but it's not required. The best part of this method is that you can leave your basting stitches in your work because it is all in the back and you are NOT sewing through the paper, so no clipping of any threads!! What a time saver! The only time you might have to is if you use hexagons bigger than 2" because you have to make an extra stitch on the sides.
I haven't decided officially on how many rows my flowers will be. Right now I am just doing the center with one row, but I think I will add one more row of colour and then white to surround the flowers. We shall see. Once I finally decide, I will figure out just how many of these little guys I am going to have to hand sew together and begin a count down. :)
**Edited to add a photo of the back of my hexies per request. Hopefully this will make more sense with the visual. :)