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What Are You Working On Now?   General Discussion

Started 11/19/17 by MarciainMD; 893690 views.
Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


In between dedicated Forever Projects, I have an all-purpose Forever Project.  It's mindless prepping and sewing of hexies.  The entire process just relaxes me.  There's no thinking about it, you just do it.  

But even when I'm working on the all-purpose Forever Project, I kinda/sorta still have a plan.   I learned, a while ago, that making singleton hexies doesn't get you too much by way of a final project.  Other than smooshing all the hexies together ... or maybe using them in a border ... what do you DO with tons of singleton hexies (especially if they're small)??

However, I *have* made singletons.  I've also made 6 matching hexies to make a Grandmothers Flower Garden .. and I've also smooshed the 6 hexie flowers together to make a top (not yet quilted).  I'm not in love with Grandmothers Flower Garden, so i don't want to make more 6 hexie flower units.

I came across a 4 unit hexie that were sewn into a diamond shape.  That was sufficiently different, so I started making these diamonds.

To make my lazy efforts easier, I do things in an assembly line basis.  I cut enough 2.5" squares for a diamond (I need 4), put them in a stack.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.   I'll spend an evening of watching TV, going through my scrap bins and cutting the (4) squares of the same fabric.   At the end of the evening, I have a whole messload of stacks that I just need to prep.

Next phase is the mindless prepping the hexies.  I use junky thread to baste the fabric squares around my paper hexie templates.  I make my own templates by using Fiskar hexagon punches.  To make a bed sized quilt, you're gonna need a HUGE amount of templates and, honestly, I'm just too cheap to buy them commercially.  Of course, by using the Fiskar punches, I am limited to the size of the punches, but that's OK.  If I want some other size, I use my Scan-n-Cut to cut the hexie templates for me.  :-)   Both methods give me absolutely uniform templates fairly inexpensively.

When I've prepped all of my stacks into 4 hexies, I thread baste those matching hexies together so they don't get lost.  Here's a bunch of 4 hexies, all prepped and basted together.

The next phase is to sew those stacks of 4 hexies into the diamond shapes (shown above).  The inspiration piece for these diamond shapes was done in shades of purple, blue, and green.  They looked wonderful together.  When I started sewing my diamonds together, I realized (belatedly) that because I was using all of my scraps, there was no coordination of colors.  This meant that my assembly was going to be random.   

Oh dear.  My brain doesn't do "random" nicely.  Even when I've done "brown bag" strip piecing (throw all of your strips into a bag, reach in, and use what you've drawn out), I tend to micro-manage the colors.  I do much better with a plan.  So, my plan .. such as it is ... was to put the diamond shapes together in kinda/sorta rainbow order (ROYBGIV).  Roughly, ya know, because sometimes the scraps don't exactly cooperate for a color.

But, that gave me some organization.  I then stacked all the same color (more or less) diamonds into stacks ... red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple ... and also brown and black.  I think I have a stack of gray in there too).  Here's a picture of my stacks of predominately color-matched diamonds:

I figured out for a twin sized quilt, which is roughly 65"x95", I'd need 19 diamonds sewn together, at the 3:00 and 9:00 positions to make one row of about 65" long.  I'd also need 19 rows to give me the length of about 95".  This is because the width and height of the diamonds are different measurements.

Continuing my assembly line process, I then picked diamonds from each of the color stacks .... ROYBGIV ... repeating the colors to give me 19.   This would give me one row.  I tied all these diamonds together and labeled which row it was .. because the 2nd row began where the 1st row stopped, so the color repetition would be continuous.  Here's rows 3 through 8, all neatly tied together and labeled:

I've already sewn rows 1 and 2 and put them up on my "design wall" .. which is just a sheet hung in front of a bookcase.  I pin my blocks to the sheet because there's no friction to hold them up.  :-)

You'll see "voids" between the rows.  Those will be filled with either white or off-white hexies.  Or maybe even another "solid" color .. I haven't decided yet.

In fact, I really haven't even settled on a twin size.  The 65"x95" is roughly a twin sized quilt but if I put borders on it ... I'll get a larger quilt.  Maybe some hexie vines in the border.  Maybe.    I can defer that decision for later.  :-)

But for now, it's the assembly line: cut the squares.  prep the hexies.  sew 4 hexies into a diamond.  put the diamond into its color stack.  pick 19 diamonds in ROYBGIV order to make a row.  tie the row together and label.   Once I have all 19 rows tied and ready, then I'll start sewing the rows together.   It's easier on my brain to work in this way, rather than do all those steps one row at a time, then repeat for all 19 rows.  That would drive me bonkers!

I'll be bringing this project with me to work on, as we drive to the Retreat.  I get a lot of sewing done on our road trips.  Mr. Pirate likes to drive and has only rarely asked me to take over.  I can't just SIT in the passenger seat, so having a project is a creative way to use that time.  :-)


From: latterberry


Wow!  That is going to be one humdinger of a quilt.  I just can't comprehend cutting, prepping and sewing hexies as relaxing.  I tried one GMFG block years ago and soon knew that it wasn't meant for me.


From: latterberry


Love your clock!  Thanks for sharing.

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


I am holding my breath.

I finished my humungous Stash Busting Stars quilt last night .... quilted, bound, and labeled.  Now I'm laundering it.  I always launder my quilts before gifting them.  Although the pristine look of a just quilted quilt is magnificent, once it is laundered, the appearance is greatly altered.  I don't want my recipient's ook at the laundered quilt, compare it to the pristine version and think that it's been ruined in appearance by the wrinkles, etc.  If their first view of the quilt is in its laundered state, that is the bar that all future viewings will be measured against.  :-)

While this quilt was made with scraps, which are the leftovers from previous projects and when the fabric was yardage *was* washed prior to be used, I am also concerned that some little piece of fabric is going to decide to bleed.  Or a seam will decide to pop ... *especially* this one, as it is EPP (i.e. hand-pieced).   And I made sure that the ink I used for the label is permanent and I did a test by spritzing it with water before laundering, I still harbor a fear that all of my writing is going to go *poof*.   OH DANG!  I forgot to take a picture of the label beforehand!  Drats.   

And although I do have a large capacity washing machine, this is a BIG quilt (90"x106").  I'm using as much water as my machine will handle.  I just took  peek at the quilt in the washing machine .. heh .. there's not a whole lot of agitation going on!   But the point is to get the whole thing thoroughly wet and then dried.

So, I'm holding my breath that it will emerge unscathed.  ::fingers crossed::

Cathy (cacnurse1)

From: Cathy (cacnurse1)


Another clever way to use hexies.  That's only 361 hexies plus the solid ones, plus the ones for the border.  You will probably finis them on your trip.  We will probably have scraps there a suitable size if you run out of your own.

Cathy (cacnurse1)

From: Cathy (cacnurse1)


Pirate (PIRATE_SR) said:

I finished my humungous Stash Busting Stars quilt last night ...

Do you use color catchers when you wash the quilts?  Is this one a gift?


From: bornblesse2


Will we get to see this one at retreat?

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


ack.  No, I did not.

Yes, kinda/sorta.    Middle Daughter (DD#2) called up one day and said that although she dearly loves and uses the quilts I've made and she brought with her (some she has left here in Walnut Creek), she'd kinda like a new quilt to look at.   Therefore ......    DID I HAVE ANY QUILTS???

After I picked myself up off the floor from laughing so hard, I told her that I was astonished that she, as a daughter of a prolific quilter, would even have to ask that question!   So, I showed her pics of the quilts that were already done (some from years ago, but there's no time limit on the usefulness of quilts) but none of them piqued her fancy.  So then I started showing her pictures of the tops (only) that were waiting to be quilted.   We stopped when we hit Stash Busting Stars.   Bingo, Houston, we have a winner.

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


yes, indeedy!   This is the one I wanted y'all's opinion if any more quilting was necessary.   

BUT ... I've just removed the quilt from the dryer .. it was still ever so slightly damp, which is OK.  I checked for any problem areas and .. sigh .. yeah, there were a few.

Fortunately, only one bled through to the front.  It was a dark green leaf.   It's gonna remain tough buns because I don't see how to remove the bleed .. I'm open to suggestions.

However, there were a few more problems of bleed through along the quilting lines **on the back**.   Very curious.  I'm not as concerned about the back coloration though.  After all, this is not a show quilt.

Pictures below of the mishaps:

the vertical dark green leaf in the center.  There is some bleed-through on the left side of the leaf.

and perhaps some faint bleed through on the right side dark green leaf.

AND THEN .. there's the back.  Sigh.   C'est la vie.

at the top, green .. where the border is

More dark green.  Dang, I wonder what the heck that fabric was????

Pink, along the quilting lines

more pink.



From: Dee in TX (DBRADFOR3)


I highly recommend this process.  It removed blue batik that had bled on to white background, even after several years it came out.  Below is just one of the blocks.