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Oh, that is the hardest kind of foot pedal to use - the one with the very stiff button that is so hard on one's foot/ankle/shin. It is TOTALLY worth it to get a replacement foot pedal. I have never regretting getting mine. It makes starting to stitch a pleasure now, instead of a pain, and with no "lurching" as you start stitching your seam. And I would also second Patty's suggestion of the LED light - no more burned fingers or other body parts. LOL The "soft" bulbs are cool to the touch and you can also grip them better when you do need to take them out or replace them. But they last so long, you rarely have to worry about that.
Here's the latest progress on "Forget Me Not". I have the scrappy border around the circumference. You can see I have one unit done of the element where I asked you guys which fabrics looked better. This one is using the geometric line fabric .. but I'm going to alternate between the two. I also have, but not pictured here, other units that I worked on over the weekend.
Dee in TX (DBRADFOR3) said:
thanks for telling me about the bulb.
Your are welcome! My latest FW doesn't have an LED and I am reminded when I burn my fingers. I need to order an LED for that one also. Totally worth it!
As it gets bigger and bigger it is looking better and better.
Wow you are really getting a lot done on this!!!! It is looking good.
I love them but can't imagine making them unless they involved foundation paper piecing. You're way more talented and patient than I am.
Cris in MT
they are a bit like foundation piecing actually. just no paper. cutting the pieces accurately is important. and being organized (Ami's idea of threading the pieces with a template of the piece attached has been a life saver.
That is coming along very nicely. Remind me how you prepped your hexies. Did you sew to the papers or glue? Also did you cut the papers yourself and how thick is the paper? I am starting to think about my next handwork project since the Christmas applique will be done soon.
MOST of the time, I use my Fiskar Hexagon hand punch to cut my own templates. Fiskars has them in 3 sizes: X-Large (1"), Large (3/4"), and Medium (1/2"). I did manage to find a much larger hexagonal hand punch (1.5") by Craft Lever (I got this one on Amazon). I'm pretty sure I got my Fiskars at Joann's, when I had coupons. I use stiffer paper/cardstock; mail flyers & magazine inserts are great. In a pinch (and I mean a last ditch effort, you can use printer paper, but these are really, really flimsy). After punching the hexagon, I take my one-hole circular hand punch (what you use for punching binder holes in paper) and punch a hole more or less in the center of the template.
If you need other sizes, do some internet searching, as I'm sure punches for those sizes exist. I'd do everything I could to avoid hand-cutting templates.
If I have a weird shape, I use my Scan n Cut to cut them out of 12x12 cardstock.
If you don't have any hand punches, you could print out a hexagonal grid onto copy paper and use that as a master copy. Print copies on stiffer paper or whatever will run through your copy machine. Then you'll need to hand cut or rotary cut the hexies out. This method is a *real* pain. Additionally, your hand cut templates won't be exactly the same size.
You can also buy templates. They typically come made of very stiff plastic. I don't like them. There is absolutely going to come a time when you have a Y seam to stitch. To do this, you will *have* to fold/bend the adjacent hexies in half. I just can't see how the stiff plastic templates will allow you to do this. Also, I'm too cheap to continually buy templates when it's so easy to punch my own. :-)
Let me say that I absolutely do not care what the back of my fabric covered templates look like. I simply do not care that my fabric is NOT wrapped 1/4" from the edges. There is no way I am going to take the time to cut hexagon fabric pieces. Not only is that a horrible waste of my time but it is also a horrible waste of fabric. Unless you're fussy cutting. While I may grump at the waste of fabric, the end results of fussy cutting is marvelous. :-) For my 1" hexies, I cut a 2.5" square of fabric .... jelly roll strips are perfect because they are already at 2.5". Charm squares are great, also because you can get (4) hexies from a 5" square. When I wrap the fabric square over the edges of the template, the back side of the template is going to look horrible and messy. I don't care. The right side is perfect. :-) Also, since I machine quilt, the excess fabric on the back is irrelevant. If you are hand-quilting, it might be a different story.
I center the template on the fabric, slip a pin in & out of the hole in the template ... that keeps the template and the fabric together.
I don't like the glue method. Initially it's quick but then I had problems getting the seam allowances unstuck. It's an extra step that I resent (the same resentment I feel when I was paper piecing and needed to tear the paper away!). What I do is (using junky thread), take a back-stitch at each corner where the fabric is folded over onto itself. I drag the thread to the next corner, do a back-stitch, repeat, repeat, repeat. I don't knot this basting thread. It's just there to hold the fabric onto the template until the hexies are stitched together. Oh, and don't go THRU the template! Take the back-stitch just through the folded corners of fabric. You need to be able to pop the template right out of the hexie once it's been surrounded (stitched) by other hexies.
Additionally, when the hexies are stitched together, I **leave** the basting thread in. It's an extra step to remove them. It doesn't bother the quilting if the basting thread is there, so I leave it.
Don't use your good sewing thread ... that stuff is too expensive to use this way! I happen to have a TON of junky thread (on wooden spools!) from the 1940/1950/1960s that I inherited from my mother in law. This thread is so old, I wouldn't trust it for construction, but for temporary basting? It's perfect.
Leave the templates in the fabric until a hexie has been completely surrounded by other hexies. You need the hexie inside to provide that crisp edge for stitching. But once a hexie has been stitched all around, you don't need the template any longer .. so just pop the template out (easy to do since you haven't stitched through the template) and reuse the template. You may find that you will have templates all around the perimeter of a piece while the interior is template-free.
Any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask! I'll answer to the best of my ability!
Thanks for taking the time for this refresher on hexi prep. This is on my to do this week list.....linked to digging into my scrap bins (yup I have graduated to multiple bins). I had totally forgotten the hole and pin in the middle.