Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hexie Pointers

I think because I have a "forever" hexie project (and I've made and sewn together thousands of hexies), people ask me things like the following:
  • What thread do you like?
  • How do you baste the hexies? 
  • How do you sew the hexies together?
Well, here are the answers to those questions. First, I like Superior's 60-weight polyester thread. I have tried quilting thread, silk thread, and others. I like The Bottom Line thread because it is VERY thin, but it is easier to handle than silk thread. I most often use gray but have purchased it in other colors. In the samples you will see below, I have used a gray thread. If you sew the hexies together correctly, you won't see the thread anyway. Here is what the spool looks like.
I know that, when basting, some people do not stitch through the hexie papers. As you can see, I do. 
I have tried the other method (stitching just through the fabric), but I find it doesn't hold the fabric tight enough to the hexie papers for me to get really crisp points. I get much less shifting of the fabrics when I'm stitching the hexies together if I stitch through the paper. I put a knot in my quilting thread to start the basting. I always put my basting knot on the "good" side of my hexies for ease in removing the basting threads later on. (See white hexie on the right-hand side in the above picture.)
I work my way around each hexie making fairly large stitches (so they are easy to take out). I DO NOT knot the thread to end off. I stitch an "X" in the last corner and leave a short tail of thread on the "good" side of the hexie. I always stitch through the "corners" to hold the fabric down. You can see all that in the above picture. 
I used to hold the hexies--right sides together--and whip stitch them. I have found that holding the hexies side by side (flat) and stitching them together works much better. It is hard to get used to, but the thread shows much less on the "good" side. You can see how my needle is inserted in the picture below. That is how the hexies are situated when I stitch them together. Be sure to slide the tip of the needle off the hexie paper--DO NOT stitch into the paper at this point. If you do that, it will keep the stitches from showing on the front of the work.
Here is what the front of these same hexies looks like. The "connecting" stitches are virtually invisible from the front. The black and gray thread that you see are my basting threads.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sacred Threads Traveling Exhibit

I got an email recently about the "progress" of the 2015 Sacred Threads Traveling Exhibit. My piece, Recurring Dream, was chosen to travel for two years with this exhibit. The email was to inform those of us who have pieces in the exhibit about where the exhibit has been shown and when our pieces might arrive home. (Once the exhibit returns from its final show in California in April 2017, it will be time for my quilt to return home.) I was pleased to see that the exhibit has been all around the country and has been well received. Here is a portion of the email.

"The exhibit has had rave reviews at every venue to which it has traveled, I hope you have been able to see from the Sacred Threads website the different places the exhibit has been shown. 

In case you have not, this is the list to date:

Flint Festival of Quilts, Flint MI - September 2015

Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta GA - November 2015 to January 2016

Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena CA - February 2016

Empire Quiltfest, Clifton Park NY - April 2016

Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville GA - April 2016

Good Shepard Episcopal Church, Hayesville NC - May 2016 (also served as the tour site for those at John C. Campbell Folk School)

Union Church, Berea KY - July 2016 (also served as the tour site for those at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea College)

Upcoming exhibits:

The Rectory Cultural Arts Center, Norcross GA - November to December 2016

The Texas Quilt Museum, LaGrange TX, - January to March 2017

Best of the Valley Quilt Show, Lindsay CA - April 2017"

Just to refresh your memory, here is a picture of my piece.

For those of you who read my blog, you know this piece is about my Mom and the separation I felt from her because of Alzheimer's and, eventually, her death. I'm happy to share this quilt and my feelings about this quilt with others. (The story of the quilt is an important part of this exhibit--unlike many of the art exhibits in which quilts appear.) I hope Mom would be proud.