Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Traveling Hexies

My husband and I recently made a trip to Colorado for a memorial for our nephew who passed away unexpectedly. Danny always loved my quilts. When we visited his home before the memorial, I noticed one of my wall hangings on display in the dining room. He was a very special person and will be missed.

To get to the memorial, we were in a car for 17 hours. Of course, it took another 17 hours to get back home. That gave me plenty of time to do some handwork, and I decided to work on my hexies. This is what I got finished while we were gone. 
I got lots of hexies basted, and I got this section put together. (It would have been a "totally finished" section if I had brought all my maroon hexies with me, but I ran out.)

Because I am on the road all the time (it seems), I have had to find a good way to work on my hexies in the car (when I don't have to drive, LOL). I want to share my travel sewing setup with you.
I use a metal sheet (a 9” X 12” magnetic bulletin board) with REALLY strong magnets which I had to purchase separately. (I found the same brand magnetic board that I own on-line. I didn’t find a 9” X 12” board, but they do offer a 12” X 12” board in several colors and they INCLUDE the really strong magnets. You can check out that board here.) This is what mine looks like.
I use Altoid tins to hold the pieces I am basting. The tins work perfectly for the little pieces I'm currently working on—1/2” hexies. I also use another tin to hold my tiny scissors, a pin cushion, needles, thimble and my thread. I use a big felt ball to store the appliqué pins I use to hold the basting papers to my fabric. The strong magnets keep the tins from sliding around. The magnets also hold my scissors and needle when I put them down so they never get lost in the car.  

When I’m working on sewing hexies together (as you can see in the top picture), I use small plastic boxes I purchased (from an automotive department) to hold my pieces. They work well with the magnets on my metal sheet because they have metal closing clasps. (If you look closely, you can see the clasp "attached" to the magnets.) Those metal clasps stick to the magnets and hold those boxes in place. I also use the magnets to hold my pattern piece to the metal sheet and to hold an index card on the pattern to keep my place.
I keep the metal sheet inside a zippered notebook cover which protects my pattern, keeps my magnets all in place, and holds the piece on which I’m working.
I hope you can use some of these ideas to make sewing on the go a bit easier for you. It is amazing how much you can get done while you are out and about.    

I have been thinking about what name I want to give my hexie quilt. I think I’ll name it “Danny Boy” in honor of our nephew. I think he would like that.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Update on Extreme Embroidery Workshop

I recently taught a workshop on my "Extreme Embroidery" technique for Louisville Fiber and Textile Artists. I did a post on that here and here. Some of my "students" have done more work on their pieces and gave me permission to share those pieces with you. Marliese has completed two pieces (which you can see in the second post link above). She has since added to one of those pieces. Here is her piece
and here is part of her addition...
She has different layouts.
Which do you like best? Kathy made a piece that she mounted onto a canvas. Her piece sold at Pyro Gallery in Louisville. Kathy wrote a blog post about it here.
I'm REALLY proud of what has been done so far and hope to show you more from some of the other participants at a later date. If you'd like to learn Extreme Embroidery, I'd be happy to teach a workshop for your group or guild.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

GREAT English Paper Piecing Book

First, let me say I am NOT being paid for this book review. I am just one REALLY happy customer.  I LOVE books. I have an extensive collection of books on art quilts, artists, embroidery, piecing, painting, Zentangles, English Paper Piecing, doodling, drawing, creativity, and more. My latest book purchase in All Points Patchwork, English Paper Piecing Beyond the Hexagon for Quilts & Small Projects by Diane Gilleland. Wow, wow, wow, this is a fabulous book. If you are interested in EPP in any way, this book is for you. I feel like I am pretty experienced in EPP, and I LOVE this book. 
It includes the obligatory chapters on tools/materials and basic techniques, but what I really like are the chapters on Building Your Own EPP Patterns and chapters on each of the shapes--hexagons, diamonds and jewels, triangles and tumblers, octagons and pentagons, and curved shaped. There are also photos of "Project Inspirations"--illustrating ways to use EPP motifs. This is NOT a pattern book; it IS a GREAT resource. If you are not sure how to join any two shapes of pieces together, this book will tell you how. If you want to draft a shape, this book will tell you how. If you want to design your own blocks, this book will tell you how.  I have primarily worked with EPP hexagons and am now interested in branching out to other shapes. I think this book will be an invaluable resource for me (and maybe for you too). It is available in many places, but it is a steal on Amazon for $12.87 (as of the time of this posting). Check it out here.