Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Stash Report, Week 34

I managed to go three weeks without adding fabric, but then a parcel arrived!

And then I introduced my 2-year-old granddaughter to my favourite local fabric store, Hamels!
She made a beeline to the baskets of fat 1/8's, dug around and came up with the two blues on the bottom.  She wouldn't give them up and almost walked out the door before I even had a chance to pay!
Added this week: 19 metres
Added Year-to-Date: 172 metres
Used since last report: 0 metres
Used Year-to-Date: 29.5 metres
Net used/Added for 2013: 142.5 metres

No finishes in the last three weeks, but I have to try and knock out two more I-spy quilts by Saturday so that should help!  But I have to go through this first:

Hopefully, this pile represents the end of the stress at work and September will be a fresh start.  I'll tackle it this afternoon and then I'll be cutting into this for the I-spy quilts:
I can't say enough about Tonya's Hillbilly Fabrics shop and Facebook group!  These are all quilt-shop quality, usually close-out sales but recently she has started pre-buys of new fabric lines as well.  When I first started shopping, I could only get 1 yard pieces, but sometimes she offers fat quarters on sale.  I have paid as low as 45c for some of these pieces! 
I tend to buy blenders or I-spy fabrics, but I did buy a nice piece to recover my ironing board.  The original cover is starch-stained, the pressing cloth that ends up in my photos is butt-ugly 80's calico, so I'm looking forward to sprucing it up!
The pile I received this week represents 6 months of buying, a little at a time.  The beauty of ordering from her shop is that she holds your box until it is full, then ships it.  She will also put my purchases from her online store in the same box, so I don't have to worry about additional shipping costs.  For me, this is so much more cost effective because I have it shipped to a US parcel drop service, then have to cross the border to pick it up. It would not be worth having it shipped a little at a time, and if I had the box sent to Canada it would cost over $40US.  All of these fabrics fit in a medium flat-rate box, and cost $12.95US to ship to Sumas, WA and $3 to pick up at the parcel service, saving me $25.
Funny thing happened at the parcel service!  The guy looked at the return address:
And said " Hillbilly Handiworks - I don't even want to know!"

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hexie to the next level!

Since this week is all about hexies, I was pleased to pick up a parcel in the States this week!
Not only did I get this bundle of wonderful fabrics at an average of $5/yd from Hillbilly Handiworks/Ozark Fabrics (mostly through her Facebook group, where she offers end-of-line deals) :
Tonya designs these amazing pieced hexagons, and sells the paper pieces (specially made by Paper Pieces) in her shop, along with Jason Yenter fabric, which makes for fabulous designs.  I ordered a 1/2 yard of Return to Atlantis border fabric to make my first AHHHHs (Artistic, Hectic, Hexotic, Hillbilly Hexagons).  Combined with his Modern Solids, created with 2 colours of thread, it makes great designs.

My first lesson was to remember to add the seam allowance when cutting out the pieces - oops!:

I punched holes in my pieces so I could pin the fabric. I also number the pieces with the pattern # and the number of pieces to cut in case I lose one of the tiny ones.

Two beginner designs done!

I'm having camera issues - the ones above were taken in natural light and aren't even close to the true colour.  The one below was taken with a flash and is very close - go figure!

The back is almost as pretty as the front!  I used the same method I do my hexie flowers - learned from Bonnie Hunter's website.  I don't baste through the papers and leave the basting threads in for a little extra security.

I can't wait to try more!  Tonya was looking for some pattern testers and she provided me with two more designs to try and assemble into a project!  Tonight, I'm making the hexies and tomorrow, the top secret project hopefully will be completed!

For the first time, I used YLI 100wt. silk thread. It is so fine, and once the papers are removed, not a stitch will show!

In case you are wondering, these hexies are huge!  They measure 3" on each side, and 6" from point to point and barely fit in my hand.

Compared to my usual flowers and the smallest one I ever made, it wouldn't take many to make a quilt!

(Hum, if it takes 300 flowers to make a large lap-size quilt, it should only take about 125 AHHHs to make a quilt of about 50x70")
If you have never heard of Jason Yenter, check out his lines here.  Then go to Tonya's Facebook group and sign up for the prebuy of Shangri-La - payment won't come due until December.  I've become a new fan!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Be a Hexie Queen!

Hexagons are currently making a revival, and not just in the sewing world.  Recently I bought some scrapbooking paper that was printed hexagons!  But I digress...
Welcome to the first day of a nine-day adventure showcasing hexagons (AKA hexies) of all shapes and sizes! 

My love of hexies goes back to when I first learned to quilt, back in the day of the dinosaurs and rotary trimmers were just a gleam in someone's eye!  As the queen of UFOs, one of my first projects was quilt-as-you-go hexagons which got packed in one of my many moves and I think it may have gotten lost.  I think I'm going to try another one, using the new Moda Honeycombs, once I finish my current one.   They are so big compared to what I am used to.

Do you hexie big or small? 
Right now I work on hexie flowers as a long-term project.  My current one is done in '30s reproductions and I'm about a third of the way to a twin-size quilt top.  They are 3/4" on each side. 

The smallest ones I've done are 3/8" on each side.

I needed a needle keep to put in my project bag, so I came up with this. 
Of course, it had to be a Hexie!
I've been making them as gifts - my latest incarnation includes a scissor pocket in the back!

 I'm not going to re-invent the wheel by telling you how I make hexies - instead I'm going to direct you to the Queen of Scrappy Quilts, Bonnie Hunter of, who does it best in my opinion!
Link to Bonnie Hunter's tutorial

Want to try bigger hexagons?  Check out Debby Kratovil's shop for great templates and patterns. She is also the host of this wonderful blog hop.

Have you ever made selvedge fabric?  I love it for small projects, but now I want to make a bigger piece to recover my sewing chair, so I thought I would show you how I do it.

It's really easy - all you need is a piece of leftover batting (for small projects, I like to use a fusible fleece) and selvedges. 

I like to cut mine about 1/4" in to the "good" stuff, so I have a nice overlap to work with.  Some people like to cut a 1/2" in, so they can incorporate some of the colour as well but I'm too frugal.
I picked out one that I didn't care about to start with, as most of it will be hidden in the seam allowance.  I placed in as straight as I could on the batting and didn't worry about a lining for the back.  I'll cover that later if I use it in a different project.

I place the second piece over the first, just to the edge of where the selvedge stops and the good fabric begins.  I set my sewing machine on the standard zig-zag (on my machine, the width is 5 and the length is 3.0) and started sewing.

And that's how easy it is! 
 Manufacturers are printing such pretty designs on selvedges now, it's a shame to waste them!
Now, go Hexie on!  Here are a bunch of fun blogs joining the hop today and be sure to follow the button every day this week for more! 



Thanks for visiting,

Terri in BC

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Well, Hello! (maybe I should have titled this "True Confessions")

Did you see my new button to the right?
That's right, I'm participating in a Blog Hop "Be a Hexie Queen" hosted by Debby Kratovil of Debby Kratovil Quilts and
And if I can get my act together, I might even have a little tutorial for my project.  Be sure to come back and visit me on Tuesday, August 20th!
In the meantime, I am finally seeing light at the end of the "overtime" tunnel!
This is what two months of working 5-10 hours of overtime did to my sewing room:
And that's only what you see from the doorway!  For the full picture, here's a little tour (brace yourself)!
This is from the corner where the TV is:

Now, stepping over the piles to the corner above, is my actual sewing corner:
I have been actually sewing.  In the three pictures above, there are about half a dozen projects at various stages plus I finished my project for the "Be a Hexie Queen" and a couple of other little things I haven't shared yet.
Today, I made a little headway into sanity.  I made mini-bolts of any yardage over 3/4 yard!  Don't they look pretty!

Now, I will only be doing about 1-3 hours of overtime each weekend, and that will only be for the next few weeks!  I plan on being in here for 15 minutes every day making some headway on the mess (but it's a creative mess, right ;o)
But for tonight, I'm packing up my Featherweight and heading to a friend's for a sewing night!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Stash Report, Week 31 and Christmas Sewing Plans

Each week, I say I am not going to buy more fabric unless it is for a specific project and each week, it seems I fail miserably.  This week is no exception.

Pink Castle Fabrics was offering "Golden Tickets" with purchase to a limited number of customers, and prizes ranged from $5 to a year's worth of Stash Club fabrics.  I have coveted Lizzy House's Pearl Bracelets for a while now, so I splurged!  I also got some text prints.
I also went to my local shop, Hamels, on Super Saturday (20% off all regular priced fabrics, actually goes from Friday through to Monday night online this month) and picked up some more blacks-on-white for the never-ending quilt project, Easy Street.  I picked up Block 7 of Family Reunion, which has been on hold forever... thank goodness they are patient.  A few fat 1/8's and a fat quarter for my hexies rounded out the fun!
Added this week: 7.5 metres

Added Year-to-Date: 153 metres
Used since last report: 0 metres
Used Year-to-Date: 29.5 metres
Net used/Added for 2013: 123.5 metres

Lookee, lookee - I won $25 free fabric from Pink Castle!  Now I can add a bit more fun to my stash.

Now seriously, no more fabric until I plan out what my Christmas sewing is going to look like!
Bonus for me - this is a long weekend so I have an extra day to play. kids and grandkids have gone to New Brunswick to visit their dad (only the second time in 22 years they have seen him), so I am a little lonely.  That must be why I had to splurge (my excuse and i'm sticking to it).