Friday, 24 October 2014

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons. Part 11

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons. Part 11

Progress seems to be a bit slow but I am pleased with this progress.  I put work on the intended bed. It looked lovely in the sunshine, and the colours work so well with matching Gosford curtains,  however my gut feeling is that its going to totally overpower the room.  I have reviewed my plans.   This will not be a full size bed quilt as intended but instead I am opting for a smaller coverlet.  I want to keep the gentle tones and relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom.

Adding the border, sewing hexagons into strips and then sewing one long length down the side of the patchwork.
Removing papers:   Soon my borders will be
complete and now they have been partially added I can remove some of the papers.   This will make the work lighter and easier to carry around.
Using a seam ripper or sharp pair of small scissors break the tacking cotton and remove it.  The paper hexagon should just fall out.  If it does not give it a gentle tug and it should come away easily.   Only remove papers one or two hexagons away from the border, i.e. in the centre of work.
 Paper happily removed.  Crumpled, yes very, due to being moved around and folded whilst working.  The edges of the paper hexagon are still intact, demonstrating that the stitches sewing the hexagons together have been small and fine.  I am not saying this method will work for every hexagon.

The papers used are 10cm point to point across the centre (each side measures 5cm) and can be purchased from  Lots of other sizes and shapes available from this website.
The above template has been recycled by ironing it.   Use a moderate temperature and always iron over a cloth.   Paper template, cover with a cotton handkerchief or piece a fine cotton fabric then iron.   Do not use steam.   As demonstrated the creases have been removed and with care, paper template can be used again.

I have made a short video clip to go with this blog:

Friday, 10 October 2014

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons. Part 10

Create a patchwork quilt using large hexagons. Part 10

I have had a few relaxing evenings sewing hexagons into the quilt.  Just a few gaps need to be filled.  Laying patchwork out at night where it will not be disturbed gives opportunity to place covered hexagons in the gaps.   In my case work was laid down on the dining room floor, so twixt turning the sausages, basting potatoes and whisking cream, eyes divert to the project.  Washing hands before touching my work of course.


 Above left: empty gaps                    Above centre: beige NO!           Above right:  Far too busy

So important not to be hasty in making decisions.   Create more fabric covered hexagons if need be and keep arranging them until you are content with result.  Mine were laid on the floor for several days.

Content with decisions its a good plan to pin chosen hexagons next to the gap that it needs to filled.  If you don't like loose pins in your work tack with thread instead.   Doing this makes your work portable and ready to sew without the need to keep popping and collecting another hexagon to sew.  Another method is to photograph your work, print out and use as a pattern.   No real need to print out if its on a tablet computer.   

Image above shows work is coming along nicely.  Sewing the hexagons into the gaps will take a few days, picking up work whenever I can.  

This week I have been working on a new website to run alongside current websites.   Still needs a bit of tweaking but if you would like to have a look go to:   

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Short Follow up to last blog: Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Rotary Mats. Do I need one?

Short Follow up to last blog: Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Rotary Mats. Do I need one?

I received many messages after publishing my last blog post: Rotary Cutter and Cutting Base Rotary Mats. Do I need one?  The gist asking me to give the rotary cutter another go.  So I did.   I thought about it for a bit first then decided to compare the cutting task I use most, namely preparing solid colour fabric for using with hexagon paper templates.  

1) The traditional method using scissors: 

Work on ironing board.  Place a paper template on fabric.  Check for more than 5mm seam, snip then rip the fabric into a strip.  Iron fabric then concertina over.  Place template to check for seam allowance then cut using scissors.  Trim any frayed edges if you like a neat look.  Time it takes to make 12  fabric pieces. Took me 2 mins and 20 seconds.

 2) Using a rotary cutter, metal ruler, and cutting mat.  

Iron fabric then fold over four times, place ruler onto guide line. Trim edge of fabric with rotary cutter.  Place template onto fabric, check for 5mm or more seam allowance then using mat guidelines cut using rotary cutter.  Rotate fabric and cut into 12 fabric pieces.  Took me 3 mins and  40 seconds.  


Pictures show same result.  The extra time it took using the rotary cutter was mainly taken up in ironing more fabric than I needed.  I realise I have the rotary cutter the wrong way around in the above image, was taking a photo at the time! 

The rotary cutter is useful and has advantages for many patchwork and quilting tasks.  So I guess its all down to personal preference.  For me using scissors and the sound of ripping fabric is a joy.