Friday, February 24, 2012

Hello and paper piecing hexagons

Okay, my first post.  I've been wanting to start this blog for a long time but I couldn't decide how to begin.  Should I start with an introduction about me?  Should I write about my past projects?  My family?  My background?  Why I'm writing a blog?  Well, last week I was out walking with a friend who was talking about how she would like to start a blog but can't decide what to blog about.  My advice to her was just start writing and see what happens.  Um, so I realized I should really take my own advice and so here it goes.  I'm just going to start right off with my current project and I figure the rest will just work its way in. 

Just a bit of background - I entered this crafting world a few years ago when my oldest daughter got a knitting/crochet kit.  We tried to figure it out together and I was hooked - no pun intended!  I liked knitting but I LOVED crocheting.  I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it.  Up until then I had never been a crafty person - unless you count doodling in my notebook during class at school.  I actually owned a sewing machine but only because I jokingly told my husband when we bought our house that I would make curtains if only I had a sewing machine and he, thinking I was serious, bought me a sewing machine!  It sat unused in our basement for probably about 10 years until my oldest daughter (M) took an interest in hand sewing (another kit) and I remembered we had the sewing machine, dusted it off (well, actually dusted off the box) and things haven't been the same since.  Last year, I started quilting and that was it  - now all my spare time - and not so spare time - is spent crafting.  With the kids, without the kids but mostly for the kids.

I also read A LOT of craft blogs.   Everything I've learned about sewing, crochet, embroidery, etc. I learned from reading blogs (and books authored by my favorite bloggers) and from watching videos on You Tube.  In the past few weeks, it seems I've read several posts/how to's for english paper piecing hexagons.  I was first inspired by this.  I love Amy's blog and I think everything she makes is absolutely beautiful and inspiring.  But after seeing this hexagon doll quilt, I knew immediately what my next project would be.  I also love hand sewing - for two very different reasons.  One, I feel I have more control over the outcome and can make up easier for mistakes.  While I love sewing, I'm still learning and I make LOTS of mistakes - actually, I would say I stumble with every project.  And I still haven't come close to mastering the straight line on my sewing machine.  I use the word "wonky" to describe most of my quilts even thought that is usually not what I originally intend.  Or I just say "imperfectly perfect!"  When I first started quilting, I didn't even bother with binding (are they even called quilts if there is no binding - would it be more accurate to call them blankets or throws) instead I just sewed right sides together.  Then I read tutorials on machine binding so I tried that - attaching to the back first, attaching to the front first, using the backing fabric as the binding and using a zig zag stitch - but it never came out.  Then one days a couple months ago I decided to try hand sewing on a binding for a doll quilt - and I've never gone back since.  For me, it was so much easier to hold everything in my hands and go one stitch at a time.  Second, I love projects that can be done while watching TV.  Every night after the kids are asleep, my husband and I park ourselves on the couch to watch our favorite shows.  And it just worked for me to sit down on my comfy couch and watch Downton Abbey with the quilt in my lap sewing on the binding.  So, the hand-sewn hexagaon quilt fit in perfectly.

The first step for me was scouring the internet to figure out how to do it.  I got great advice from Alicia, Melanie (and I used Melanie's hexagon templates as well), and Melissa.  I took out some fabrics from my scrap stash and gave it a try.

Well, I intended this post to be about how I'm making a small hexagon quilt for my baby's wall, I didn't realize how much I would write before I even got to that point and now the baby is awake so I'll post how I'm making it tomorrow.  Okay, my first post - I have to say it feels great!


  1. Boy, aren't you glad you dusted off that sewing machine box? It's wonderful to do crafts with your kids. As for stumbling over the projects, welcome to my world, I still do and I've been sewing for years. (Oh maybe I should tell you that. lol!!) Welcome to the blogging world. I glad to have found you. I'll follow you (at the top of the blog is a "Follow" button) Oh and one more thing, I love that you say the baby's awake so I'll post tomorrow. So cute, cuz it's so true!

  2. I meant to say maybe I "shouldn't" tell you that I still stumble after years of sewing.

  3. Oh, yes, the Follow button at the top - can't believe I missed that! As for stumbles, I just have to remind myself that I am in good company with that and that each stumble is learning experience, right?!?


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