Tag Archives: hexagons

Didn’t Love This Week!

Oh what a long, strange week it has been over here at casa Colwell. Not much quilting has been going on as we’ve been in the middle of health emergencies and blizzards and a lot of snow days!

Last Thursday Leah fainted in the bathroom while I was trimming her hair (for the first time, quite possibly the last). She slumped forward into the sink and then fell backwards bouncing her poor head off the floor tile. She looked like she was having a seizure which we later found out she didn’t but then she came to, vomited and did it again. My mama heart just about died. Greg, Lindsey, and I got her into the car and set out in the middle of a nasty blizzard and got her to the ER. She was monitored for a few hours and then we made it back home again safe and sound. We have no idea why she fainted and probably never will know but she is doing well despite a nagging headache this week….oh and yesterday we finally finished the hair cut! Here she is smiling in the hospital because they finally said we could go home! LOL!

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And here’s the latest trend…it’s called the half cut! LOL!

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While we were in the ER, I was getting text messages from Amanda who was sick as a dog at UNH. We could tell she needed to come home, go to the doctor, and get rest. Greg and Lindsey headed up to her college the next morning and brought her home. She is still sick but happy to be here with us! Hopefully, she’ll turn the corner tomorrow as she needs to get back to her classes. The college had a snow day today as they are getting 12-16″ of snow.

Last night as we were hanging out in the living room, I did spread out my hexagons to get an idea of how many I have and what I can possibly do with them. I love the fabric and I have more cut to keep going. I do love them!

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I was super excited when the mail came this week and my pantographs arrived! These are an early birthday present from my mom! I can’t wait to try them out.

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And I did manage to get Nancy’s awesome star quilt on the long arm. I’m ready to quilt this just as soon as I can get a normal working day! Isn’t is beautiful?

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So here we are with another snow day and everything has been canceled! The girls are working on a huge puzzle, Greg’s working from home, and I’m thinking about how much I love having them all home and in one place.

Have a quilty week!

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Finding What Feels Right

It’s so cold here in MA! It’s the face stinging kind of cold that makes you feel like hunkering down indefinitely. On Saturday our town won the ‘snow derby’ by accumulating the most amount of snow in the state for this storm. We had a whopping 19.5″ and this is what my backyard looked like. We always guess the amount of snow based on how high it’s piled on the patio table!

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On Sunday, the roads were clear but I didn’t have to be anywhere so I put Judi Madsen’s dvd in the player and watched her quilt for two mesmerizing hours. Quilting Makes A Difference is the name of the dvd and it is part of the AQS Iquilt series.

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This video was amazing to me because it made me realize it is ok to mark your quilt, it’s ok to take a long time preparing the quilt to go on the long arm, and it’s ok to take all the time you can to make sure the quilt looks good. In a hurry-hurry world, this gave me permission to take it slow. Thank you, Judi Madsen! I love the way she marks her quilt with a ruler and disappearing ink. She is meticulous and it just tickles me to see it.

Coincidentally on Saturday, I put a practice cloth on the long arm and pulled out the two rulers I own. Nothing I did felt particularly good but it was practice. I did a few clam shells and other things but now I can’t wait to mark up a cloth and try it Judi’s way. Here are a few pictures of my practice session.

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I ordered Judi’s book and it will be here on Wednesday and I’m practically giddy about it! I also tried ordering her ruler but it’s out of stock at the moment. I’ll keep trying back though.

 

So let’s talk about that hexagon calendar…I bought the perpetual hexagon calendar and felt I could handle one hexagon a week instead of one a day. Well…I did all the work for the first one as I talked about in the last blog post. This is the one I was prepping for…

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On Saturday when I was hunkered down, I began stitching the teensy tinesy pieces together and guess what? I didn’t enjoy one minute of it. Not one. I got this far…

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And now I’ve quit. I just didn’t find it satisfying in any way. I do enjoy regular hexagons that I’ve gotten so used to, it’s mindless work. I guess at the end of the day, mindless is what I want and need. I felt terrible guilt over it for a few minutes then I thought to myself that it was silly to continue to say yes to this project when it didn’t make me happy. Saying yes to this would mean saying no to things I do really like to do at night or in the car or on a plane. So the calendar will remain just that, a calendar. I like to flip the pages each day and see beautiful work and I can smile to myself that I don’t have to replicate that work.

How about you? Have you ever given up on a project and then felt guilty about it? How did you handle the feeling?

Sandi

***this post contains an Amazon affiliate link

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Projects Galore for 2017!

Happy New Year!!! Are you all ready for 2017? I feel refreshed and ready to go this week. Last week I shared with you that my word for the year is ‘focus’ and I’ve also declared this a ‘year of yes’. For me that means focusing on the parts of my business that I love and want to develop and also being open and saying ‘yes’ to new ideas and opportunities.

The first project I’m working on is for a publication and it’s due in February and will be in the autumn issue. I can’t expand too much on it because as always with magazines, designers can’t show the project before it’s published. I can show you the fabrics I’m working with though and I love the vibrant colors!

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I’m also working on other projects at night that are more for pleasure. One project is the perpetual hexagon calendar where the idea is to create a hexagon block a day. Well, being into the first day and realizing how time consuming it really is, I’ve decided to shoot for one a week. There will be weeks I can’t pull it off but that’s the goal. January 1st has a beautiful blue and purple block. It has many small fiddly bit type of pieces and those are not usually what I consider fun but….I’m really trying to enjoy the process of things instead of the end result. So, over the weekend, I busted out my new lightbox which was a Christmas gift from my mom. I love it, it’s very bright. I traced all the templates I needed for the hexagon. This is the light box and though I believe my mom paid $99 through Nancy’s Notions, I found it on Amazon today for $78.53. I thought about the more expensive wafer thin one but it’s a lot of money and it’s not something I’d use every single day so I opted for this one and I’m very pleased with it. I love the large size – 12″x18″. Here is a picture of my lightbox and then a link below if you’re interested…

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Last night I had a few hours free and I glue basted the fabric to the templates. Normally I’d thread baste but the instructions advise glue basting to save time. I got all the pieces basted and now in my next batch of free time, I’ll start whipstitching them together.

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Over Christmas break, Amanda taught me how to loom knit and I’m hooked! Leah also has the loom knitting bug. I’m making a cream colored scarf and I’m about to start my second skein. Leah is making a pink scarf and Amanda is working on a blanket. This picture was taken the night Amanda taught me how to do it. We sat in our jammies and knitted all night!

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If you’re wondering if Lindsey is annoyed with me for working more on this scarf than her mermaid tail blanket, the answer is an emphatic YES! I was hoping some Christmas miracle would take place and I’d wake up to find that mermaid tail completely finished by elves, but that didn’t happen. I’ll be back at that next week.

That’s it for me today! Enjoy the start of a new year!
Sandi

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Counting Hexies

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Yesterday I spent two hours in the waiting room of the dentist while Amanda had her appointment. I brought along my Earlene Fowler book and my little box of hexagon English paper piecing. The waiting room was very quiet, a bit too warm, a bit dim and quietly playing on the TV was Caribbean House Hunters…in other words, I couldn’t keep my eyes open!!!! I was dying in there. I would shift around and wonder how Amanda was doing. I’d chat once in awhile with the receptionist but I had a hard time staying focused and motivated in that place. LOL! Then of course, I felt like a failure. Here I was with 120 minutes worth of ‘free time’ and all I wanted to do was see which St. Marten home the couple chose! Sometime after the first 45 minutes, I pulled my book out and read a chapter or two. If you’ve read Earlene’s books, you know what I mean when I say they can be a bit sleepy…and since I was sleepy already, I didn’t stick with it long. I succumbed to the guilt and MADE myself open the hexie box. I stitched up a few and then before I knew it, Amanda and the dentist appeared and it was time to go!

I started thinking last night that I might have enough hexies to actually make the 4th of July candle mat for my kitchen island. I took them all out this morning and I do have enough!

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The red center flowers are stitched together so now I can work on adding the surrounding blue hexies to it. I like to stick to small projects for the EPP because I get totally bored with the fabric and color schemes. I do admire people like Bonnie Hunter who can just make a zillion of these and piece them into a gigantic quilt. That’s not for me. I’m a get ‘er done kind of girl.

Tuesday, Amanda will be back in the dentist chair for round 2 and I’ll have 120 more minutes to tackle this project!! By the way, the couple chose house #2.

FYI-swap partners have been assigned for the mug rugs and pot holders so please check your Twitter direct messages or your email for the name of your partner. Let me know that you have received the information. Thanks! Projects are due to your partner at the end of April!!!! This will be so fun, I can’t wait!

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Tuesday’s Progress

Hope you all had a wonderful July 4th weekend! The actual 4th was a washout for us around here but we had fun on the 5th instead with a cook out and pool party. It was nice to see all the cousins enjoying each other’s company. Rachel was here and I had the opportunity to give her the t-shirt quilt I finished up a few weeks ago. She was happy to receive it!

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Over the weekend, the Twilters participated in a July 4th Sew In which was termed #J4SI over in Twitter land. I was able to work on the Window Pane 9 Patch for a few hours. I stitched the borders to it on Sunday.

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I didn’t have anything large enough or quite right for a backing so yesterday I ran over to Joann’s and picked up this cute red dot fabric which will serve as the backing and possibly the binding. I have another cute yellow fabric in the stash that I am thinking about binding it with instead.
So here is the red dot…

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I also picked up a yard of each of these flannels to make more of the angel baby buntings…

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Yesterday while I was sitting at the pool with the kids, I pulled out my English Paper Piecing bucket. I made an executive decision to let the apple core EPP be discontinued. I had about 20 or so finished and you can see one in the corner of this picture…

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And while the shape is adorable and I had been so excited to make them, they are HARD!!! They are hard to baste and hard to keep the fabric secure around the shape. My plan was to make several rows of them and attach to a pillow with fabric to match the Christmas Jelly Roll quilt I made last year. I realized that I have been avoiding all EPP ever since because these are a pain. So I’m relieving myself of apple core EPP duty effective immediately. The red hexie flowers are the start of something but I don’t know what other than that the color blue will also be involved somehow. I wanted a 4th of July type table mat. I did make up a graph of how this would go but I don’t have a photo of that handy. I’m back to standard hexie EPP and I am thrilled. I’m hoping to bring my little hexie kit along to the pool in the afternoons and make some progress.

Do you EPP and if so, which shape is your favorite?

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Finished English Paper Piecing Table Topper!

Just in time to give as a Christmas gift, I finished the table topper!  I have truly enjoyed my first adventure with EPP (English Paper Piecing).  I also found an interesting website yesterday that specializes in EPP and has lots of paper patterns, notions, and free downloads including a yardage calculator.  It is http://www.paperpieces.com.  My next project of this type is going to be a vase mat.  I really like the idea but I am not sure what I would use for backing on it.  I’m thinking possibly felt.  If anyone has made a vase mat with hexagons, please share how you back the project.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!

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English Paper Piecing Adventure

I worked on my English paper piecing project last night and I was able to complete 4 of the hexagons.  I also skipped ahead to whip stitching a few of them together while the directions were still fresh in my mind.  In going over some of my notes from the dvd, I realized my whip stitches are a bit too close.  Beth Hayes, host of the segment, recommended stitches that are 1/16th apart from each other.  Mine seem to be much closer and I’m not sure that’s a good thing because you can see some of the stitches on the front of the  project.  I guess that brings me to another question,  what color should be used to piece these together?  I have many bright colors going on here so I just chose white thread.

Here is a photo of my progress.  It shows the three completed hexagons that I stitched and then the backside of the fourth one.  I can’t wait to get back to it.  It took hardly any time at all to get to this point in the project.  Do any of you do English paper piecing?  Any tips or tricks you’d like to share here?

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English Paper Piecing

I received a free dvd in the mail from Creative Crafts Group (publishers of many quilt magazines including McCalls and Quiltmaker). It is called the Inspire – Design – Create Quilting DVD Collection.  It’s one of those deals where you can sign up and receive future dvd’s every few months for a fee.  I popped the dvd in yesterday while eating lunch and began to be totally inspired as one editor of a magazine after another hosted a different segment.  The dvd included segments on color/value, participating in exchanges, using rotary tools to create templates, fussy cutting, working with Shiva painsticks, free motion quilting, and thread tension.  It was quite a long dvd (I couldn’t find the running time but it had to be at least 90 minutes).  I really loved each segment but one in particular caught my attention.  The segment was on English paper piecing using hexagons to make flowers.  I’m sure you have all seen those types of flowers; there is one hexagon in the center and 6 surrounding it.  The editor hosting this segment, Beth Hayes, travels quite a bit so she put together a small box of supplies so she can take the project with her wherever she goes…so…I thought I might  put together a similar box and try taking it to my kid’s activities where I end up sitting and waiting for a length of time.  Below is a picture of my supply box.  I’ll take it around this week and see if I can work my way to completing one flower.  I’ll be sure to post a picture when I have it completed!

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