Thursday, 9 December 2010

Hexagon Love


I try to use the expression 'I haven't had this much fun since the pigs ate Uncle Billy' sparingly. First uttered by Katie Putrick on The Word in the 1980s, it's a phrase that delighted me and my sister as teenagers and has become a part of our own lexicon for expressing extreme joy ever since. A quick blog search reveals that I have only allowed myself to type those words on one occasion in relation to a fabric marking pen back in September 2008. It worries me as to what I will be left with to convey supreme happiness if I go sprinkling this phrase liberally over everything that delights me.


So hand piecing hexagons: truly, even more fun than the pigs eating Uncle Billy. The pigs would have had to have started in on Auntie Sue too to have beaten this. I have fallen in love with the whole process: from hand cutting every paper hexagon, to tacking the seam allowance around the paper, arranging the hexagons in a pleasing order and then piecing them together in rows using beloved ladder stitch (I never tire of this stitch and its ability to disappear into the fabric), and then finally joining the rows to one another. What delights me most is that every element of this process is small, transportable, done by hand and needs very little concentration. I have finally found something that gives me all that I wanted from knitting (a sociable, portable activity), but that I failed to find due to my lack of competence. I have pieced hexagons while we watched family films, while I've done homework with the children and in between stirrings at the cooker and because it is slow, slow work, it has that lovely feeling of being a long project that it's pointless to try to race through.

Being December, I can't show clear shots of anything, so for now, I'm sharing the backs of my hexagons...which I love almost as much as the fronts. I am so excited to show you what I was working on when January arrives.

In no particular order, this is what else I have been up to this week (this only covers the sewing elements...I really do get up to lots of other things too).
  • My husband wants a quilt for his January birthday, so I have been stalking the online fabric shops for prints suitable for a Man Quilt...it has been necessary to order from three different places and I've yet to decide on the backing for it. Oh dear. I have an idea for this quilt that leaves me so excited that I feel unjustifiably annoyed that people are using the Royal Mail to do normal things like sending Christmas cards, meaning that deliveries of fabric supplies may take a few days longer. 
  • I have been doing extra intensive ogling of the Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush fabric line which has now arrived in England - available at Seamstar and at M is for Make, which also has the full range of voiles from this line. Quite simply, breathtakingly lovely.
  • I have been feeling extraordinarily indecisive about which Innocent Crush fabrics I love the most...but not for much longer, I think...more on that soon hopefully.   
  • At his request I've been teaching my husband to sew...and he is stonkingly good at it and puts my own hand-sewing to shame. He will not be making his own quilt though.
  • When not hand-sewing, I've been at the machine. Yesterday I made my way through over 500m of thread...which, divided between the spool holder and the bobbin, surely means that I sewed at least 250 metres, no? I'm still hankering after a sewing machine milometer...
Florence x

10 comments:

  1. Love the Laptop Holder, so much more stylish and chic then my black leather holder.
    Jen & Row
    www.shimi.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do so love the look of hexies, but I know I don't have the patience necessary to pull one off. For now I'll satisfy myself with looking at the creations of those who DO have such patience. Even the backs are lovely--can't wait to see the fronts :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to wonder, as a child, who on earth ever needed those ginormous cones of thread. Now? I know.

    I find paper piecing frustrating - too impatient by nature. But I do love seeing the work of you lot blessed with a little more ability to enjoy the journey.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I used to love helping my mum sew hexagons together, happy memories. Really hope your samples arrive today!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember making hexagons and piecing them together in needlework class in school.....I was looked upon quite strangely by fellow classmates because of the pure joy I found in the process, haven't attempted any since that time but a lovely quiet unhurried passtime to consider after all the christmas madness has subsided.

    Your hexagons look beautiful, even from the back.
    florrie x

    ReplyDelete
  6. The hexagons look lovely. I had in my mind trying a small project, one of those fabric balls made of them for babies. I think I might in the new year. Giving husband sewing lessons? I think I have a long way to go before that happens. I cannot complain though as he fixes teh cars and the computers and any wayward electronics. I am looking forward to your January show and tell, I know the feeling. Being busy, photographing and yet nothing one can show!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I do knitting now for exactly that reason - pick up and go. My actual skills are better placed for sewing although I'm not bad at knitting and crochet. Rotary cutters and grids put me off quilting. I understand about the slow project thing, absolutely no point in trying to do the hurry up thing. It actually helps with the impatience when you realise that.
    I think a large number of men would be good at sewing neatly - only a few at the aethetics involved. It's lovely that your husband is interested. Many aren't!
    Peggy Sue

    ReplyDelete
  8. My boyfriend was recently persuaded/permitted to use my sewing machine to make matching drawstring bags for his MIDI keyboard and headphones. I was a horrible teacher, but am more excited about the results than he is (or than he's letting on, anyway). He used some blue/grey stripy Gossypium sheeting, which might be just the manly thing for your quilt back - it's enormously wide so you can back even a very large quilt in one piece (I've got one on the go at the moment).

    ReplyDelete
  9. hexies are really addicting, portable and relaxing. BTW, I am making my husband a quilt using earth tone daiwabo fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love hexie sewing - so restful!
    Glad you're helping hubbie to sew - when I did some sewing with the local primary school the boys were, in the main, much better than the girls!!
    By the way have you used your jelly roll yet?? I'm dying to see what you do with it!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x