18 May 2011

our creative space 'a hex on sewing'

Greetings all,
i have a new addiction to add to my crafty happiness . . . hexagons.  It's a hex, a spell, a new (to me) patchwork style i started last weekend as 'car craft'. 
As a self taught seamstress & designer i'm not so great at following instructions, as opposed to inventing my own method of creating something (i'm mathematical & spatial, why not??)  I rarely use pins or tack anything when i sew - it would make a matronly professional sewing teacher turn in her grave - yet i always have a neat finished product.  Bite me, you horrible year 7 non elective Textiles & Design teachers!!  They knew we didn't care or we would have done elective T&D in the first place!!  Guess what i grew up to do for a living??  Well ok, it was pharmacology, whatever, i've been sewing professionally for 10+ years now, so . . . let me share my speedy hexagon technique!!
Cut out lots of strips of pretty fabrics & a perfectly shaped cardboard hexagon - photo proof i didn't use 'the good scissors' on the cardboard mum!! 
 Fold & press down 2 sides of the fabric around the cardboard hexagon. 
 Fold & press down 2 more sides of the fabric around the cardboard hexagon.
 Fold & press down the final 2 sides of fabric around the cardboard hexagon.
 Open up a couple of sides to slide the cardboard hexagon out.
 Press the fabric hexagon with a hot & steamy iron (i have a $15 el cheapo iron from Big W & an $8 metallic ironing board cover from Coles in my studio - both work a treat).
 Voila, la hexagon goodness, no tacking required.  Repeat & make millions.
 I said millions, stack them up in same-fabric piles!! 
 Armed with perfectly pressed hexagons, tiny travel scissors, needles & thread, the next step was to start hand stitching them together.  I did glance at Cath Kidston's Sew instructions for hexagons, yawn, sorry Cath, i just made up my own attachment system, i think she recommends rows??  I was winging it, sewing on my lap, while chatting to my husband & taming 4 children in the back of the car for 700km.  I started with a hexagon in the centre, stitching another hexagon to each edge & growing out like a fan, or 'spreading like a virus' as my husband said so encouragingly.  He just knows this will be the first of many hexagon patchwork projects.
 Canberra to Sydney & back, this is what i had created in the car between 7a.m. & 7p.m.  Don't ask me how on earth i managed to make it a perfectly symmetrical finished shape??  I surprised myself when i laid it out.  I really like the pink, white & red clashing patterns which resulted.  Some sewing was done in the dark, so don't look too closely.
While i was taking the photos, my husband was making pasta in the background, keeping it real & homemade at our place.  He likes extra credit for his cooking, i'm his cheer leader & should have been helping.  Anyway, i can't wait to press this first hexagon effort & applique it to a simple cot quilt.  But wait, there's more . . .
 how lovely is this gorgeousness from Kristen Doran??  From her Gyspy Caravan range, these panels are about to be added to my range in both colour ways, on linen.  Then it struck me, oh, imagine some hexagon goodness as a boarder around a beautiful screen printed panel made into a sweet & simple quilt??  Hello!!
 Stay tuned, i have BIG plans & clearly, i'm not keeping them to myself, i'm here to share.  For hundreds more creative projects, check out our creative spaces each Thursday, still hosted by clever Kootoyoo.  Love Posie
PS feeling creative in a Lego kind of way - enter my Lego GIVEAWAY!!

28 comments:

Amy said...

Aren't you a cleaver cookie! Just winging it and them coming up so brillantly!
I am jealous by the way! One day I hope I can winging it so effortlessly like you.

Michelle said...

Looks fabulous! I too have a little hexie project in progress, I will have to blog about it too. They are very addictive! English Paper pieceing was in fact my very first introduction to quilting at 15yrs at school (bless that teacher!!!), and well, the rest is history! xx

Catherine said...

Thanks for the tutorial I love those pretty little hexes you whipped up, so many lovely things to make so little time. (lol) Loving all the handmade that's going on in your space today. xo

Cate said...

Oh you are so clever!! Not that I ever plan on making anything so gosh darn fiddly, but if I did I'd *definitely* use that method too :-)
xxxCate

Bec said...

Love your hexagons, they are rather addictive aren't they!

And I hear you on school sewing teachers, it's a miracle I love sewing as much as I do now - my teacher only put me off for about 6 years (but think of all the projects I could have done in that time!).

Mama of 2 boys said...

I think it's fantastic that you just make it up as you go, instructions are so tedious and time consuming. You are way too productive for instructions Posie :o)
Love the hexagons, they are delightful... I almost feel as if I'd like to try them out myself and I have NO sewing prowess whatsoever (except I do like to cross stitch when I get the time!)
To think you achieved all of that in the car, with 4 kids and a hubby. Amazing! xo

alexandra said...

wow, I love this! I'm rather intimidated by quilting, but you made it look so easy. I think I'll have to give it a try.

Maxabella said...

I love how you share your creative process, Jen. The fabrics are gorgeous (of course!) x

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

How gorgeous does that look and with the tutorial you make it actually look easy! I had to laugh at the scissors comment. My Mum was huge on using the "fabric" scissors for fabric only and marked each pair accordingly!

Tas said...

I remember starting a hexagon marathon when I was a kid. Didn't get too far before the novelty wore off. Yours is divine- love those fabrics. It's late and I' tired but for a minute there I thought you had pasta hanging out in the back of the car too :P

Sindy said...

That seems much more straightforward than my method when making a hexagon quilt - my mother (the real crafty one) had bought large stamps at a craft fair, with all different shapes, and dotted lines where you sewed the fabric pieces together. So with a giant stamp pad I created hundreds of hexagons. I did a Flowers in the Snow pattern (ie same fabric as a centre hexagon, and then mulitcoloured "petals" (ie hexagons) around each centre. then you sew all the flowers together. I used a machine tho' - I hope you have a thimble for all that hand sewing you old Nana you! Can't be good for the carpal tunnel.

Brenda said...

Looks like you are on a roll Posie, and clearly addicted to your new hexagon project.

Sarah B said...

They're so pretty and I just adore te fabrics you have used!

Miss Prudence said...

what a much better way to do this! This was the very first patch work I ever did - no that i do much, but i was taught to fold over a paper hexagon, like tack the fabric over the paper, leaving it in....but this is MUCH better an idea...you Posie are an ideas girl! LOL

love the colours too, what are you going to make out of it?

Leonie said...

oh wow! I dont think Id have the patience for all those little hexies!!

Tammi said...

I adore the colour combo of your hexagons and you have made it sound dead simple...which I LOVE!!
Yep I reckon I could do this :)
Thanks Posie
x

MummaMoments said...

What the? You just went and made that look so easy... by the way, I love your take on year 7 sewing teachers, made me laugh!

Jill said...

I'm with you on the no pins or tacking - tacking? does anyone really???
Love your hexagons - and the pasta picture in the middle too!!

Jill @ Creating my way to Success
http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

The Handmaden said...

Wow, I love the way you've used the hexagons with the panel, it looks really great. Thanks for sharing your technique.

Steph said...

I've been dying to give this a whirl! Looks gorgeous...and I particularly love your iron rather than tacking approach. Right up my alley!! Hope you have a lovely rest of your week :) xx

The Moerks said...

My goodness, I remember cutting out paper hexagons, ironing folding and tacking the blighters. This Posie method is a much better new and approved way to go.

Seaweed and Raine said...

Hmmm Good to know that there are other ways of doing it. I have always wondered about those little bits of hexie paper... like what? you leave them there? lol

Amanda said...

They look so effective all put together like that, I love the fabrics you've gone with. I'm in the planning stages of a very simple quilt for Grace's 'big girls bed'. Where do you get most of your fabrics/inspiration from?

Tania said...

The hexie thing - the thing I have resisted for years - is now just around the corner. Thank you. I shall be hunting myself down a nice stuff bit of cardboard...

LionessLady said...

Thanks for showing us how you do yours - now if you could just explain exactly how you sew them together!?

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Wow, I love it, Posie. Gorgeous fabrics and colors and your idea is great!
Have a lovely day, happy happy creating xxxx

Amanda said...

Use glue to baste em, I use the sewline glue pen super quick and they come out the template easy. I use busypatchwork templates but they will work with cardboard, you could experiment with the a normal glue stick.

Amanda said...

Use glue to baste em, I use the sewline glue pen super quick and they come out the template easy. I use busypatchwork templates but they will work with cardboard, you could experiment with the a normal glue stick.