Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hexagon Thoughts :: Week Three :: Hexagon Basting Basics

I've received a few questions here on the blog and have seen some over at flickr regarding basting hexagons. In response, I thought I'd just show you how I do it. This is really basic stuff, but if you are new to hexagons, you may find it helpful.

I had a little fun with iMovie, so I apologize if it's super cheesy. After uploading the file to Vimeo, I realized that I sped up the part where I told you how much faster it is (for me, at least) if you chain baste the hexagons and don't clip between hexes. Just be careful not to get them tangled in the process. Enjoy!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Random Friday

I don't have much worthwhile to say today, but I wanted to post, so here we go. It's RaNdOM fRiDaY!

I was inspired by Nichole's pinwheel sampler blocks and decided to try one. I loved making it, so yesterday I made a few more after deciding to cut into my Hope Valley. I guess I'm joining the Pinwheel Sampler Quilt-Along at P.S. i quilt?

I hate irons. I've bought really cheap ones and really expensive ones and they all have the same flaw; they leak! What I haven't bought is an iron with a separate water tank. I think that's what I need! In school, we had these fabulous industrial irons with a hose that siphoned water from a big five gallon water bottle on the floor next to the ironing board. Those irons were awesome! But, that horrible iron above started leaking water yesterday and got everything wet, the ironing board, the floor, and my foot (which luckily, is waterproof).

So, I bought two cheap irons yesterday. It was Shea's suggestion to buy two so that I have one on hand when this one dies it's leaky death. I spent an entire $6.24 on this iron and it's really not bad. It doesn't have a steam burst button, but it was SIX DOLLARS. While buying my $6 irons, I passed the TV trays and decided to grab one to try Elizabeth's idea and make a TV Tray Pressing Table. I love it.

And since it is rAnDoM fRidaY, here are the birds that were in my yard (and across the street) yesterday.
A female Northern Cardinal,

an adorable little Killdeer,

a not-particularly-attractive unidentified female Brown Headed Cowbird
who was eating "things" out of the grass,

and his/her not-particularly-attractive sidekick who appeared
to be the lookout.  I haven't tried too hard to figure out what
these little guys are, but I'll look through my books later.
[A fellow birder on flickr helped me identify these little ladies.]

Lastly, I thought I'd share my real workspace, where I'll be for the remainder of the day and likely a portion of tomorrow. "Real" is this case, means the one where I actually make money rather than, well, you know, exchange it for pieces of woven cotton which I cut up and then sew back together. The sewing machine constantly beckons me from the other side of the room.

Happy weekend! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday Sewing

I made hexagons in the car on the way to church yesterday, on the way to lunch yesterday and on the way home yesterday.

After cutting more fabric and paper, I made hexagons on the sofa watching What would Brian Boitano Make? until I dozed off.

After dinner, I made hexagons while watching last week's Project Runway. (I thought Emilio's dress was awesome!) Then I cut more paper and fabric and made hexagons in bed last night.

Hexagon total for Sunday: 159

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hexagon Fussy Cut Template

I was fussy cutting some fabric for hexagons and I had this very simple idea that I thought I'd share with my fellow hexagon addicts.

Using some template plastic (or other similar transparent plastic), trace a square the size you need for your hexagons. I'm making one inch hexies, so my squares are 2.5".

Place one of your paper hexagons onto the center of the square and trace around it's outside edge.

Use your paper (not fabric) scissors to cut out your plastic square and then color around the outside edges of your hexagon with a permanent marker. Be sure to let it dry before you handle it and if you use a Sharpie, hold your breath. So stinky!

Use your new template to find the perfect fussy cut for your hexagons.
(Yep, I actually own that fabric.)

When you find the perfect placement, trace around the outside of your template...

and cut it out with scissors or your rotary cutting ruler and rotary cutter. Please don't use template plastic as an edge for a rotary cutter. 

And, there you go. Perfect fussy cut hexagons!

It's helpful for finding the perfect spot on busy prints,

or aligning that polka dot directly in the center of your hexagon.

Yea! Happy fussy cut hexies!

ETA -  I got that template plastic at JoAnn. It's less than $2 a sheet and is in the quilting notions area. I've also seen it at Hobby Lobby. I like the heavier weight more than the super thin stuff.