Hexalicious

Madeira For Hexagons

I’ve been struggling with my stitching this past week, not really feeling up to working on anything. So, I decided to do something completely different (I always hear John Cleese’s voice when I say that). For a LONG while now, I’ve been wanting to make a Grandmother’s Flower Garden, or hexagon, quilt. I was first inspired by the very talented Be*Mused and her Kaffe Fasset hexagons in 2006. How stunning are they?! And her more recent rendition of them is gorgeous too – a lot more pattern to them, smaller size and two rounds of “petals” for her flowers. Since 2006, I’ve been determined that I would make a similar quilt. I just loved the colors, loved it on the black, loved it period. I watched videos on how to make hexagons and even ordered some templates in a couple of different sizes. I think I bought 1″ and 2″ hexagons. But, then…nothing.

Recently, with the re-emergence of the hexagon hoopla, I decided I definitely need to finally take the plunge. Of course, my first thought went to needing to go out and and buy tons of pretty fabric, buy some new templates, etc. But, I’d been thinking about it for so long, that I couldn’t seem to get up the nerve to spend a big chunk of change on some fabric. What if I didn’t like it? What if I couldn’t find what I wanted? What if I hated hexagon making? So, again, I did nothing.

But, with the need for something mindless to occupy my hands, I decided to just do it already. I pulled out my jelly roll of Moda Madeira by Blackbird Designs. I had purchased this in the tin and used the tin and part of my jelly roll for my Jane Timmers class back last September. My original intention for the remaining jelly roll was to make the quilt pattern that came with the tin. But, again, it would require buying additional fabric for the background, borders and backing. So, my jelly roll had been sitting in the closet with no use. What better use than to make hexagons? I downloaded the free hexagon template from Texas Freckles thanks to Siobhan’s direction. So, no additional money spent, all supplies on hand and voila I was in Hexagon Heaven.

I spent all day Saturday making hexagons. And by the end of the day, I had forty. That was all the templates I’d cut out, so I thought it was a good stopping point. So much fun though.

Hexies 062710

And you know what, even if I only make a little wall-hanging and not a full-size quilt with these, I really enjoyed every minute of making them. I will definitely be making more as soon as I cut out some more templates. I’m so glad I took the plunge, and I think it maybe was a bit therapeutic too. I found myself able to read a bit over the weekend, and I enjoyed that. And I even enjoyed a bit of stitching.

I was inspired by this tree at Seminar…

Stocking Tree

So, I decided to pull out the supplies for one of the February BBD stockings that I had on hand. This one seemed to be pretty mindless, with no color changes, so it was a good choice. This is Sweetheart Sampler from the February stockings. I’m stitching with the recommended GAST Cherry Bark on 30ct St. Valentine’s Blend by R&R. I love the combination. So pretty.

Stocking 062710

Yesterday, I actually pulled out And They Sinned to work on, as is the Sunday tradition. I’m working along on the left side of the cloud, which is mostly mindless stitching. I stitched on it all afternoon and evening, and managed to finish the left side. I did send a progress photo to my PIC (partner in crime) to prove that I had actually worked on it, since I’ve been such a slacker with it lately. I came really close to sending her a photo of Missy’s ATS and saying “look how much I’ve gotten done!” but then I decided that she might actually recognize Missy’s brilliance and call me on it. I just lack filling in the little motifs in that left side of the cloud and it is completely finished. Then, I promise to post a progress photo (yes, my own progress photo).

I am grateful for handwork.

Meandering

WMHB 061910

First of all, I need to answer some questions I received in the comments on my last post. The pendant is about 1 1/2″ square. It is a little fiddly to get your piece and your scrapbook paper to sit straight in the pendant, but not too bad because the pendant is hinged, so you can open it up like a locket, lay your piece in and then close it. And I did stitch the piece in full crosses, not tent stitch, over one on 36ct. It’s not really as hard as it sounds.

Secondly, I spent some time yesterday updating my list of stash for sale. Please take a look if you’re interested. (I always have a link in my sidebar too, so you don’t have to come back to this post.)

And now, on to the stitching. I’ve jumped around quite a bit on my stitching since coming back from Seminar, as you’re about to see. I have worked some on Where My Heart Blooms, as you can see above. I love this piece more every time I work on it. It is going to be gorgeous in our bedroom when it’s finished.

AotH 060510

I’ve also been wanting to start on Blackbird Designs’ Anniversaries of the Heart series for awhile now. Right after Market, I ordered a piece of fabric to stitch the whole series on. I went with 40ct, and I believe it is Examplar. The photo above shows the color of the fabric pretty accurately, whereas the photo below? Who knows? Anyway…just a tiny start.

AOTH 062010

And finally, prompted by a surprise delivery from the postman last week (which I will share closer to the actual event), I decided that having finished my first A&E another one was in order. This is Margaret Pence by Goode Huswife. I’ve been wanting to stitch this one for awhile, and finally just pulled out my fabric and threads and got started. I’m using DMC on 36ct Meadow Rue. You’re going to have to start calling me the Queen of Meadow Rue, because it’s also what I’m stitching Where My Heart Blooms on. I am getting a lot of mileage out of the piece I have!

Margaret Pence 062010

I’m having fun stitching on Margaret though. Actually, I’ve been enjoying stitching on all of the above. And let me tell you, my new project bag is coming in really handy with all the different things I’m working on!

I just wanted to take a minute too to thank all of you for your kind words about Romeo. It’s been rather difficult, and it really means a lot to me how many of you left comments and shared your own experiences. I really really appreciate it.

I am grateful for a husband who takes such good care of me.

Ebony and Ivory

Quaker Pendant Black and White

Prior to Seminar, I worked on stitching up a gift for another friend’s birthday. Her birthday was the day before Seminar, so I brought her gift with me to the hotel. She loves black and white, so I decided I would stitch one of the Quaker Pendants from Milady’s Needle in that color scheme.

I used black NPI on 36 count Attic Lace, over one. I really thought this design was stunning in the stark contrast of the black and white.

Once stitched, the piece is placed in one of the pendant frames also from Milady’s Needle with a small piece of scrapbook paper behind the stitched piece.

Pendant Back

I think she loved her gift, and when she wore it on Friday with a black and white outfit she coincidentally brought with her, she received lots of compliments on the pendant. Now, I may have to make one for myself in black…hmm…

I am grateful for having time to stitch.

Strawberries and Apples

Pyramid Dessert

Last weekend I went to the EGA South Central Region Seminar that was held here in Dallas with two of my stitching friends. It was hard to imagine that Seminar was finally here, since we’d signed up for this thing a year ago! We took both of Catherine Theron’s classes, and our three days with her were wonderful. As you can see above, the desserts weren’t bad either.

And when we arrived at the hotel, Sylvia presented the two of us with these gorgeous project bags she made, and since ours and hers were matching, she also added a beautiful little hornbook with our initial on the zipper pull to tell them apart. How sweet is that?! Inside the project bag was a roll of several different linens from her recent trip. I can’t wait to find something to stitch on them! What a great way to start off our time together.

Gifts from Sylvia

The first two days of the seminar we had Catherine’s My Peaceable Kingdom class. What a gorgeous piece. And it has so many specialty stitches there’s no way you can get bored with this piece. Plus the colors are luscious. I was quite proud of myself that I got a good bit of my border done in class. The vine is done in longarm cross and diagonal stitches. The strawberries are done in smyrnas. Aren’t they pretty?

Strawberry Border

On our third day, we took Catherine’s Americana Sewing Roll class. I spent the better part of the day working on the Florentine stitch for the outside of the piece.

Florentine Stitch

It was good to get away for a few days and not have to think about anything but stitching. When I got home, I finished up a little piece that Romeo had been helping me with by being my lap buddy.

Miniature Adam and Eve

This is a Miniature Adam & Eve done in Au Ver A Soie on 40ct linen. I think the finished size is about two inches square.

I am grateful for my friends.

A Gift of Time

Time Needlebook

Recently, a dear friend had a birthday and I wanted to make something special for her. As busy as we all are, I found the perfect freebie from Primitive Bettys called “Time”. Who couldn’t use a little time? She loves purple, so I chose Weeks Concord on 30ct Alabaster by R&R. I loved the combination. I decided to make the piece into a needlebook, because of course any extra time we have we want to use it for stitching, right?

Time Needlebook Needle Pages

The fabric I used for the inside and back of the needlebook is from one of the first quilts I ever made. And it is one of my favorite and well-loved fabrics.

And I made a little pocket in the back to hold those little extra somethings.

Time Needlebook Pocket

Originally, I had thought of using a ribbon closure, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of this being a little reminiscent of days gone by. I found a button in my collection of my grandmother’s buttons and it seemed to fit perfectly. I made a little loop out of cording from the Concord thread.

Time Needlebook Button Closure

I love that it’s a little book-like, kind of old looking and made with things I had collected. I hope it serves its purpose well.