Sunday, May 31, 2009

Grandma's Pop Garden

well, as i said, my beloved Bernina is in the shop for at least a week so i decided to cut for a hand-sewing project. which really wasn't that smart since i have 2 queen-size quilts to bind--and an irish chain/grandmother's flower garden that has been a WIP for at least a year now, and i need to cut strips for the chain part. but you gotta strike while the iron is hot and i was super-motivated to cut out HUNDREDS of hexagons.
first, cardboard ones to use for the English paper-piecing. i splurged on scrapbooking cardstock 'cos i didn't want to use boring colors--and the cost was all of $3 (vs free with cereal boxes)

a frontal view since it took me so long to cut these out. oh, and i didn't take pictures of all the holes i had to punch in each hexagon as well!
then a few hundred fabric hexagons. first though, some eye candy...
isn't this pretty?! it's Heather Bailey's Pop Garden and i love the vibrant colors. i think this is a perfect choice for a looooong handwork project 'cos there'll always be something interesting to look at. i think it's kinda cool how FQS folds their FQ bundles above, but here's another more traditional shot.

everything has to be cut out individually but it was fun because the fabrics are so pretty. first, i ironed each FQ and then cut a clean edge. i almost prefer FQs because it fits under my 24" ruler without folding (for the uninitiated, a FQ is a fat quarter, or 18x22") --i have such problems cutting fabric--it's almost impossible for me to cut a perfect strip, sigh...

then cut 5-1/2" strips

i got the hexagon ruler at Joann's (40% coupon of course!) --i used the biggest size which makes it extra easy to cut.

and here are 324 hexagons!

now, i'm a little confused as to how many hexes i actually need. using this picture (which is also the inspiration for the quilt), i'm approximating 325 hexes, but the guide sheet on the ruler says i need over 400 hexes! not sure why there's such a discrepancy. oh well, i don't have enuf for 400 anyway so i'll just adjust my size as i get closer to the end.
if you're interested in english paper piecing (tedious but good for long car trips), there's lots of tutorials out there but i learned the most from this one. i've done a couple of other ones--much smaller projects--and while i can't imagine sitting down and churning them out day after day, it's a good vacation project.
now i have a handwork box all prepped and ready to go. first gotta finish the binding on the 2 quilts! (and when the machine comes back--3 t-shirt quilts to finish, and VJL's long-promised birthday quilt)

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