1. Patchwork Hexie Flowers

When I was younger I tried learning how to do patchwork with instructions from a book………. I gave up, everything had to be so precise, for each piece of fabric you needed two templates, the second one being exactly 1/4″ bigger than the main one. Every stitch needed to be regular, the back needed to be as neat as the front…………….not me at all, I needed to be able to get on with it. When you are hand stitching patchwork you don’t really need to be that exact, it doesn’t matter how much fabric is at the back.  After all no-one is going to see it once the backing is on. My little 1/2″ paper pieced hexies are so quick to make up, not frustratingly precise on the back, and fit perfectly together. Here’s how I do them:

Print and cut out  your 1/2″ paper template hexies. This ladies website is brilliant for explaining how to do your paper templates http://www.getasquiltingstudio.com/2013/01/tips-for-cutting-hexagon-templates.html

4″ fabric squares, I buy them in mixed packs

Cut each square of fabric into 9 little squares, as shown, you don’t need to be accurate, as long as when you place a paper template onto a square you have a border of fabric large enough to fold over on all sides.

Thread your needle with ordinary cotton, and tie a knot. (It doesn’t matter what colour cotton you use as this will be taken out later).

Holding your template, on the back side of the fabric fold over one side of fabric press down  with your fingers and make one tacking stitch through the fabric and paper template.

Fold over  the next side and stitch over the fold on the corner, making sure you are folding over your template, you will be able to feel your paper through the fabric, don’t fold the template. When you have done this a few times it will become easy. Keep doing the same with all sides and finish with two tacking stitches, do not knot the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First little hexie ready. Now do as many as you want. For each of my little flowers you will need one white hexie for the centre and six outer ones for the petals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you have your seven little hexies you can make your first flower. With the white hexie in the centre join the ‘petals’ around it by putting the two right sides together and using little ‘whipping’ stitches, catching a few strands of fabric on each hexie. (This ladies website has brilliant instructions http://www.jessiefincham.com/2014/07/english-paper-piecing-basics-week-2_29.html )

I have made loads of little coloured and white hexies and threaded them in sets on to a long strand of cotton, so they are all ready to be stitched into flowers. Sometimes I sit and put the flowers together, or I make more little hexies, depending on how much time I have or how I feel!!

Part 2:  We will applique the flower onto our first 2″, white hexie.

 

 

 

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Tina’s Scrappy Vintage Hexie Quilt Tutorial

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have never been any good at matching fabrics, colours etc, and have become quite despondent at the beautiful quilts other people can create. I also don’t have the kind of money to buy meters of beautiful matching fabrics. My idea includes thrift shop sheets, packs of mixed fabric squares, polyester wadding, and stranded embroidery threads to make a scrappy vintage quilt.

I hope you enjoy all the different stages of my tutorial for Tina’s Scrappy Vintage Hexie Quilt :

Fabric

I found the easiest way of getting different colours and patterns of fabric was to buy packs of 4″ fabric squares. I can get 9 little hexies out of each square of fabric, so out of 25 fabric squares I can achieve 225 hexies!!!!! It doesn’t matter how thin the fabric is as you will appliqué it to the base fabric. The base fabric is white cotton sheeting. I buy white cotton sheets at the second hand shop for around £3.50 for a double sheet.

Wadding: I always use 2oz polyester wadding.

Things you will need:

Templates

You will need 3 different sized templates, a small one for the patchwork flowers, a middle sized one for the inner of the Quilt As You Go Hexie, and a large one for the finishing. There are lots of sites out there that show you how to make your own templates. For the small 1/2″ I use Word on the computer, copy and paste as many as I can on one sheet of paper and print them out. Alot easier than trying to draw them.

Template for 1/2″ hexie patchwork: For the patchwork flowers you will need lots of 1/2″, printer paper thickness, hexagons

Template for centre hexie: You will only need one 2″ hexagon, print out or draw this hexie and glue or double sided tape it to a piece of thick cardboard, making a hole through the centre.

Template for outer hexie: You only need one 3″ hexie, print or draw it and glue or double sided tape it to some cardboard.

Decoration

 Embroidery thread: I found 100 mixed colours of stranded embroidery threads for under £5 plus free p+p on the Internet. These threads will last me for ages as I am only using 2 strands out of 6 and only 3 different colours for each hexie. And there always seems to be a colour that will match my little hexie flowers.

Yarn for the crochet edging: I love the Internet for bargains, and found that I could buy a large 500gm cone of 4ply cotton yarn for under £15 including p+p which will probably last for at least 1/2 a kings size quilt if not more.

Equipment

Embroidery Hoop: I do recommend having an embroidery hoop as part of your equipment, I have a small 5″ hoop, just big enough for the 3″ hexie shape.

Crochet hook: I use a 1.75 mm so that the crochet is small, but not too tight.

Needles:

One ordinary sharp sewing needle for tacking, patchwork, applique and quilting

One for the embroidery, you will need to be able to get 2 strands of embroidery thread through the eye.

One needle for the outside prep for the crochet, this will need to have an eye large enough to take 4ply wool but sharp enough to go through the fabric.

Fabric Pen or Sharp Pencil: To draw your embroidery lines.

Next time we will begin the process, I will show you how I do my little Easy Paper Pieced Hexies.

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My hexie quilt idea

Now that my new cattery57 is up and running, and doing quite well, I needed a crafty project…… the cats only want so much cuddling and play during the day.  I wanted something that I could sit and do whilst being in the cattery with the cats, something that didn’t need a sewing machine, was easy to transport but not boring…………..

I had seen some beautiful hexie quilts, I do enjoy making all the hexies, but sewing them together is too repetative for me, especially for a quilt. Then I saw tiny 1/4 inch hexies, gorgeous but how many millions would I have to make to get a quilt size? So I went for 1/2 inch hexies……..I know, just as bad……………….. after making a few hundred of them I decided I needed to do something a bit more interesting or all of those little hexies would be put into a box and forgotton about. So this is what I came up with.

I needed something with different elements, so I didn’t get bored with the project……………

And here is my first hexie:

It incorporates:

Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Quilt as you go hexie, more Embroidery and Crochet. The crochet will make them so much quicker to put together to make up the quilt, not as time consuming as sewing the hexies together, also crochet gives, so they don’t need to be that exact.


Having so many things going on in each hexie makes it interesting and each one is different, but the same, if you see what I mean. So to keep me occupied I am going to make a King Size Quilt, I don’t know how long it will take but it will be an heirloom when finished.

I need to be doing something crafty and this has been a lovely project to develop.

My tutorials start here for Tinas Scrappy Vintage Hexie Quilt

 

 

 

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Tina’s Patchwork Workout

I am looking forward now and thinking of my new years resolution………….more patchwork.

I put on weight when I worry, I comfort eat. The last few months of getting the cattery built, along with all of the paperwork and legal stuff and worrying about getting customers has been stressful as well as exciting.  But it has also made me eat, so to help me lose weight I am going to do more patchwork.

My Patchwork Workout is accomplished by having the ironing board as far away as possible from the sewing machine and ironing every little seam as soon as it is done, be it one inch or 3ft!

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One of my cat mats available from my Etsy shop.

This cat mat patchwork panel is made from 2″ x 3.5″ strips and for every seam that I stitched on the sewing machine I got up, walked across the room and ironed the seam flat, then walked back to the machine to do the next seam. I walked across my room 158 times just to do the patchwork panel. The room is approx 9ft long which means I walked 1422 feet (432 meters) as well as the excercise of getting up and sitting down in the chair at the sewing machine. Quite a work out!! With a lovely piece of patchwork to show for all of that excercise! And being busy I didn’t feel like eating. Think of the area I would have to walk to make a king size quilt using these little strips, could end up being miles!!! Goodnesss, just had another thought, how about putting the sewing machine upstairs and keeping the ironing board downstairs, that would give me a doubly brilliant workout. Who would have thought that doing patchwork could lead to a healthy lifestyle?

Round, Rag Quilt Cat Mat

Yesterday I posted about my new cat mats that are in my Etsy Shop. Today I designed and made a new round, rag quilted mat. As with most of my designs I use recycled fabrics and some new cotton fabric for appliques, patchwork etc. dscf4523

I enjoy rag quilting, I used to make alot of tote bags using this technique. It looks good on a cat mat too. Lovely and soft, this mat consists of 4 layers of wadding and 3 layers of cotton fabric, and the raggy bits will get softer after a few washes. The cat in the centre has been hand appliqued by me using the blanket stitch method with a contrasting silk thread.

Measuring approx 18″ these mats are an ideal size to leave anywhere in the home, ready for your little friend to curl up on. Now I have all the measurements etc I can go ahead and make some for the shop, so do visit Etsy and put in the search ‘cattery57’ for the shop.

New Cat Mats

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I am having a lovely week at home, away from the cattery, before the little Christmas guests arrive. My sewing machine is working overtime making cat mats. The ones I made for the cattery have been a great success. The ones at home have too. Dillon and Stalker spend most of their days on my bed, I put two of the mats on the bed and they will only sleep on them now!!!

dscf4490This week I have been rummaging through secondhand shops for fabric and designing, practicing and making lots of cat mats. Some of which will be going into my Etsy shop.

There is a small, soft, kicker toy that can be removed, on one edge of the mat. The ring allows you to attach your own toys. (No catnip has been used).dscf4493

The beauty of them being padded mats is that I can do anything on the top of them. I will be making patchwork ones, appliqued ones and plain ones depending on the fabric I can get hold of. So from fabric that has been thrown out I can make beautiful, practical and cuddly mats for cats.

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One of the cat mats with a pillow my son bought me that has a photo of my two little boys when they were babies……….gorgeous.

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