Half Hexies Again

I have been working steadily on the half hexie project while I watch TV after dinner. I am making progress, but it feels slow.

I have started to make the piece wider by adding whole rows to the straight side of the piece. I can’t say whether I like this method, but it is controlled and does make the piece wider.

Half hexie star top on the bed
Half hexie star top on the bed

Yesterday I heaved the top on the bed and checked to see how many more rows I need.

I don’t normally show my messy bed, but this is the best way to show progress. The length is good, thought I do need to straighten up the top and bottom edges. From the photo, I think I need 6-8 more rows to make the quilt wide enough to cover the whole bed.

Scrapitude Carnivale is under the Half Hexie piece so it might cause some visual confusion.

Half Hexie EPP non-fatal Problem

The other day I showed you the latest results in my EPP piece. As I was taking the picture, I noticed a piece that looks a little odd.

EPP non-fatal problem
EPP non-fatal problem

Dots. Dots are the problem. That violet with white dots fabric n the middle is weird looking. Something about the dots intersecting with the white is unconventional.

The papers are out so I can’t rip it out. I’ll leave it and see if anyone notices.

Half Hexie EPP

Half Hexie EPP - May 2019
Half Hexie EPP – May 2019

The other day I showed a piece of the Half Hexie EPP I was working on. I have spent some time since then attaching it to the larger piece.

I often think I am in a good place with this piece, then I look at the whole thing and realize I haven’t made the progress I wanted. That was the case when I looked at this whole piece as I was photographing it. It is still too skinny. I need to make it wider.

I have been thinking I would square up the top and bottom then make it wider. Somehow it just keeps getting longer and appears to be skinnier.

New Half Hexie EPP section
New Half Hexie EPP section

Fortunately, I still need some length so the work will not go to waste and I won’t have to rip it out.

As an aside, I saw an exact match to this quilt (except for the fabrics) on a Kansas City Star page. They call it Whirligig. Do I like that name? Maybe.

I am kind of thrilled that the Kansas City Star has a pattern for this quilt. I’ll have to look it up and see what my copy says about the pattern.

Half Hexie Section

I am never going to get this project finished if I don’t work on it, so I work on it whenever I can. Lately, I have just been making stars. I have a whole Scone container full of the little stars and some pieces in my Sew Together Bag cut to make more. I decided I had better put some stars together to make a section that will increase the size of the main piece before I made more stars. As a result, I have been beavering away at that task.

Half Hexie EPP Section - April 2019
Half Hexie EPP Section – April 2019

It doesn’t look very impressive, I know. That takes a bit of the wind out of my sails, because all of that piecing is handwork and it took quite a while, though not years, to get that much done.

I am still trying to think of this as my slow quilt project, but it is hard. I am kind of ready to be done with this project and move on to something else. At least I finished one hand project this year.

Sew Tites and EPP

Sew Tites
Sew Tites

The other day I got an email from Culcita saying they were raising the prices of Sew Tites.

Like a sucker I bought more.

Sew Tites from QuiltCon 2018
Sew Tites from QuiltCon 2018

OK, I am not really a sucker. I like this product. I got my first three free at QuiltCon last year and I found them to be incredibly useful for bags and sewing with vinyl. These fill in the gap where WonderClips won’t work. I bought a 15 pack thinking I would disperse them around my various bags so I would have them handy when I needed them.

Sew Tites are magnetic and fall somewhere between a pin and a clip. One half goes on the top of your piece and one half goes on the bottom. There is nothing pointy or sharp which is why they work for vinyl. I think they would also work for something thick like Soft & Stable. I can’t remember if I have tried that or not.

EPP: 1st two half hexie legs
EPP: 1st two half hexie legs

The other night I was, once again, fighting to line up my half hexie EPP project. The tips need to be in just the right place. I remembered I had received the Sew Tites. I went up and got a few and tried them out.

I was putting half hexies together to make stars. I use a ladder stitch (or an approximation thereof). The trick is to keep the two legs next to each other in the correct position long enough to sew them together. This is really tricky since I only have two hands. I have been using WonderClips. They work okay but not great, especially for the inside angle.

The Sew Tites aren’t perfect either. They are a little hard to maneuver to get the pieces to stay where you want them. Still, once you get the Sew Tites in place, they stay put. Thus, your pieces stay put. The Sew Tite are kind of large, so I am only able to hand sew half of my seam before I remove the magnet. Half is enough to ensure that I can keep the two half hexie legs together the rest of the time needed to sew the seam.

EPP: 3rd half hexie leg
EPP: 3rd half hexie leg

The magnetic Sew Tite can also straddle areas of piecing where there may be no fabric or paper to which to cling. Unlike a WonderClip, which needs something on which to clip, the Sew Tite sticks to itself. In the second EPP picture you can see that there is a space on the inside angle where there is no fabric or paper. The ends of the Sew Tite are on paper and fabric while the middle sticks to itself. There is no problem and they still hold the pieces together.

There is a benefit as well. The farther down I can place the Sew Tite and still have it hold, the more of the seam I am able to sew without moving or removing the Sew Tite.

EPP: 2 halves make a star
EPP: 2 halves make a star

I have also been struggling with getting the centers of the stars to line up. Sew Tites work for this problem as well. Again, once the pieces are lined up, the Sew Tites hold them in place.

I have been wanting to tell more people about them in the Crafty Gemini Facebook Group, but there is a prohibition against talking about other products. Oh well, I assume people will hear about them eventually.

Check out the Culcita/Sew Tites website for videos and more information.

 

A Few More Half Hexie Stars

White half hexie stars - January 2019
White half hexie stars – January 2019

In between everything else I have going on, I have been working on the half hexie stars. I need about a million more stars, so I just work on them whenever I don’t have any other handwork pressing.

I especially need white background stars so I have been concentrating on those fabrics lately.

One problem I had with this batch was matching the centers. WonderClips, which has worked perfectly well before, were not working. They didn’t seem to be clipping strongly enough. My pieces kept slipping, making the centers off. Some were just a smidge. Others had to be ripped out.

Half Hexie Star - matching centers
Half Hexie Star – matching centers

Alison saw my double point pins at the last Sew Day. Someone in Rosalie Dace‘s class said I had to have them, so I bought some. Alison mentioned to me that they were for matching up points. I don’t usually have a problem in regular piecing, but since I was having a problem with the half hexies, I thought I would try them. They are not ideal, but they help a lot. You can see from the photo that I use clips and the double point pins. I am now using two pins and a clip. This strategy seems to be working.

Interesting Half Hexie Progress

I’d love to say this piece was in the finishing process, but it is so far from the finishing process that lying wouldn’t even cover what I was doing. I am, however, working on this piece. It is slow going, which is fine when I don’t have other handwork that I must do.

Half Hexie First Borders
Half Hexie First Borders

Recently, I bought papers to fill in the border of the half hexie piece. I needed some triangles and some diamonds. I want to create a full stop at least on one side, so I picked out a dark grey (charcoal) with small white dots and basted some pieces. The fabric is not a pin dot.

It is a little bit of a shift to insert these extra shapes, but I got into it. It is kind of funny to see the edge done. I wonder if the grey is too dark considering the overall cheerful look of the piece.

I plan to put another straight border on the sides, once I get all the diamonds and triangles attached.

A Few More Hexie Stars

Half Hexies - May 2018
Half Hexies – May 2018

I have been working on the half hexie stars a tiny amount. They take a long time, as I have said.

I finally was able to cut some more backgrounds, so I have been focusing on making background stars. I’ll have to see when I can add more stars to the larger piece. Making the individual stars is fairly easy, though not completely mindless. I do have to really pay attention when I am adding stars to the larger piece.

Half Hexie Progress

Half Hexie EPP project - March 2018
Half Hexie EPP project – March 2018

My half hexie EPP project has been languishing while I knit and sew on bindings, and do other handwork. It seems that I last posted about this project in July of 2017. I can’t believe I haven’t worked on it since then. I have been looking for the diamond papers I know I have that I will use to finish off the edges and create a border. I haven’t found them, though I did find the fabric, and that is discouraging. I want to get this done, so I start the La Passacaglia. I think it is silly to start another EPP project with this one in progress.

I found some inspiration on Instagram the other day for my languishing project, which encouraged me to get back in theswing. Pat Bravo posted about a piece made from half hexies that were arranged into triangles. I am not changing horses in the middle of the stream, but it was interesting to see.

I spent the night before last sewing some stars together and then adding them to my larger piece. The top and bottom are pretty straight. Right now my idea is to put diamonds on one of those edges to create the start of a border. The other edge (top or bottom) I will also border with diamonds, but not until it is wide enough for the bed or to be a large cuddle quilt. I am not yet sure what I will do with the right and left edges. I don’t think I can make them straight like the top and bottom, but I will try to get them as straight as possible.

Hexies on the Mind

EPP Stars - January 2014
EPP Stars – January 2014

Gerre talked a bit about putting the Merit Hexies together in a project at the last meeting. This discussion was swirling around in my mind when I went looking through my media library (where all the photos I have posted to the blog live). Yes, I posted this photo back in February 2014, but with Gerre’s comments on my mind, it struck me anew today.

While I am not super bothered about sewing the merit hexies into something, I also don’t want them laying around for the rest of my life and then getting thrown out when I die. It would be interesting/fun to make pillows out of them, or cushion covers, and see how many I will make before the project peters out.

I thought a couple of things:

  1. I could arrange my hexies in this shape on a pillow or bag.
  2. I could make some extra Half Hexie Stars and make a pillow.
  3. I really like the color combination here (is anyone surprised?).
  4. Putting a straight edge on a cushion or small project would give me practice for the Half Hexie Star Quilt.
  5. I kind of like the idea of a hexagon shaped pillow. I suppose I would have to stuff it and that would be a hassle.

EPP Progress

Half Hexie Project - June 2017
Half Hexie Project – June 2017

I have to admit I am losing steam on this project. I’d like to finish it and get it over with, but that means I have to work on it and I haven’t been.

I kind of screwed up on the side I had designated as the definite edge (left side). I need to make one side and edge and put the triangles on so I don’t put a star where it shouldn’t be.

I am feeling the urge to add some more stars so perhaps the time is coming soon.

EPP Technique

Recently I talked about using the flat back stitch for EPP. I have been using it and finding that it works well. I wasn’t always 100% happy with the WonderClips, however. It is probably the one time I don’t find the WonderClips gripping hard enough.

Taping and the Flat Back Stitch
Taping and the Flat Back Stitch

I have heard that some artists use tape to hold the pieces in place while stitching with the flat back stitch.

I started out with Scotch Tape. It was ok, but I could only use the tape once. Mailing tape – the clear kind – was a little better.

I didn’t have any masking tape, which I think would be the best, so I tried blue tape and it works pretty well. I can re-position it about 3 times before it gives out.

Taping and the Flat Back Stitch - back
Taping and the Flat Back Stitch – back

Still, I am pretty happy with the results. It is easier to keep the stars, or half hexies, in place while I sew.

More EPP

Half Hexie EPP - late March 2017
Half Hexie EPP – late March 2017

About a week ago, I showed you my big English Paper Piecing project. I have been working on it quite a bit and am showing it again with its new and attractive bulge on the lower right. I have thought about EPP a lot in the past week, wondering why I am enjoying it so much. I don’t suppose I really need a reason, but I do wonder.

What I have come up with is that I enjoy handwork, but something like needleturn applique’ isn’t really my thing. EPP provides a convenient type of handwork that is pretty different from machine work. Why would I hand piece something I can easily machine piece?

For a challenge?

Yes.

After  a few blocks, however, it is no longer a challenge.

EPP is handwork, but it is different enough in process to fill a hole. It is also strangely convenient and can be the catalyst for creating amazing designs. Have you seen La Passacaglia?

On my half hexie piece, I have been working on making dots on white half hexie stars and I am making progress with my next two rows (one with a white background and one with fabrics prints in colors.

I have to admit being a little sick of this project and wanting it finished. I have a long way to go before it is finished, however. Learning something new about basting at the last guild meeting reinvigorated me and I can’t wait to try it with my half hexies.

EPP In Process

Half Hexie EPP - Feb 2017
Half Hexie EPP – Feb 2017

I have done a  little more on this piece since I took the photo, but it is slow going so not much.

Despite my protests yesterday that I wasn’t in a rush to finish this piece, I really do want to finish it so I can start the La Passacaglia. Having two large EPP projects seems ridiculous and I only have a certain amount of handstitching time, so focus is the requirement.

My big push now is to make dots on white stars. I need a lot of them and can’t move forward without them. I think I have three in process, but a number of strips cut, waiting.

More EPP

Half Hexies EPP Section - November 2015
Half Hexies EPP Section – November 2015

I have been working on the EPP project while watching TV instead of sewing the sleeve on to FOTY 2014.

A week or so ago, I was in desperate need of some dots on white, so I spent quite a bit of time cutting fabrics to make some stars for the alternate rows. I can’t reap the rewards without papers.

Mostly I have been making stars, but I needed to free up some of the EPP papers so I sewed a section together and will sew it to the main piece next. Once I sew the section shown to the main piece, I can pull out some of the papers. yes, I could buy more, but it seems ridiculous to do so until the papers I have fall apart. I could make more papers from the subscription cards in magazines, but I am too lazy.

I don’t like doing this. I wanted to make all the stars and then sew them all together. I know there were some times where I just couldn’t help myself and sewing sections together is sensible, but still.