I think we have survived 'the crud' and now we are stronger for it . . . our immune systems are stronger anyway. Some lingering coughs and congestion, but nothing a good rub of Vick's can't soothe. Thanks for so many kind get well wishes and queries as to our condition. Over the weekend, there was a pretty big rain storm set to come our way. More reason to stay tucked inside all safe and warm. As a result, I feel as if I have made some nice progress on my hexagon stars.
After sitting down with a piece of scratch paper, I drew out a little diagram and now know that I will need 41 stars. My head is still not wrapped around the number of diamonds, but I think 70 will be a good goal to shoot for in the interim. This is how they look all stacked on top of one another. How many different views of this very slow project can I come up with? I have seen various hexagon and Grandmother's Flower Garden projects going on around 'blogland' and from comments it seems that there a few more that would like to give English paper piecing a try. It really is a lot of fun and generally mindless work that is very easy to take along. You can put in a few stitches wherever you are - traveling by train, plane or bus, waiting rooms, athletic fields (game or practice,) or just hoping to keep your hands busy and out of the potato chip bag . . . that's me!
I use die cut papers that I buy from PaperPieces. A variety of shapes and sizes are available but my favorite is 1/2". They use a nice weight of paper that holds up to the stitching and doesn't require you to baste through the paper and fabric. This means you can leave your basting stitch in forever allowing you to use up all that old, ugly thread that you have no other use for any more. Of course you can use the plastic patties or cut your own from card stock, construction paper, freezer paper, or old newspaper. Here is a brief photo tutorial of how I cut several hexagons at one time using strips. For 1/2" hexes, use 1 1/2" strips of fabric the length of a fat quarter - otherwise it becomes too thick to easily cut with your scissors. Lay your template on top of the strip with the 'pointy' end going up and down.
Next fan fold your strip from end to end making sure your template will fit nicely with room to cut all the way around. By putting the 'pointy' ends up and down, you won't have to make any cuts on the sides. Use good sharp scissors to cut through all the layers along the remain four straight edges of your piece.
Voila! A nice stack of hexagons all cut. I can usually get 12 from one length of fabric, but if the selvage is fat I may only get 11 and sometimes just 10. Notice they are not perfect.
It doesn't matter. Once you baste all of that disappears in the seam allowance on the back.
And on the front you have a nice, neat and tidy little hexagon.
Give it a try. Even if you just make one little flower to applique on another project, it's nice to have another technique in under your belt. And who knows, maybe you'll find you like it and we can sit next to each other in the day room at the old folks home, trading blogger stories while trying to finish up our projects.
Long Time, L-O-N-G Quilt
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