Friday, January 30, 2015

More, More, More!

More blooms! Lovely in lilac. Enjoying my little hyacinth.

More running free! We took Cooper to a small lake/big pond on campus yesterday afternoon and let him run free for a bit. Oh, he ran! Fast! And even swam a bit.

More running!

More running!

For me, more CS blocks made. After today's four, I'll have enough to make another huge chunk. I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this one.

Last night, it was 1/2 inch hexie time for me. Almost done with this tiny project, too!

Hubby's off today. We may rent some movies - great hexie time for me!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Bird as a Seam Ripper?

A friend of mine has a sweet little bird. I'm not sure if she made this quilt for him - it sure does match, doesn't it? :)

Now look at this picture of the same bird. He was actually helping her with her seam ripping! Now that's great assistance! I have a few seams he could rip out for me, for sure...

I did my four blocks of Celtic Solstice today. Are you getting sick of hearing about it?

I prefer not to sew blocks together in rows. I know, I'm weird like that. I like to sew them in chunks. That's why I make a 4- patch every time I finish four blocks. And every time I have four 4-patches, I sew them together into a 16-patch.

Today I had enough chunks to put together. Here it is lying across a bed. This chunk is now the final length of the quilt, but only 4 blocks across. In a couple of days I'll have completed enough blocks to make another chunk this size. Then I think one more skinny chunk will finish it off.  Except borders. Need to do borders...

This afternoon I'm having a photo shoot for the magazine - just waiting for the sun to be in the right spot. And I'm sewing hexies together while I wait...while sipping an Arnold Palmer (mixture of iced tea and lemonade).

I'm in a baking mood. After the photo shoot, I think I'll bake a cake. This cake. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Good Morning!

Hope you're enjoying a wonderful day! Are you snowed in? It's sunny and 55 degrees F here in the deep South. But I've still hunkered down as if I were snowed in.

Here's my view of the lake from my studio today. I do love a sunny morning in the studio!

I've already made my four Celtic Solstice blocks AND I made a birthday block - Jacob's Ladder.

I have now officially completed all the year's birthday blocks that I have. There are two ladies who have not provided kits yet - so I'm caught up as of now. Yay!

I've also watched a great You Tube tutorial for Quick Books, part 1 of 3. A group of quilty friends are coming over this afternoon to sew and chat. Until then....

I could:

1. Watch another Quick Books video
2. Read the book that I'm reviewing for the next issue of Hexie Love - it's a good one!
3. Make some hexies

Maybe I'll do all three!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Great Monday

I did a set of four birthday blocks today. I'm giving myself a pat on the back for getting these done so early in the year! Only a couple more to go! I also did four more Celtic Solstice blocks.

Today was one of those very productive days. I don't have these very often. I got a lot of paperwork done. I went to the bank. I visited City Hall to finally get my LAST needed business license. I worked on the next Hexie Love issue. On and on, I worked! Love a productive day!

So you've been asking - how's Cooper? He's just great! He very rarely destroys things, though he still loves to steal socks. At night he enjoys going to sleep under a recliner with his head on a quilt - his safe place, I guess. He also love to irritate the dachshunds constantly, though I think they enjoy it more than they let on.  Cooper's newest fascination is our jacuzzi. He loves to watch the bubbles and would love to jump in!

Tonight I'll be making hexies for a special (and useful) item that will be in the next Hexie Love issue. Are you snowed in?

Sunday, January 25, 2015


I made another set of birthday blocks yesterday - this is called the Depression Block, I believe. There are also several birthday group members who have requested fabric rather than a couple of pieced blocks. So I shopped from my stash yesterday for these - I had the requested 30's reproduction fabric, civil war reproductions,  and batiks! Yes, I have quite a stash of fabric!

I think I have 2 or 3 more birthday blocks to piece- almost done for the year!!!

Did you notice the mistake in this section of my Celtic Solstice quilt? I had not, but a dear reader told me. Even at that it took me a bit of time to find it! Thanks for letting me know! Though I dread fixing it! :)

I have now completed a total of 60 blocks for this quilt, sewn together in various units. More than half way there!!!

My computer is back to normal after all the updating and uploaded of new files. Quick Books is up and running. It seems rather easy to use, so I'll work on entering data this week. I have a meeting with my accountant in a few weeks, so I have a deadline to get all this stuff together.

Meanwhile, I have a couple of hexie projects underway for the Mar/Apr issue of Hexie Love. Fun stuff!!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Not-so-productive Day...

Yesterday I sewed four of my 4-block units together - now I have a 16-block unit. I also made another   4-block unit. And this, peeps, is about the only thing tangible I accomplished all day!

I sat down a my dining room table with loads of paper work. I sorted it into piles. I made a list of exactly what I needed to accomplish. At the top of the list - load Quick Books on my computer. So I followed the instructions. Mission Accomplished!

By now, I'm in the groove and lit a candle to continue this ZEN mood...Vanilla Snowflake...ahhh....

So now I try to open Quick Books on my computer. NO, it said! You have to upgrade your Operating System first! Okay, I can do this. I started that process and this is what my computer said...

22 minutes it will take. Okay. So what will I do for 22 minutes? I unloaded the dishwasher, put a load of clothes in the washing machine, removed my nail polish. I checked back on the computer - 21 minutes remaining. WHAT? So I went upstairs and sewed together that 16-block unit above. By this time I could move the clothes over to the dryer. And then I picked up the living room.

Finally, the computer was done. But now iPhoto was not working. It said, you need to upgrade this to work with the new operating system. Okay. I can do this.

So I need to get on the Internet to download the latest iPhoto version. No, it said! In order to log in to the Internet, you need your wireless password. I don't know what it is. Hubby keeps up with all this stuff. So I texted him at work. No answer. My hands are tied.

By now the clothes in the dryer are done. So I fold them and put them away. Still no text from hubby. By now it is about 4 pm. I've spent the entire day dealing with computer stuff.

Finally, hubby calls with the password. I successfully update iPhoto. So now you know what I'll be doing today - all that paperwork! At least the laundry is done. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Buttons by the Scoop

Here is last night's TV time play. I'm really loving working with 1/2" hexies! They are not difficult at all!

I didn't do any birthday blocks yesterday. Instead (after I made my four Celtic Solstice blocks) I took a little field trip down the road to Valley, Alabama, to a store called Resurrect.

It's the most wonderful wonderland full of repurposed old and rusty items. So much fun to wander around here.

I think I have a love affair with rusty letters.

Love this idea - a standing clip board made from an old fan blade.

And yes, buttons by the scoop!

They had a couple of old quilts, but they were shredding and overpriced. I didn't buy anything, but I did come home with lots of inspiration!

TODAY! Today is the day! I'm going to plop myself at the dining room table and work through a pile of papers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Smaller Hexies

I began basting 1/2 inch hexies last night for a very special Hexie Love project. This hexie is gray, though it looks blue in the photo.

Yesterday (after my Celtic Solstice UFO time) I made another birthday block. This one was so fast. She had provided the precut pieces. So just a few seams and I was done! She wanted it left like this - 2 half blocks. Done!

Did I do all my paperwork yesterday???? Um…….. I procrastinated all day! I know….it's got to be done. Maybe today? I hope?

Are you making hexies today?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hexies and Hyacinths

I finished another birthday block yesterday - yes, a hexie flower for one of my very good friends. She's making a Grandmother's Flower Garden from Kaffe Fassett fabric and batiks - yummy! She doesn't baste through the paper, so this was a bit different for me. But it worked out nicely! Now this goes into my shoe box of birthday blocks - maybe I'll tackle another one today.

A few weeks before Christmas, I began forcing a hyacinth bulb. Hubby was planting some in the yard and I absconded with one. Look at those roots!

Yesterday I began to get the first peep at blooms! Pretty! I love this little vase because it's made for a bulb to sit in the top - wish a had a few more of them.

Yesterday was so productive! I did ALL the hexie appliqué on the latest section of Odyssey (the progressive quilt from Hexie Love). So excited!

Today I MUST spend time on computer work and paperwork. (I'd rather be sewing!) But it's part of the job. Must. Do. It.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday, Monday

I finished stitching this tangled octopus of hexies together over the weekend. Yes, there is a really cool motif hidden in the mess, which is now starched and pressed and pinned to the background fabric. This morning I'll remove the basting threads and papers. Applique will begin today! Looks like I need to line up some Netflix to watch this afternoon while I stitch.

The birthday dinner we attended Saturday night was fun! We had to drive to Birmingham - 2 hours away - but it was worth it. The birthday boy had just turned 60 and he was very surprised to see us there.

Hubby really enjoyed visiting with some former work buds. The birthday boy's son and girlfriend were in attendance from their homes in Nashville where they are both singer/songwriters. The girlfriend has a song on the radio now (Riot) being sung by Rascal Flatts. The son has a song coming out soon being sung by The Band Perry. It was fun hearing their stories of these artists and more.

Sunday I got absolutely nothing done. One of those bad headache days. But it's all gone this morning! I'll be up in the studio soon to get my UFO sewing done.

I'll also be working on the next issue of Hexie Love - it's going to be a great one! I have a wonderful book to review - it's flying it's way across the ocean to me now. And the progressive quilt - Odyssey - is progressing nicely. And there will be some really cool smaller hexie projects, too. #havingfun

Saturday, January 17, 2015

UFO and Birthday Block Progress

I'm still making 4 Celtic Solstice blocks per day - so far I've made 32 blocks which are sewn into 8 big four patches. And yesterday I finished the Wild and Goosey birthday block - yay!

That didn't take long, so I made another set of birthday blocks for another friend. She had provided all the precut fabric, so this was quick!

Then I spent the entire afternoon and evening on hexies. So nice to be productive! This morning I need to take time out to dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms….. it's got to be done! I still hope to have some sewing time! And tonight…. we're going to a birthday dinner for a good friend. Busy day!

Out the kitchen window this morning…. yup, that's toilet paper. A pretty pitiful job of rolling a tree, if I do say so. At least it will be easy to clean up. I can see toilet paper hanging from a tree down the street. Must have been a drive by rolling - all along our street.

What are you working on this weekend?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Snowflakes and Geese

Yesterday I attended our first Birthday Block Lunch of the year - love this group of ladies! One of the women brought this to show me. She made last year's January Hexie BOM as a wall hanging. It is lovely, isn't it?

My favorite part is all her fabulous hand quilting!

Each of the women in the group pick a block and everyone else makes one or two blocks of their selected pattern for their birthday month. This year we have a big group of 16 or 17 ladies. We got almost all the patterns in December. This year I really want to get a jump on making all these blocks. Last year, I was making each one the day before the lunch - not good!

So today (after I did my allotted 4 Celtic Solstice blocks), I tackled the first birthday block.

It's the Wild and Goosey block, designed by Bonnie Hunter. Lots of little pieces. Machine paper piecing. Not my favorite, but it's always good to have a challenge, isn't it?

Ta-dah! Before you knew it, I had four of these little babies. Tomorrow I'll make the little sashing and cornerstone and this block will be history!

How is everyone coming on this year's block of the month? And Hexie Love projects? I've heard from readers who have already started their Odyssey quilt! And some are making Sheldon the Snowman…

Can't wait to see progress! Don't forget to join in the fun on Facebook on the Hexie Love page AND the Hexie Love Open Studio page!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tips to Subscribe...

I've gotten several e-mails from people who want to subscribe to Hexie Love for a year instead of just buying one issue. Joomag will let you view a few pages of the magazine first. Then a box pops up in the top center asking if you want to buy one issue. See that black box above?

BUT, in order to subscribe, you have to click "Subscribe" way over on the left. See it there? I put a big yellow arrow pointing to it. I don't know why it's not more obvious then this, but it's not. I'm using Joomag for now, but if I decide I'm not happy with it, I'll try something else. Maybe this will help many of you though!

Thanks again for your support! I'm still learning every single day!

So what's going on in Hexie Land today?

I spent some time with my Bernina. You know, many quilters name their sewing machine. I've never felt the need until now. I've decided to call her Bernice. As in BER-ness. (Not ber-NIECE). There was someone in my husband's family with that name. And it fits her. Bernice the Bernina.

So Bernice was crying (and clanking) for some love today. So I thoroughly cleaned and oiled her. She's purring now…

A bit of progress on my UFO…I've decided to make four blocks per day and stitch them together to make one big block. I've done 5 of these…i.e. 20 small blocks. At the rate I'm going it will take me about a month to finish this quilt top.

And then I'll pick another UFO to slowly work on.

Today's hexie have kangaroos! Happy, happy!

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Hexie Weekend…and a Good Question or Two

I had a lovely hexie weekend! Hubby and I watched 4 movies - yes, FOUR movies! And that meant lots of hexie time for me while we watched. Here's the list:

1. The Fault in Our Stars
2. Boyhood
3. Jack Ryan…..something or other
4. A Simple Plan

If you follow Hexie Love on Facebook, you saw my big Australian hexie - made lots of these for a new pattern I'm designing.

I also spent more time in the studio working on my UFO of the season - that Celtic Solstice - slowly (very slowly!), but surely.

And (of course!) I worked on the progressive quilt (Odyssey!) from Hexie Love. What is a progressive quilt? It's a bit like a mystery quilt, because you won't know what the final quilt will look like until I reveal the last section. I call it a "progressive quilt" because we are making one section at time, over the course of this year. Yes, it's made in big sections which while be sewn together as we go. And at the end of the year we'll all have a spectacular hexie quilt! Yay! I have to say that the Odyssey pattern is one of my FAVORITE things in the magazine! Love this quilt!

And now for a couple of questions answered:

1. How do you subscribe to Hexie Love?

Look up above this post. See that Hexie Love logo inside the black box? Click on it! You'll have to sign up for a free account with Joomag (the magazine software I use). You will be able to buy one issue ($5.99) or subscribe for the entire year ($26.99). You'll also be able to download a PDF once you purchase the magazine so that you can print pages or read it as a PDF instead of through Joomag. 

2. Question from a blog reader: Just found your blog are the author of quick easy hexies right?  Where one makes a circle then sews into hexie...I have your first book,now see you have published book two.   However on your blog you are working with EPP.....why?  Just seems to be a  a contradiction…

Good question! I had never done hexies until I leaned the circle method and wrote two books of patterns using the technique. (Peggy Rhodes was my coauthor on the first one.) Since then I've become OBSESSED with hexies of any type, made with any method! And there are SEVERAL methods to make them! 

The patterns in my books CAN be made with any techniques -

Now I have a new magazine (Hexie Love) coming out in January where I will embrace ALL hexies. And the two quilts I'm now designing (2015 Block of the Month which will be available free on the blog AND the progressive quilt to be introduced in Hexie Love) are being made (by me) with EPP!

So, no contradiction here. I just love hexies in any technique!

I enjoy EPP myself.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

How to Prepare Hexagon Motifs for Applique: A Tutorial!

As you may have noticed, most of my hexie quilts consist of hexagon motifs appliquéd to a background fabric. I love "wall to wall" hexie quilts as much as anyone; but because I'm a designer and make my own samples, I would only be able to produce one or maybe two of these quilts per year. So in order to be more prolific (and because I LOVE the look!) I tend to work with appliquéd hexies. 

I thought it would be helpful to provide some instructions on how I prepare hexie motifs for appliqué. This will help as you make my block of the month project and some of the projects in Hexie Love.

1. I alway baste the fabric to the paper THROUGH the paper for maximum stability.  Stitch the hexies together into the desired motif. Now thoroughly press the motif. I also like to liberally use spray sizing at this time. 

2. Pin the motif to the background fabric, making sure to center the motif as necessary. (I'm using a newsprint fabric. No, that's not a real newspaper. :))

3.  Use a seam ripper to break the basting threads on each hexie. (Like my orange nail polish? I needed to brighten up this cold week!)

4. Use tweezers to remove basting threads from the entire motif.

I like to have a paper towel handy for all those discarded basting threads. (Or else they'll be all over me and the floor!)

5. Use tweezers to remove the paper from each hexie, then pin it in place. (Yes, I save the paper to reuse!)

When you finish, each and every hexie should be pinned to the background.

Now it should be simple to appliqué by hand or by machine! The pressing/sizing keeps all the edges turned under nicely.

Hope this helps!