Wednesday, 2 May 2012

101 hexies

I think it's about time I shared photos of my one hundred and one hexies - here they are in a pretty stack, no reason for it I just fancied seeing how high it would be!

101 hexies make a stack about 4.5" high - not a lot to show for eight months of sewing!

They took quite a while to arrange on the floor as I was trying not to get the same fabric or the same type of hexagon next to each other.  I'm not sure I managed it and I'm not sure it was worth the effort but this is what 101 hexies look like when they're all in the same room and playing nicely together.


Sheila has a liquorice allsort (yum!) in her hexy quilt, I have a fried egg...

Sorry for the awful photo - the weather was awful the day I did this (although not as awful as the days preceding it!) and the only way I can get a photo of all the hexies is to put them on the front room floor, stand on the fourth stair and lean over the bannister!!  Oh for a big design wall!

Want to see a close-up?


I only took two close-up photos (I wish I'd taken more!), the other one is in my last post!

I then added the five whole (unpieced) hexies that I've cut out


They're hard to spot so here's a photo with a bit of a clue!

Subtle enough?!

And close-up of some of the 106 hexies



I'm really pleased with it so far and think that so far I've managed to get a good variety of types and a good balance of colour - what do you think?  Any colours I need to use less or more of?  I've got many more of the 'star in a hexagon' hexies than any other type but that's deliberate - I decided that I needed plenty of simple hexies to off-set the more complex hexies.  If they were all smarty pants hexies they might end up fighting!  I'm also wondering how many whole hexies to include - any thoughts?

I'm still not sure if I'm going to be adding sashing - my plan is to make hexies until I either run out of the white-on-white background fabric or hit my 202 mark (whichever happens first!) and then I'll have a good think about it.  The sashing would make it a lot easier to join the hexies together (many of the seams won't nest together due to the seam allowances sometimes swirling clockwise and sometimes swirling anti-clockwise) but one solution would be to add more whole hexies and to ensure that they're between any awkward hexies that happen to end up next to each other.  I honestly can't see me taking the direction of seams into account as I arrange all the hexies but I think I could arrange them and then sort out the troublesome ones.  Or I could (as Elly suggested) add triangles between the hexies but, although I love the way it looks, (Cathi has added setting triangles to her hexagons) I'm not sure if that would help with some of the seam allowances.  If anyone has any other ideas please shout!


I've been busy making some Stained blocks from Sarah's QAL.  I think I've made about twelve at the moment but although I've taken some photos I'm not sharing them yet, I wanted this post to be about the hexies!  I'm really pleased with how the Stained blocks are looking and I'm already thinking about how to quilt it.  This quilt will be for my mam and she likes a heavy quilt so I'm thinking of using a double layer of wadding (probably Warm and Natural) - does anyone have any experience of (machine) quilting through two layers of wadding?  I'm going to be doing straight/wonky lines (no FMQ here!) but any tips or thoughts on needle choice (unless someone tells me otherwise I'm either going to use a topstitch or a quilting needle) will be gratefully received! 


I'll leave you with a few photos of Archie coveting the remains of my breakfast.  His (big blue) liver tablets have to be taken on an empty stomach (preferably after an overnight fast) and at least an hour before food so I give him it as soon as I wake up (such a rude awakening for him!) and then he goes back to sleep until he hears the magic sound of my breakfast being prepared.  (But only if it's toast - if I'm having cereal he waits until he hears me put my spoon back in the bowl after eating as he occasionally gets the teaspoon of milk that's left!)  If I have toast for breakfast he usually gets the last little bit of each slice and he's just not used to having to wait!

What do you mean 'Not now?'  I don't understand!

Maybe if I stop looking at her she'll change her mind...

Well that didn't work - I'll go back to staring!

He kept that up for ten minutes before I moved the plate into the kitchen - he followed and settled himself on the floor for a long wait...no wait is too long if food is involved! 

I'll probably be missing from blogland (and possibly email as well) for the next week or so as I'm going to be concentrating on completing my Stained top and cleaning my conservatory (which will take quite a while as I can only do a little bit of cleaning each day or I end up exhausted and it needs a spring clean rather than a quick flick with the duster) so I'll be either chained to the sewing machine or to a bucket and cloth!  (Or watching telly whilst I recover!)

Wish me luck, I'll be back when all the Stained blocks are together and my conservatory is sparkling.  Well, definitely the former, possibly not the latter!

Edited to add:  I forgot to let you other number geeks (you know who you are!) know that there are 1153 pieces in my first 101 hexies....

Edited to add (I'm having a forgetful day!): I'm linking up with Lee@Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday - so please hop over and see what other people are working on!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


45 comments:

  1. Helen, you have so much patience to be working with such small hexies. They are beautiful. I love seeing how they are growing. It is good to see Archie -he is looking perky! Di x

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  2. Wow. That's a lot of hexies!!
    I've quilted through 3 layers of batting plus fabric and survived to tell the tale. I never change my needle! Shocking I know but I only ever replace it if it breaks :) Ain't broke don't fix it...my motto for most things!

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  3. I'm clapping my hands here for you - wonderful job on these hexies! such wonderful design work. I so know what you mean about standing on the steps and leaning over to get a photo - I have to stand on top of a chair and stretch my arms up to hold the camera over the quilt to get a photo.
    Karen

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  4. Wow - Archie looks super dooper handsome in that first image. Amyways, your hexies are lovely and pale and lovely and can`t possibly assist on the sashing issue. Can`t wait to see you get out of the taxi at the Stained (ewwww) party!

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  5. Oh Helen, your hexies look so awesome!
    I would not add sahing between them. That would completely change the look. But that are only my 5 cents. :-)

    And Archie is soo cute again!

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  6. Love your hexies. I know nothing about the intricacies of piecing them, but I like the wayvtheyblook all together soni vote no sashing between, I think non-pieced hexies to make the awkward ones work better would be the preferable solution. Remember Stained first, cleaning only if you can muster the strength. Priorities after all!

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  7. Awesome hexie-ness!
    Good luck with the conservatory - do you save dead bugs on the blinds like we do!?

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  8. Wow! So pretty! And Archie is looking mighty fine today too :-)

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  9. Love your hexies, they look absolutely amazing!

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  10. Hexies are looking amazing H! I wouldn't dare try to advise you on this one - you've way too much experience on hand piecing that me. I like to use a jeans needle when I'm quilting or working with heavier fabrics. I've only quilted 2 layers of wadding in potholders, where one layer was Insul Bright heat resistant wadding. It wasn't a problem for my Pfaff, but I appreciate a large quilt will be quite a different animal. Good luck with it and don't go too mad with the cleaning. There is such a thing as clean dirt (I know cos I live in it every day!). Jxo

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  11. Wow 101 already and your aiming for 202! You're crazy, but brave...throw in a few more unpieced hexies....maybe a bit more green?

    I've never done a double layer of quilting, for hand quilting I use a thicker larger needle...maybe the same could be used for a machine...the needle for heavier fabrics =D

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  12. Wow-ee and whoop-dee-do! absolutely beautiful hexies Helen!

    I love all the different ones - are they all on flickr as I'd like to see individual photos of those smartypants ones!

    I love the way Archie is looking away but his eye is still on you or the toast! He is such an actor - he deserves a doggie Oscar!

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  13. Wow!!! that is a lot of hexies in one pile. Nice work Helen...they look fantastic laid out.

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  14. Out standing. Well done!

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  15. Love those hexiies and I think I see the fried egg! Way to stick with a big project! Archie looks adorable. Thanks for visiting Duke over at his feature today. :-)

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  16. Ooooh what did I tell you?!! Awesome hexies :-) Elliecat sits and waits for the end of my cereal too...lol Good luck with the conservatory. Little bits at a time, and no wearing yourself out too much x

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  17. Archie's ears are so expressive and I love how his purple collar co-ordinates with your decor.
    Your hexies are a Tour de force...so methodically pieced and beautiful... but I see a stray orange up the top that looks like a hazard symbol...and waaaa it irks me. Sorry. The other colours are so delicate. Congratulations... half way there!
    Get Samantha from Bewitched to wriggle her nose at your conservatory!

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  18. I LOVE Archie! What a great looking dog who lives up to his great name! And your hexes are spectacularly overwhelming! Amazing!

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  19. Your hexies are spectacular! And so is Archie!

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  20. Wow! Your hexies are gorgeous!! (As is Archie, of course.)

    My own hexalong project from last summer is in a basket near the sofa...I'll return to her some day, but there are so many other projects calling my name. What to do??? I reassure myself that these projects are not biodegradable: they will be there when I have the time and motivation to return to them. In the meantime, it's wonderful to see projects like yours progressing so beautifully! It's going to be a stunning quilt.

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  21. Your hexies look wonderful! The colours make me think of summer. Just glorious!!
    Baxter is somewhat like that with food as well. Funny how they think that staring at us piteously will work -- or perhaps they really do know how to get what they want!

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  22. Your hexies are so adoreable! And I admire your patience with them!

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  23. EPIC!! They look very beautiful nested together, but I try to imagine what they look like with a sashing between--*no* idea how you would do that--wonder if it would give each hexie chance to shine? Although they look good as they are. Also, I agree with a little more green. Glad to see Archie looking bright-eyed!

    Hazle

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  24. Love it!
    I was going to say to use a little less white, but if you are running out, maybe it's ok anyway.
    I'm not a fan of sashing, I didnt use any on my quilt, you have alot of head scratching coming up, have fun!!

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  25. Only 1153?? What a slacker!
    I never considered sashing my hexies, I loved the eclectic look of all the different styles playing together and used a lot of plain ones to pad them out. Didn't seem to have a problem with seams when I joined, probably battered them into submission, but they were a bit bothersome round the edges when I added borders. Your hexies are beautiful and I look forward to more pics when the sun shines - young Archie is looking pretty perky too.
    When you are finished with your conservatory, nip up here will you and have a go at mine.....

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  26. Your hexies are beautiful!! Do take it easy with the cleaning, we want to hear from you sooner rather than later! Have fun with the Stained blocks and see ya soon.

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  27. Stunning, wow this is going to be one fabulous quilt. Archie so reminds me of Sam, he sits and waits for any milk left from my cereal, he use to get bits of toast or bread as well but he has put so much weight on he is now on a diet..... you can well imagine his face when he doesn't get anything!!!!

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  28. It is so great to see all these Hexies! I love the colors, and I don't see any that standout too much. I love the way my eye wanders through so I think the variety is good. I say keep going until you run out...that way it will be really finished. Love that idea! Can't wait to see it done Helen! xo to Archie - B

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  29. Great hexies!
    I wouldn't worry about the way the seams go. You're hand sewing these right? You can just move the seam the way you want it as you put them together. That's what I do. But then, I don't press them until they're all together so it's easier that way. I just finger press them as I'm going.
    Have a good spring clean. Hope you ignore it for sewing :)

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  30. rockin awesome. that will be one beautiful quilt, i think the whole piece hexies blend wonderfully. go you.

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  31. Oh I love your pics of Archie, he always looks so fab. And your hexies look amazing, thats some serious work you have done there!

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  32. I'm completely amazed and impressed with your hexies. Wow!

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  33. Wow your hexies look fantastic as does Archie...by the way he never took is eye off the toast, he was trying to trick you haha....if Slip doesn't get my crusts straight away I get the paw on the leg routine to remind el thicko (me) that I've forgot!

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  34. Your hexies look wonderful! I do think you have a good balance of color :) I love the pictures of Archie.

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  35. I love your hexies - the quilt is going to be wonderful. I recommend a topstitch 90/14 needle. I have never tried to double the wadding, I would test it first on a sample before I basted the whole thing to make sure it works. You could always make her a second quilt instead, to make it heavier, just saying.

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  36. Each of your hexies is a work of art - I'm very impressed with you! And Archie too - he' so cute!

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  37. Good grief, I've never seen so many hexies! I feel drained looking at how many you've created so far - I bow to your superior hexie ability!

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  38. Love love love the hexies!!

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  39. The hexes look fantastic just as they are, what a beautiful quilt this will be.

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  40. those hexies are unbelievable!! you are a rock star in my book, Helen.

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  41. wow Helen - that is just beautiful - and so finely pieced too - stripes matching, fussy cuts matching - and the colours - this will be one of those quilts that you can't stop staring at - well done you

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  42. Oh my goodness, Helen, those Hexies are really quite draw-dropping! What an amazing achievement! I'm afraid I am a hexie virgin (!) and therefore cannot advise on the issues of sashing, or seams! However, I don't think the whole hexies look at all out of place and I'd say that as long as you keep to no more than one third of them being whole hexies, you'll maintain the overall look! (is that no help at all? !) x

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  43. They are just gorgeous! I am doing a similar quilt but am on week 20 out of 52 . Cheers. I'm your newest follower too : )

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  44. Wow, I am so impressed... your hexies are beautiful and quite an accomplishment. You are awesome! Bravo!

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  45. I'm late, but have been meaning to say that your hexies look fabulous. I haven't worked on mine since last summer. Time to dig them out ... there perfect for summer piecing in the garden.

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