Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Hexy rescue

I've been absent from blogland for the past few weeks - it wasn't intentional but I got lost in hexyland and I've prepared and stitched a fair few hexies since I last blogged.  (I haven't finished all the preparing though as I ran out of energy partway through so I have a line of templates and little stacks of pieces along the mantelpiece - it's beginning to look like an art installation!)  I'm really enjoying seeing each hexy take shape but some of them have needed rescuing so I've been doing the equivalent of dangling out of a helicopter on the end of a rope to rescue a hexy stuck on a ledge, abseiling down cliffs to scoop up a distressed hexy, talking one off the edge of a bridge, etc.  A hexy in distress is really very demanding!  If you listen carefully enough you can hear them crying in the night because they're so ugly...(I think this is what's known as an over-active imagination!!)

I'll show you a couple of the rescued hexies in a moment but first I want to say thank you to a few people...

Thank you to the people who have emailed me over the past few weeks to check I was ok - it really means a lot to know that there are people in blogland who notice when I'm not around for a while and check up on me.  I've simply been too tired to spend much (or any!) time on the computer and have spent many afternoons reclined on the settee attempting to watch a film (I tend to lose concentration/interest relatively quickly so it's not often I see a film/programme all the way to the end) or stitching a bit of a hexy.  I've also been helping my parents get ready for a family party - every year all my dad's side of the family get together at my parents' house for a few hours on Easter Sunday afternoon/evening and there's always lots of baking and sandwich making to be done in the run up to the Easter weekend.  This year I think there were about 20 adults (my aunties and uncles and cousins) and 12 children (my cousins' children) - that's a lot of cups of tea and beakers of juice not to mention the sandwiches and cakes!  It's always lovely to catch up with people and it's great to see all the children playing happily together - hide and seek and running around is always popular!!  I'm shattered (again!) now though...

Thanks also to Cherie@I be's Cheraldine  for nominating me for a blog award - as I've mentioned before I won't be passing on the award (thanks for understanding, Cherie!) but I'm still honoured that you thought of me!  If you haven't visited Cherie's blog she makes some lovely things.  As well as making lovely things Cherie is learning to drive at the moment so please pop over, say hello and wish her luck for her next driving lesson!

Lastly I'd like to say thank you to a very generous and wonderful UK blogger who sent me the most wonderful care parcel after she realised that being too ill to work for several years meant a very small (minuscule!) fabric budget and sent fabrics that will be added to my Terrain charm packs as well as some machine needles and some lovely thread.

My care parcel

See what I mean about very generous?  I don't think I can ever thank her enough but I hope this (and my gushing emails!) can go some way towards letting her know how grateful I am.  I can't wait to get started on my Terrain quilt - just need to get these hexies sorted first!

Right, time for me to show you the hexy rehab...

First up was a mildly distressed hexy who was all over the place but didn't mind having her photo taken before being rescued...


'Someone' stitched the wrong edge...not that I'm naming names or anything but honestly, when you've made about 15 of the same style hexy you'd think you'd be hard pushed to make such a stupid mistake.  Not at all - it required absolutely no thought!  You'll be able to see rescued hexy a bit later when she's hanging out with her friends.

Next up was a rescue that was a little more tricky.  For some reason I'd decided that having 12 pieces of fabric meeting in the middle of a block was a good idea - it wasn't.  I soldiered on for a while as I'd managed with this hexy and another one of the same design but I think I got away with those because their centres are white and they're made from the same fabric whereas this hexy had six pink points and six grey points.  Want to see a horrible centre?!

Definitely a hexy in distress!

Here she is reclining on her temporary ironing board - a (clean!) tea towel on top of an old (summer 2003) Next directory (which is the most useful catalogue I've ever had - I used to lean on it when I was drawing round/cutting out/gluing letters for display boards and now I use it when I'm drawing round my hexy templates as it stops the fabric slipping, I'll have to find a replacement if it ever falls apart or gets lost!).  I had thought that I used this to press my hexies because I was too lazy to get the ironing board out but now, thanks to Lynne and her sewing tips, I now know that I'm resourceful and press my hexies this way because I get better results!

And now for her close up...

Sob!  Please rescue me!

This was after a lot of pressing, starching and even some stitching through the middle to try to pull it together and it's still far from marvellous.  I'd gone as far as removing the templates for the two '12 pieces meeting in the middle' hexies from the project box (swearing never to touch them again!) when I started to wonder if I could get away with putting a button over the centre and scattering a few over the rest of the quilt (so it didn't look like I was using a button to hide a nasty centre, even though that's exactly what I'd be doing!  More 'oh look, there's a button in the centre of that hexy, what a lovely touch'!).  Then a better idea popped up and waved at me and this is the result...

Ahh...that's better!  I could look at myself all day - thank you!

I love it!  In fact I love it so much I'm making another one (at least!) and I've added a hexy to the other '12 pieces meeting in the middle' hexy.  I'm not changing the two I've already made but I'm part way through making one with the altered templates and it's so much easier!

The final rescue was the rescue of the ugly and radioactive hexy but I'm saving that for another day!  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it so I stitched a replacement

I'm so much prettier than that other hexy!

And I've also stitched quite a few others so here's a parade of hexies

Miss Hexy In Distress is in the middle looking much more composed!

The stripy fabric in the middle of the bottom row was supposed to be used 
for a cushion back - guess I'm not doing that any more!!

And...(drum roll please!)...I've now made 101 pieced hexies - I'm half way there!  Yippee!!  I've been thinking quite a bit about how I'm going to sort out the arrangement of the hexies when I finish piecing the next 101 and how I'm going to join them.  More pondering is required but at the moment I think I may have to add sashing as some of the edges are going to be a right s*d to stitch as the seam allowances won't all next together.  (Some of the hexies sit better when they're swirled clockwise and others when they're swirled anti-clockwise but I can't guarantee that I'm going to be able to stitch a 'seams going clockwise' to a 'seams going anti-clockwise'.  Which means that I may potentially be dealing with eight or more seam allowances all meeting at one point and going the same way and I don't really fancy tackling that!)  Adding sashing will mean that I'll have to make replacement hexies for the two sets of 'three hexies make a big star' hexies that I've already made (they won't work with sashing) but I'm going to wait until I've stitched all the hexies before making a decision.  All thoughts and suggestions are welcome now though so please speak up!

As a reward for getting to the halfway point I'm going to arrange all my hexies so far and take a group photo and I've also surrendered to my inner maths geek and worked out how many pieces I've stitched so far.  I'll reveal all next time (well, next time I blog about the hexies!) but feel free to have a guess.  No prizes but if anyone manages to get it spot on I may rethink that!   (Not promising anything spectacular though!)

I think I've just got room for a couple of dog photos and a random fact or two...

Alfie has been to stay again and discovered just why Archie loves his bed in the conservatory so much.  The last time he tried it he couldn't work out what all the fuss was about but this time it was much better!

It could be a bit larger but works well as a tummy cushion...

Three minutes later...


Random fact  I can't abide the smell of hyacinths.  It knocks me sick and I'm not too good with the smell of daffodils either! 

Another Random Fact (Giles, this may cause you cake related distress so be prepared!) I still have (home-made) mince pies in my freezer, left over from Christmas - I keep forgetting about them!

Yet Another Random Fact  Yesterday I finally (after needing one for years and not being able to find one I liked) found a letter rack for my kitchen - it was on sale in WHSmith for about £3 and I love it!  I can't find it on their website but it's in the same range as this in tray.  I smile each time I see it and, even better, I've got rid of the pile of letters, vouchers, etc. that I need to keep to hand but that irritated me by making my worktop look untidy!

I'll try not to leave it so long before my next post - I'm not promising though!  I do have a draft post that just needs a little tidying before publishing so I'll either post that or I'll tell you about what I made after I walked round here and then attended a workshop based on the walk...

I could have stayed there all day - it's so peaceful!

See you soon (I hope!) and happy stitching until then!


  1. love the hexies - I had noticed you hadn't been on the computer much and was beginning to wonder where you were! Glad all is well.

  2. Good to have you back Helen - you and Archie were missed! Your hexies are very modern and gorgeous (if a little distressed) and particularly love the stripey girls.

  3. Stunning hexies Helen! Glad to see you and Archie back :)

  4. Heck woman! no wonder you are tired after all that brain work!! That is so clever with the hexies - well done!

  5. Wow Helen; the hexies are fantastic!! I've shamefully never done one...That might be something I have to change.

  6. You are hilarious - I love that your hexies are girls and am so glad you are saving the helpless ones. 1437.
    Am with you on hyacinths..x

  7. Oh, and the workshop sounds intriguing........

  8. Love the Hexies...well rescued!! Glad you're back but do take it steady.

    You could have stuck an egg on the top of each mince pie and got rid of them at Easter...Teehee!

    Hugs to Archie...oh! and you of course ;) xx

  9. Nice to see you back for a bit Helen!

    Love the hexy rescues ... and just love Archie reclaiming his hotspot.

    What a gorgeous care package too! But that's not surprising really ... who wouldn't want to send you loveliness?!!


  10. good to see you back Helen!

    Love Archie reclaiming his spot ... and great hexy rescuing ...

    What a lovely care package ... but then - who wouldn't want to send you such loveliness??


  11. Good to see you again!
    This hexy quilt is going to be drop dead gorgeous and gobsmackingly amazing. I cant wait to see the first half group shot!!!

  12. How can you forget mince pies in the freezer??? Making me drool just thinking of them.
    Your hexies have me in awe - I think they are marvellous!
    Archie looks so cute cuddled up - and yes, Alfie is cute, too and looks like he is asking the genie of the sewing machine for a bigger blanket!

  13. Crikey lady!!
    Those hexies are doing my head in and I'm not even making them! You are doing well!

  14. Just gorgeous hexies. I have put mine away for now.

    I will get back to them now that I have seen yours!


  15. Good to see you back! Great hexies, looking forward to seeing them all together.

  16. Love your hexies, and I even quite like the 12 points in the middle. It seems so real, if you know what I mean.
    I am totally with you on the small of hyacinths, they turn me sick too.
    I had also missed you, and am glad to see you back again.

  17. Ahhhh, a very timely reminder of why I haven't done any hexi's :) But yours really are gorgeous! And it's wonderful to have you back :) Hope the energy levels have picked up a little now :)

  18. I loved all the little captions beneath the hexies. And love the way they are all turning out. Good to see you in my blogroll today!

  19. Hexi-licious! Love your rescue work - especially your 12 pointer with the weeny hex in the middle! I want to see the group shot soooooomuch Helen please don't keep us waiting tooo long - and big hug to Archie XXX!

  20. Thanks so much for the mention!!
    Those hexies look amazing. Can't believe you've done 100 already! I like the mismatching looks like a whirlpool in the center =D

  21. Hey chick, those hexies are stunning! I can really the perfectionist in you now (never mind the maths geek!). Hope you get some time to rest this week. Enjoy your complimentary goodies! Jxo

  22. Impressed by your hexies. They are so small! Your care package is heart warming. There are some kind folk out there. Have fun! Di xo

  23. Great package! You'll have lots of fun with those!
    The hexies look amazing, I'm not sure I would have had the patience to rescue them (I don't even think they were bad!!) so I admire you!! Can't believe you've done so many and they are going to look incredible. Huge hugs to you and a tickle for Archie :)

  24. It's so nice to see you again! You are the hexie master! I love the 12 piece star with the tiny hexie in the middle. So clever!

  25. LOVE all of your hexies, Helen. They are so pretty, and I even noticed how on the ones with stripes, you did such a fab job on making the stripes all match! Gorgeous! Glad you're feeling some better, and well enough to post. I've missed you! Enjoyed the random facts and dog photos, too! Archie looks perfectly content to have his bed back from Alfie! xoxo

  26. One husband and one child not home and I finally got to read the post. Your hexies are brilliant but I think that it is your incredible fussy cutting ability that makes them extra special. You get it spot on every time. Your quilt is going to be an heirloom!

  27. Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling too good, but look at all the hexies you made! They look great. Hope you get your energy back. When you find it, can you please check if mine's there too? :)

    Great care package. Don't you just love parcels! Especially unexpected ones.

    Your hint on your next post sounds intriguing. Looking forward to it

  28. I love your hexies - and so many of them. I got distracted from mine by a holiday and even though I have had another go at them (cheating with big solid ones, rather than pieced.) I've not done any more for a lonnnnnnng time!

  29. great to have you back and to get our fix of Archie too. Your hexies are looking great

  30. Your new and rescued hexies look fabulous.. and even the ones you thought needed rescuing weren't to be sneezed at either. 12 points in the middle? I think you did good.
    Love how you've introduced the little hexie in the middle though. Did you applique that in place?
    My thought of how you'll put it all together.. well the thought was 'daunting'.
    Your idea of sashing would make it easier if you have two seams wanting to go in the same direction when they meet.
    I made a few hexies a few years back (I need to do a few more to make them into a reasonable project) but my thought on putting them together was with equilateral? triangles between. The idea behind that was so I could sew them up together on the machine. Actually, I think I did a youtube video of my idea to show a friend what I was planning.. hmmm...
    Awwww.... Alfie has such an expressive face, mind you so does Archie, LOL.. both beautiful dogs.

  31. So great to see you back! Ok the
    " help " hexi was too funny! I can relate. Who is Alfie? A distant cousin of Archie? He has a very cute face. Duke was just peeking over my shoulder to have a look. I too can not wait for the group shot of the girls! I have no idea how to join those hexi's but am thinking Elly's suggestion sounds good! Hope you feel better!

  32. passed!
    Yummy mincepies attracting the permafrost? fail!

    Glad to find your humour again makes my day brighter.

  33. fabulous hexies helen - love your solution to the "problem" ones - and I can just imagine archie standing in wait for alfie to move off his bed ! thanks for the giggles - nice to hear from you :)

  34. I so love the fabrics and designs you have chosen for the hexies and the stories about them too.

  35. Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder? You have made 101?!?!? Wow. I bow down to your patience and dedication! Not to mention your bonkersness... *g* This will truly be beautiful when it's finished and what an achievement!

  36. Oh, I SO can't wait to see the halfway hexie spectacular! I think they're wonderful and love the rescues, especially that one with the diddy hexie centre - brilliant idea! I reckon you've got an average of 10 pieces per hexies so there must be 1010 pieces in what you've done so I miles out?! x


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