Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Wheat and Woods

Hope you all had a relaxing Easter - with lots of stitching opportunities!

I've been a bit remiss posting about my Wheat and Woods quilt - not since the beginning of December - but the borders have been steadily growing. 

Once I had attached the side borders, then I needed to draw a pattern for the corner - nothing complex, just a continuation of the curves around the outer edge:

Then I appliqued the long edges, joined them to the top and added some extra broderie perse to fill the corners and blend over the seams: 

I hope you like it - I'm very happy how it turned out. The aim was to design a quilt with lots of needleturn applique (because I love it) and to incorporate many different repro feature fabrics - all in brown, tan and gold tonings. Seems right to finish a top in Autumn with these autumnal colours? 

Mostly I use the back basting prep technique for needle turn applique - where accuracy is important. Recently I spotted a good tutorial for this at Scraptherapy blogspot. Just mentioning it as I get asked about this method sometimes and I'm way too lazy to do a tutorial, sorry
The applique method for the outer border was a cross between broderie perse and tile quilting ("broderie perse tiling"?) - just pinned and needle turned around the cut edges of the fabric scraps, no accuracy or precise placement needed. 
There were a few fiddly measuring moments (and revisions) along the way, but the outer border was a breeze and very relaxing to stitch. The top finishes at 2 metres square (about 79 inches). 
Off to the hand quilting queue for you!


Remember my 2016 resolution to become a better piecer (the piecing without papers)? I was seated next to an expert hand piecer at a recent Quilt Group meeting and she recommended this book:

It is going to be a favourite for sure - wonderful detailed hand piecing instructions for all sorts of angles and shapes. I used the Easter break to start studying...

...and then, uh-oh, a picture in the book had the pulse racing! A gorgeous antique hexagon quilt made in 1875, maker unknown. You know the feeling...'got to make this one' and 'timing is right for more hexagons'!
picture of antique quilt from Jinny Beyer

I've long been a great fan of Susan at Thimblestitch and her amazing mini EPP hexagon projects - the latest being a mini quilt made entirely with 1/4 inch hexagons. I have a small packet of 1/4 inch papers languishing unused and they are unbelievably small - too small for me! But what size to use for this new quilt? I want to make a mini quilt - relatively mini - and am going to use papers.

A quick check around the house to see what sizes I have used before in my quilts.
3/4 inch hexagons in these three quilts: 


3/4 inch and 3/8 inch hexagons in this one:

1/2 inch hexagons in this one: 

1.25 inch hexagons in this one: 

1 inch hexagons in this one: 


I've decided on 1/2 inch hexagons for the new quilt (called Hexagon Star) - that will make it about 32 inch square finished. There's no pattern but it should be easy enough to work off the photo.
I already have papers, recycled from use in my Ann Randoll quilt. I'm using clips to hold the fabrics around the papers (no glue) ready for thread basting. The basting will not go through the papers. That way I can easily recycle the papers by popping them out once the hexagons are stitched together. Nothing new here but just the method I prefer. 
And the fabric choices? There will be a little bit of fussy cutting but am hoping overall for a scrappy, not-too-organised look, as in the original.  The fabrics will be from my current stash, largely repros and the colours will be cream shirtings, double pinks, pink shirtings, dark browns, reds (dark pink tones) and grey. Always exciting to have a new start isn't it?!

Over the Easter break I managed a little finish - a Sewing pouch. Ready made zip pouches have been a popular decorating project for many quilters and I finally acquired one through Quilt Group. The time was right to set about covering it in clamshells - with 5 inch squares of Regent Street lawns and shot cottons scraps.

I glue basted the clamshells the method I have found works well- Sue Daley's Clamshell method on Youtube.
With a few stitches I tacked the sheet of clams to some backing fabric cut to a rough size to fit the pouch. Then I used some perle cotton to add a little quick quilting. 

The tricky bit was the last bit (always seems to be the way!) - stitching it to the case. It needed to sit snugly in around the braid edges of the case frame (so as not to show the bright red fabric of the case facing). I resorted to a curved needle at this point - much easier to ladder stitch it to the pouch.   


Back to those hexagons .... :)

PS. Funny thing about this new EPP hexagon quilt ...the antique inspiration was pictured in a great book, but one that is all about piecing without papers. Jinny Beyer actually talks about EPP as "cumbersome" and "extremely time consuming" and "rather a waste of time when sewing with cotton fabrics" (not a fan of paper piecing!). So I can only suppose the quilt was hand pieced without papers - pretty amazing. And I wonder if half inch hexies would have been done that way ?? Too tricky for me - I will stick with papers for this one!

41 comments:

  1. I bought that book awhile back (5? Years), and it went everywhere with me for about a month!! It is well written and has gorgeous pictures. Just having Jenny explain techniques, is worth the cost of the book!! It takes awhile to absorb everything. I like to handpiece certain projects, but I also love EPP. It is so accurate. I also love leaving in the basting threads & everything lays perfectly flat on the back!! I love to see how people handle techniques, but follow my favorite way---if it works best for me.

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  2. Your finished quilt looks wonderful. Good luck with your hexi's. They are one thing I can't get excited about. No hexi's here.

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  3. You must be so pleased with your finished quilt. It is beautiful.
    And I always wondered how to get those sewing pouches covered. Thanks for the info.

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  4. Your quilt is stunning, I only started applique about a year ago and I am hooked, so I always enjoy my visits here.I am also a hexy addict, so I shall enjoy watching your progress. I am finishing my Mimis bloomers and also have a hexy quilt on the go, "granny" flower shapes along with flowers with extra hexies which make star shapes.
    I admit I would not attempt anything smaller than 3/4" hexies. I usually glue, but I like Judy's comment that leaving the basting in, helps everything to lie flat on th eback.

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  5. You chose lovely fabrics for your "2016 resolution" !! :) No doubt that you'll make another wonderful project...
    Congratulations for your finish...wow...this is just an amazing masterpiece !

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  6. Congratulations on Wheat and Woods, you've done a marvellous job designing it and bringing it to life. I do admire you for being a finisher too. Half inch is an excellent size, small without being ridiculous! I'm pondering a grandmothers flower garden, I just can't be without a hexie project!

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  7. congratulations on a stunning finish! Jinny's book is one of my all time favourites, I am always recommending it!

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  8. You really need to look into Inklingo - printing the cutting AND sewing lines on the back of the fabric with your computer and printer. NO other prep time, hexies have little or no waste when printing and NO papers to remove. Go to: http://inklingo.com/section/inklingo-quick-start/63/msg/Welcome+to+Inklingo%21/a5771bce93e200c36f7cd9dfd0e5deaa

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  9. You've done it again. Wheat and Woods is truly a masterpiece and absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the link to the back-basting tutorial :) Your new hexie project looks great. Love the fabrics you've chosen. I've been wanting to making a clamshell quilt for the longest time . . .

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  10. I don't think you can ever have too many hexagons of whichever size, can you imagine a life with out hexis to hand to stitch now and then?
    Loved the vintage pics and I will definitely look out for this book, it really does look interesting, looking forward to seeing what you do next : )

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  11. You are so awesome, lots of great projects and each of them is pure eye candy.
    Greetings,
    Sylvia

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  12. I love that hexagon quilt and you can do the hexie in Jinny Beyer's book (I have that book too) without papers using the Inklingo way by Linda Franz or by marking your fabric with a pencil for the sew lines. I thought I would like EPP but turned out I didn't - I too found it cumbersome and awkward to hold the pieces. I made my hexie quilt Diamonds are Forever without papers and just hand pieced it.

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  13. Such wonderful, wonderful pictures! Thanks so very much for the close up pictures of the broiderie perse. I've always wondered how it was done! The same with the hexies and clamshells. I'm going to keep a copy of this day's post for my reference down the road and check out the back-basting tutorial. Thank you so much!!! Your work is just so Beautiful and I just love your Wheat and Woods!!

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  14. Another gorgeous finish. The neutral palette is soothing and beautiful yet there's so much going on. And in a wink of an eye your off on another remarkable project. 1/2" hexies are still pretty small, but right in your wheelhouse. Your color choices are perfect. It will be inspiring to follow along.

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  15. I was going to mention InkLingo for hand piecing hexagons, but I see someone else already did. I am absolutely in love with all your projects--they are all beautiful!!

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  16. Hilarious you saw the quilt for epp yet she thinks it is a waste of time! lol. She's talking to you, queen of EPP! LOL Gorgeous projects as usual, Hilda.

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  17. I think the smallest hand pieced hexagons I've seen (so far) in and antique quilt is 3/4" a side. Not too common.
    Your projects are lovely. Great focus on color and techniques.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Your Wheat and Woods quilt turned out absolutely Stunning!
    The wavy outer border was such a unique and perfect way to frame this beauty.

    The clam shell cover for your sewing pouch is fabulous.
    The hexagon quilt was on display last year as part of Jinny's vintage Charm quilt collection/exhibit at the VA Quilt Museum. Judging by your fabric choices for this project - your version of this quilt is going to be gorgeous.

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  19. Beautiful work! You have a way of working with neutrals and just making them glow. Love your applique border work so much! Very unique. Best intentions aside, it's wonderful to work on the projects that are really calling to us.:)

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  20. Love the quilt with the applique border. Greetings

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  21. Wheat and Woods is absolutely breathtaking! I can't remember when a quilt has moved me so much. I adore it. Your border is perfect for it and you have inspired me to do more "tile" or as I like to call it "stonewall" applique. I love it! And off to another hexagon. My, but you have made a lot of them. I can't wait to see this one progress. You're brave to make the little clam shell bag. I love making clam shells, but zippers.. well, I guess I just need more practice. Thanks for sharing your elegant work.

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  22. I don't think Jenny even marks her 1/4" line when hand piecing. If I remember correctly, she 'eyeballs' it. Love your Wheat quilt, great finish and I can't wait to see your next adventure come alive.

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  23. I had to smile about your search to learn a new skill and being distracted by a desire to a make something you had never even seen before. We all are caught in "that" snare. It's a delightful place to be in.

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  24. I love the Wheat and Woods finish, you must be so pleased with it.I can hardly wait to see it quilted, it will be absolutely stunning. I never use papers for hexagons now because my hands cramp up after a while. I can hand piece them the normal way for hours, but something about the way you grip the pieces for EPP just makes my hands ache for ages afterwards. Each to his own, the main thing is we enjoy the process!

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  25. Love Wheat and Woods Hilda. Is there a pattern available? I was in a seminar of Jinny Beyers and asked her "could that be done using EPP?". Her reply was "why bother!" I have been using her book as my go to bible for piecing for many years. Best instructions on the market. I am a huge fan of EPP. Am working on a 3/8" project at the moment. I punch a hole in the paper before basting without piercing the paper and then use a small crochet hook to pop out the paper. Works very well for me. Love your blog - such inspiring work!

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  26. Congratulations on Wheat and Woods, it's literally breathtaking! I love all the elements and the curvy border is just perfect. Love your sweet sewing pouch and I am looking forward to following your progress on your new uh - oh project (that gave me a giggle).

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  27. Wheat and Woods is gorgeous. Thanks for mentioning that book; I will look for it. THose clamshells are sweet and I love the way they come together in the final placement. Yes, there is a special thrill when starting a new project...and I'm happy to be along for the journey. :)

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  28. Your clamshell cover is stunning. I am addicted to EPP, especially hexies, the smallest I have used and am using, is the half inch hexie, side measurement, on the "Insanity Quilt".
    Your other quilts/work are all spectacular.

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  29. Just amazing, how beautiful your Wheat and Woods turned out! I love every bit of it: the design, the broderie perse, the curved border and the colors!!! You did so well! And have fun with your hexies; never did try my hand at a hexagonquilt, but it sounds like a lot of fun, playing with the fabrics and colors.

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  30. Your projects are all so beautiful Hilda! Your Wheat and Woods is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the edge treatment with the wavy border - you turned the corners beautifully. This will be a masterpiece with your handquilting added as well! The pouch is marvelous! And, yes a new start is exciting :0) Enjoy!

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  31. Oh how beautiful Wheat and Woods is...I'd wondered how it was coming along. You are an inspiration in all of your projects :)

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  32. Oh how beautiful Wheat and Woods is...I'd wondered how it was coming along. You are an inspiration in all of your projects :)

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  33. Oh Hilda! Your Wheat and Woods quilt top is amazing! Such a great design. Your little bag is so sweet. Have fun with your hexies!

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  34. love all the projects that you have been working on.........your clam shell case looks great and goodluck with the little hexie quilt.........

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  35. Lovely Woods and Wheat!
    I've been thinking of trying some clam shells - love yours

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  36. Wheat and Woods is so serene and calming - a beautiful study in soft neutrals. What fun to see all your hexies - such eye candy!

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  37. I love the Wheat and Woods - very very pretty and interesting colors. Pretty Pretty. Like your Hexies too. The book is a good book to read - wonder when I will have time to read it!

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  38. oooh i love wheat and woods and the new hexagon star is gorgeous as well...that is what happened to me...had no interest in hexagons at all and then barbara brackman posted an antique and i was a goner...fun tho eh?

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  39. Beautiful work Hilda you certainly are a fan of applique.

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  40. Your wheat and woods quilt is a beauty!! And you have done loads of hexagons already - what fun to start this one, it will be beautiful! I have that book too, always take it with me on holiday, as it is just lovely to read through.

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