Tag Archives: I’m Not a Machine

The Hexagon Diamonds Blues

The title is descriptive of the photo and of my mood.

Blue Hexagon Diamonds HP

The diamond on the right is pretty clearly light blue, though some hexagons are more greenish or greyish.  That just adds interest.  The one on the left is just barely darker than the “medium blue” one in the middle.

I’m not going to sew any of these up.  They’ll just go back into the “blue” container as loose, basted hexagons.

I do think that I learned I only need two shades of blue for I’m Not a Machine, though, and maybe greenish-blue, if I have enough fabrics in that shade, which I doubt.

All told, I learned a lot about color and value this month, even if I didn’t get much done besides basting.  I’m looking forward to next month’s color.  I hope it’s an easier one, like orange.

Linking to soscrappy’s RSC.

Medium Blue Hexagon Diamond?

Medium Blue Hexagon Diamond HPI’m not even sure what I think of these blues anymore.  What is “medium blue” anyway?

Argh.  Well, I THINK this hexagon diamond would work for I’m Not a Machine, but I don’t even know.  I think I need to make a yellow hexagon diamond up because the uniformity I was able to achieve on the orange one was a fluke.  I think.  I dunno.

Spare Blue Hexagons HPThese are the blue hexagons I basted that didn’t seem even close to medium blue.  Yes, one of them is green.  I do love the swirly blue in the middle on the right.  I’m looking forward to the “light blue” RSC month.

Maybe I just need to baste all of the blues and later sort them into stacks of light blue, medium blue, dark blue, and green-blue.  Or maybe just wrap dark blue into medium blue for only three stacks?

This is making me a little crazy, so I’m mostly going to let the rest of this month’s RSC pass me by, I think.

(Lots of uncertainty and “I think” in this post, I know.)

Linking to soscrappy’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge post for the week.


Yellow Hexagon Diamond Problems

I’m still not happy with the layout for the yellow hexagon diamond.  I basted a bunch more yellow hexagons, but I can’t get them to play nicely with each other.

Yellow Hex Diamond Layout

This isn’t the best picture, but you can see that I have a pretty wide variety of yellows, large differences in intensity, as well as lots of other incidental colors.  I think it’s too much black and brown (and orange!) and I’m pretty sure I don’t like this layout.

Here it is next to my completed orange hexagon diamond (which is upside down in the picture, but you get the idea).  See how much better the orange flows?

Yellow Hex Diamond Layout with OrangeI’m at a loss for what to do next.  Either I need more yellows, or I need to get used to the idea of more variety in the diamond (which might be a good thing, since it’s hard to find yellow prints with just shades of yellow).

I guess I just have to let it sit a while.  I have plenty of other project to work on, like poor Sec’s pumpkin quilt.  It’s getting COLD here.

Yellow Hexagon Diamond in Progress

I’m pretty proud of how my first hexagon diamond turned out, and I wanted to see how it would look in a different color, so I got all excited and started cutting little squares from all of my yellow scraps (and yardage).

Unbasted Yellow Hexes

I got a bunch basted, but I’m not too happy with the layouts I’ve tried.  I’m beginning to think that I just don’t have a wide enough variety of yellow fabrics.  I’m trying not to repeat any fabrics in each diamond.  I’ve done a bunch more fussy-cutting, since it was so popular with Prim, but bees seem to be over-represented.

The scrappy oranges seemed to all meld into one another, which I liked.  When I looked back I saw it was because the fabrics had mostly just shades of orange and white, with a little yellow thrown in.  These yellow hexes have all sorts of colors, including strong ones like brown and black.

I have to decide if I just need to beg and buy more yellow scraps/fabric or if I can be content with a diamond with more variety.

I know this diamond project is going to take years and in the grand scheme of things, a few diamonds that I end up using for things other than the final project (whatever it ends up being) is no big deal.  But this is my first EPP project and each diamond takes SO LONG.  I know they’ll go faster as I get more comfortable hand-sewing, but I might not sew another for a little while.  Basting is nice and safe.

Yellow Hexagons and Loosies WM

I basted some extra oranges and had some fun fussy-cutting other fabrics.  I now have a nice little pile of multicolored hexes that aren’t going to fit nicely into any color scheme save “totally random”, which is kind of cool.

First Orange EPP Hexagon Diamond

I’ve been playing around with 1/2″ hexagons and I made this:

Orange Hexagon Diamond Front

I used tiny (no bigger than 1.5″ square and many smaller) offcuts of the oranges I’d amassed for Sec’s pumpkin quilt and my planned ongoing scrap quilt projects.  It’s curvy in the picture because it needs ironing.

Let me flesh out the background that led to this little orange hexagon diamond, since I’m pretty sure now that I’m serious about EPP:

I’ve been attending a scrap quilting class for the last few months at my local fabric store.  Each class has two projects.  The first class’s second project was English paper piecing (EPP) over two large (3″ on a side) hexagons to make whatever.  The instructor just wanted to introduce us to the technique as it’s a great use for scraps.  (I learned later that she’s totally into EPP, so there’s your “why”.)

I thought that it was a terrible idea.  Who has time to hand sew anything?  I was there for machine piecing!  And hexagons make the Grandmother’s Flower Garden and I hate that pattern and have no interest in doing one.  But I saw a tutorial for this pillow and, though I’d never make that particular pillow, I did admire how it went together.

I sat with the idea and it grew on me.  Part of my problem with it was that those hexagons, both in the class and in the pillow, were just too big.  Three inches on a side and six inches across for the class hexagon–why, I could machine piece those, if I had any interest in doing so.

I bought some 1″ hexagons but they were also way too big.  It would have taken too many stitches to join those together, though that size is definitely too small for machine piecing with my meager skills.  I settled on the 1/2″, mostly because that’s the next-smaller size that the store carried.

After working with them for a while, I think they’re perfect.  They baste quickly, they’re super-portable, and the 1/2″ sides go together without too many whip stitches.  They’re small enough so I can have a very scrappy effect, but not so small that a 1/4″ or 3/8″ seam allowance (I don’t know which I prefer yet) overlaps on the back and gets messy.

Speaking of the back:

Orange Hexagon Diamond Back

Keep in mind that these are my VERY FIRST hexagons.  They’re not neat at all.  I cut the fabric with scissors (gasp!) and no template.  I’m considering a template, especially if I’m going to fussy-cut a lot of them.  I showed the diamond to Prim (my oldest son) and he said, “I like the tree,” so I think there’s a lot of fussy-cutting in my future.

What am I going to make with these diamonds, which I envision doing in various colors?  No idea.  But it’ll take me a while to make a bunch of them, so I don’t have to decide yet.  I do think I’m going to do a minimum of six in each color, probably not all at once, so I can get different fabrics mixed in, so I have plenty of time to decide what it’s going to be.

Wall hanging?  Pillow?  Quilt?  All maybes at this point.  Part of what will guide my decision is how much I like cutting, basting, and sewing the hexagons.  We’ll see, but I did order the big package of 1/2″ hexagons from Paper Pieces (I like supporting my local fabric store, but the markup on the small package of pieces was unreal), so it’s a good bet that I’ll end up at least at wall-hanging size.

Orange Hexagon Diamond Front with Spares

See that cat fabric in the upper right-hand corner?  It was a scrap gift from my only sewing relative.  I don’t love it in bigger cuts, but just one cat face is cute.  I don’t know if it’ll work for this diamond project, since it’s so stark, but I’m debating having a second, very scrappy, 1/2″ hexagon project going at the same time.  I’ll probably just baste those hexes and throw them into a box and think about them later.

Future me, they’re your problem!

Orange Hexagon Diamond Progress

Orange Hex Diamond Progress

I decided on a layout for the (first) orange hexagon diamond and was able to work on joining the hexagons together.  I say “first” because I think I’ll need at least six of each color for whatever this ends up being.  Maybe a quilt?  Maybe a wall-hanging?  Maybe a wall-hanging that’s a quilt?  Dunno.

I also learned not to use the flash to take photos like this.

Anyhow, the whip-stitching is going far better than I thought, though I think I need a smaller needle.  The papers fold easily and I must have basted right, since the edges and corners are lining up.

More when it’s done!

English Paper Piecing

Well, now I feel a little silly.

Remember when I was talking about how no one has time for hand sewing and blah blah and why was it covered in the scrap class?

I guess the reason was to plant a seed, because I came across this pillow tutorial at Sew Mama Sew and I realized that I didn’t like the hexagons from the class because they were too big.  If I’m working with hexagons three inches on a side, I might as well machine sew them.  It would involve Y seams (which I’m not interested in trying yet), but those pieces of fabric are being enough not to get chewed up by the machine (even mine).

That, and I didn’t like the idea of basting through the paper.  It seemed somehow inelegant to me.

The pillow also showed me that hexagons aren’t all about Grandmother’s Flower Gardens, which is a pattern I’m aware of and don’t love.  You can do diamonds!  And other things!  Plus, that pillow got me thinking about a Settlers of Catan pillow, since the game tiles are hexagons and that would look awesome.  We have the game somewhere in the basement and I could either print the fabric at home or use Spoonflower–I’ve been wanting to try them but haven’t had a good excuse.

In short, I think I’ve been bitten by the EPP bug.  I went by the local fabric store and got some 1″ hexagons, but when I got them home, they seemed too big.  I went back and got some 1/2″ hexagons, which seem perfect.

Hexagon Sizes HP

I’m not sure what I’m going to use them for yet, but I’ve started playing around with the orange fabrics I got for Sec’s pumpkin quilt, and the few orange scraps from the eBay scrap boxes, just basting them around the 1/2″ papers and seeing how I like it.

Orange Hexagons HP

This looks like a possible layout, but I’m not sure yet.  Prim walked by and said that his favorite part was the tree (on the lower right), so I may do more fussy-cutting, though the orange fabrics I have don’t feature much in the way of tiny motifs, besides what you see here.

I do think I like the idea of being comfortable not knowing what I’m going to make (besides single-color diamonds in this size)–and knowing that the making will take a long time.  I’m excited about the project, but also relaxed about it so I can enjoy seeing how it turns out.