Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quick! Bags!

I'm just tearing myself away from a long-deserved, entirely self-centred, obscenely relaxing weekend to let you know that I have ten new project sacks in the shop.

Buttontree Lane update Buttontre Lane update
Buttontre Lane update Buttontre Lane update

 If you want one, get in quick, as I'll be posting until Wednesday morning and then there'll be no posting of any sort for a week.

(And for now I'm off - back to that relaxing weekend before I snaffle a grey and mustard one for myself)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I've been a bit quiet lately (unless you found a self-indulgent post from me in your reader last night which I made the mistake of publishing rather than putting it in drafts and deleting like I normally do when I need to vent! Sorry about that).

Real life

I've quite enjoyed the quiet, to be honest. The lack of screen time, not having to read unhappy things about unhappy people. Feeling no sense of obligation to anyone. Being completely in the moment, with my friends and family, my garden and my quilting.

Real life

The Hexy MF quilt is going great guns. Six flowers were completed in only a couple of days, and then it came to a standstill as we wait for a big order of papers to arrive from the US. I glue basted the first lot of hexagons - and after sewing them together I was convinced that my glue basting career was over. I just didn't like it.

But then I thread basted some hexies the other night and it actually hurt my arms for some reason, and I didn't find it as relaxing as I usually do. So I might just go back to glue basting a little longer.

Real life

I really should do a post someday on the tips and tricks I've learned through paper piecing. A lot of these tricks are applicable to other sewing too. Yeah - I will do that.

This morning - one year, one month and eight days after he saved my life - my surgeon told me that my biliary system and liver were back to normal, said I was obviously fit and healthy, and gave me the all-clear and discharged me from the outpatients' clinic. The relief and joy I feel is indescribable. The Mister is just chuffed that finally someone called me "normal".

Next week I am flying north to spend a week with a hundred of my best quilting buddies. I am so excited. On the first day of my holiday, I will be climbing this.

Castle Hill
(Photo by
 I haven't climbed it since I was a teenager. I may stitch a hexagon at the top to celebrate.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happily addicted to hexagons

Since I first started English Paper Piecing (or EPP as the cool kids refer to it) 7 years ago, it would appear that I have become addicted, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it's portable.

Secondly, it's highly accurate.

And thirdly, it's just SO DAMN RELAXING. This was me, Friday night in front of the football after a horribly stressful week. Shoulders were down, breathing was slowed, and I was in my own bliss, snipping basting threads.

Snipping threads in the Happy Hexagons quilt

Since Rita from Red Pepper Quilts did a swap of a small unfinished hexagon quilt and blocks for some Wollmeise a couple of months ago, I've been working intermittently on it, adding some of my own fabrics to make it more my own quilt. Rita has such an amazing colour sense though, that it's hard to find the perfect complementary fabrics to go with this quilt.

Rita had also sent me some extra of the green background fabric because I decided early on I wanted to make this bigger than a baby quilt. Although even now I know I'm going to have to get some more of that lovely background green as I want this quilt to be so much bigger.

Cutting the hexagons

Cutting out the fabric hexagons is very satisfying, although I have to admit that my rotating cutting board and the perspex hexagon makes it so much easier and faster. However I cut out each piece of my Twisted Hexagons quilt by using pencil, a template and a pair of scissors and it didn't hurt one bit. It might have taken me an extra two years, but I'm mostly about the enjoyment of the process.

Cutting the hexagons

While Rita thread basted her hexagons, I've been glue basting mine. I'm still torn on glue basting. While it's very fast to do and means less holes in your fingers from pushing a needle through paper and fabric, it doesn't last long along the edges of your quilt. I have doubts about how long the glue would last on paper pieces and fabric that you left sitting around for, say, a year, but I suppose time really will tell. In the meantime I'll keep on with the glue.

Progress as at 10 June 2012

This is the quilt as of this morning. My mister saw it as I was pressing it, and commented that it was such an insanely happy quilt, and I was obviously happy making it. So the name "Happy Hexagons" has stuck. This here - this is the Happy Hexagons quilt that Rita and I made.

I'm about to explore new areas of my addiction. Katy Jones from I'm a Ginger Monkey and Fat Quarterly is running a hexalong using the quilt pattern she designed called "Hexy MF" (Fat Quarterly are now after a more polite name for the quilt, but it will always be Hexy MF to me, and as we all know how I'm not that polite). Have you seen the Hexy MF before?

Hexy MF
(from Imagingermonkey)


I'm teaching Brown Owls how to EPP next weekend and I'm hoping to get some of them on board this hexalong as well. It's not going to be a quick project! But it's going to be a lot of fun. I've already bought my 1.5 inch papers and I'm ready to go. How about you?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday snippets - warm

This week has been about cooking good food.

Cottage Pie

Milo slice


Playing in the puddles.


Singing gospel songs.

Peace like a river

And staying warm.

Cold Friday night in

Dentelle cowls

More Sunday snippetteers over at Cathy's place.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sunny day baby quilt

My friend's baby finally got her quilt, and not before time. It's FREEZING here at the moment!

Sunny Day Baby Quilt

The last time you saw this quilt was here, at the crafternoonashower I hosted. At that point I had hand pieced, appliqued and basted it in only 2 weeks, without even trying. I must have been on vitamins that week.

Note to self: Find out what those vitamins were and take them again.

Sunny Day Baby Quilt

I machine quilted this quilt fairly heavily in straight lines across the hexagons, and down the vertical angles. Then I echoed the shape of the main section with more straight lines.

 It has cotton batting, and I love that effect you get from cotton batting after you wash it and it shrinks and goes all crinkly and cozy. So I quilted it more than I usually do, then threw it in the washing machine and then the dryer.

Sunny Day Baby Quilt

I used Aurifil thread for the first time ever, in two different colours - yellow for the outer border, and grey for the hexagons. I also used it in the bobbin, just in one colour (the grey) as the backing was baby blue. I love this thread so much. It didn't break, fuss, loop or make a mockery of my quilting. I will use this again for certain.

I still have two more baby quilts I want to make - one for Mr Buttontree Lane's workmate who's baby is almost a year old (!! Admittedly I wasn't well when I promised this quilt, but I'm not too sure what my excuse was in the meantime!) and one for my cousin's baby (also about to turn one) but I hadn't promised anything there, so ...

Just as well I love to quilt!