Hexagons and keeping notes

A request for ‘a bag like the one made 18 months ago’ has left me scrabbling around for clues!  A quilted tote bag with hexagons…  My memory awakes but oh! dear! I’m struggling for details!  This has become a lesson in the discipline of keeping design notes, even for a part-time creator like me! Thankfully a search through a ‘useful things drawer’ reunited me with the paper hexagons used in the making of the original bag.  Then a look on the computer brought to light some photos of the bag (note to self: re-name photo folders with more easily identifiable titles) and a real treasure in my Folksy ‘library’  – a description of the bag giving dimensions.

The lucky find - photos of the original bag alongside the completed hexagon 'flowers' ready for the new bag.

The lucky find – photos of the original bag alongside the completed hexagon ‘flowers’ ready for the new bag.

I do have a little note book with designs, workings out, notes on construction and reminders.  This is so useful especially as I have a tendency to flit from one project to another and then have trouble remembering the specific plans and ideas I had in mind for each of them.  The experience of trying to recreate the bag with hexagons is a lesson in keeping better records.  It’s annoying having to spend time working out a fresh pattern for cutting fabric when I could just be following a pattern pulled from my notebook!

It's stretching things a bit to call this a 'design book' but it's a whole lot better than nothing!

It’s stretching things a bit to call this a ‘design book’ but it’s a whole lot better than nothing!

Nevermind, I have enjoyed getting back to ‘English paper piecing’!  I’ve found using Freezer Paper for the papers is very helpful.  Freezer Paper is translucent enough to be able to trace shapes and designs so reproducing accurate shapes is quite straightforward.  The paper also has the brilliant property of sticking temporarily to fabric when it’s ironed – shiny side to the fabric.

Freezer Paper - available in the UK from most patchwork and quilting suppliers (very expensive in Hobbycraft!).

Freezer Paper – available in the UK from most patchwork and quilting suppliers (NB. Very expensive in Hobbycraft!).

I iron the paper shapes to the back of the fabric I’ve chosen and then cut out the shape leaving an approximate quarter inch seam all around.  Using Freezer Paper rather than pinning avoids pins distorting the shape (a problem particularly if the shapes are small) which can lead to difficulties matching pieces together for sewing.

Hexagon on the left showing paper ironed in position and on the right a hexagon tacked and ready to sew.

Hexagon on the left showing paper ironed in position and on the right a hexagon tacked and ready to sew.

As I don’t have many hexagons to make I’ve tacked the seams down but there are now plenty of products available that eliminate the need for tacking including glue sticks such as Sewline’s fabric glue pen or Clover’s Wonder Clips (available from http://www.quiltdirectco.uk among others).  For much more information on English paper piecing read http://www.flossieteacakes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/english-paper-piecing-where-to-begin.html

Well!  I’m now going to continue my ‘recreation project’ AND this time I will record each stage of the process in my little book!


About allisonreidnem

New Every Morning – About Me Hi! I’m Allison, an obsessive patchwork-quilter who has no desire to be cured! I’ve been developing my skills and knowledge by paying attention at my local quilting group and by putting my questions into the computer search engine. I’m so grateful to the generous people who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me in person, via YouTube videos or their blogs. I’m intending my blog to be a link into the worldwide patchwork and quilting community and a means to contribute helpful hints and inspiration as I continue to discover more about this addictive craft. So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person! I often wake in the wee small hours and think through design and quilt construction issues. My woolly–headed evening brain finds such issues far too difficult to resolve! If I’m disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm, I can be up cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix. (I should mention that ‘family at home’ is: my patient, faithful husband of 27years; and our equally patient 16 year old son, who acts as our in-house IT support complete with sighs and rolling eyes! Older daughter and son have both recently flown the nest). Not only do I find early mornings my creative time I also find it a time for receiving spiritual nourishment. I often find myself humming a gentle chorus and reflecting on God’s constancy as another new day dawns. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.’ Edith McNeil’s chorus is based on verses from the Bible – Lamentations 3: 21-23.
This entry was posted in English Paper Piecing, Piecing tips, Projects and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hexagons and keeping notes

  1. Colleen says:

    You look pretty organized to me !!

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