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A quarter done

charm

Finally my charm quilt is starting to take shape. I have this sizeable chunk of about 350 hexagons plus about fifteen strips of 20 hexagons each to sew together. I’ve calculated that I’ll need about 1400 (or possibly more!) to finish. I’d like the quilt to be about the size of a single duvet cover.

Although it’s pretty labour intensive, it is strangely compelling and enjoyable work. Of course I might not be sounding quite so positive at the 1000 hexagon mark…..

Parcel

daisy dance

I had a very nice surprise waiting for me when I got home from work on Wednesday evening. It was a package from Etsy seller Stitchesngiggles4U which (I’m ashamed to admit) I had forgotten I’d ordered.   Inside were 13 fat quarters from Michael Miller’s Daisy Dance collection plus a Patty Young Playdate fabric panel to make 3 rag dolls.

daisy dance

The FQs are going to be used for my hexagon quilt (and no doubt other things) as this collection is EXACTLY the colour scheme that I’m planning for the quilt.  I saw the photo on Etsy and couldn’t believe how perfect the colours were.  In fact I have now decided that a combination of three or four will be used to make the curtains for my daughter’s new bedroom as well.  I am so pleased with this fabric!

DSC01789

I bought the Playdate panel as I thought I could make the ragdolls for my daughter (some time soon) and then we could have fun making them dresses.  Well that’s the idea anyway. 

Talking of fabric buying, almost all the charmpacks and FQs that I’ve bought to start off my fabric collection and get going on the hexagon quilt have come from Etsy sellers.  I’ve found them to be much more competitive than anyone else and really professional to deal with.  I love Etsy!

525

525

A month into my charm quilt and I’ve arrived at 525 hexagons. I would have been a lot further ahead but, seeing as I’ve started this quilt without the back up of a large fabric stash, I’ve been buying charm packs and fat quarters as I go (and when I’ve got the spare cash!) from Etsy sellers (mainly) and then waiting for the Italian post to deliver them.

A couple of weeks ago I received a charm pack of Japanese Kokka fairy story fabric which I thought would add some cuteness to the quilt:

fairy tales

I particularly like this one of Cinderella and the Prince:

cinderella

The Nicey Jane and Rainy Days & Mondays charm packs are perfect for my colour scheme and I’m very happy about how they look as hexagons:

flowers

pinks and greens

I’ve now ordered some Michael Miller Daisy Dance (I like the idea of a bit of gingham in the quilt) and I’m mulling over some City Weekend or Urban Chicks Dream On. As there are still a lot more hexagons to be made I’m sure I’ll need to get both and more besides.

Supplies

As a sewing newcomer, and living rather far away from good quilting cotton fabric shops, I’m trying to build up my fabric supplies without forking out too much money all at once.

So far I’ve found that Ebay is great for fat quarters and Etsy is the best place for lengths of fabric and charm packs. 

A couple of months ago I bought four FQs from the same seller on Ebay in colours that could be used for my daughter’s charm quilt.  I don’t think I’ll be turning every little bit of each FQ into a hexagon but a good sized strip of each one will dilute the pink a little.  Then I can put the remainder away to be used when I try my hand at machine patchwork.

The fabrics in the photo are (in order from the top) two unknown FQs I picked up in Amsterdam recently, then Kaffe Fassett Pink Magenta, Amy Butler Love Bliss Bouquet Floral Teal, Amy Butler Love Water Bouquet Mint, Amy Butler Love Bali Gate Pink & Aqua.

Beginnings

I started reading sewing blogs about a year ago by chance.  I taught myself to crochet at the beginning of 2009 and soon joined Ravelry, which has been the source of a lot of inspiration and a great help in understanding what I’m actually doing and, more importantly, where I’m going wrong.  Then I came across one particular member  and saw that she had a blog where she regularly posted both crochet and sewing projects.  I’ve been back to visit her blog many, many times and I’ve found that the blogs that she lists on her site are also amazing places for inspiration.

One of these that I regularly read is Chalet Girl.  A few months ago she was having a giveaway to celebrate the third birthday of her blog and I commented on the post and was really pleased to learn that I’d been picked to receive a prize of a selection of fabric scraps.  As a total newcomer to the world of sewing, and living far away from fabric shops that stock quilting cottons etc, this couldn’t have been a better prize as it meant I could actually see and touch many of the fabrics that until then I’d only seen on the internet.  The little bundle of scraps arrived in amazingly quick time all the way from Australia and have been sitting waiting for the right kind of project.  

So obviously when I started to make hexagons for my daughter’s charm quilt I thought about these scraps and realised that many of them were large enough to be used.  I picked out all those in the right sort of colours and managed to make these 50 hexagons to be added to my stash of basted hexagons:


And what is more, there are still lots more scraps to be used in other projects! 

I’m really happy to be including these hexagons in my first quilt – to me they represent the warmth and friendliness of the online sewing community, something which inspired me to jump in and create a blog for myself.  So thank you so much Sheridan!

Hexagon mania

There has been a lot of talk about hexagons of late on many of the blogs I read and so I thought it might be fun to try.  I’m almost wishing I hadn’t!  What is it about basting hexagons that is so addictive?  I started basting on Sunday afternoon and within a very short time had a pile of 99 one inch hexagons, so now my mad idea of making a hand pieced charm quilt for my daughter doesn’t seem quite so absurd. 

I found a very handy pdf provided by Texas Freckles and spent free moments last week madly cutting up hexagons.  There are a lot of other great tutorials on other blogs but it was Melanie’s that inspired me to jump in and get started.  And in order to keep up the pace I’ve also decided to join the charm quilt piece-along.