Friday, May 02, 2014

The Quilt that Every Man and His Dog Had a Hand In

Once upon a time, (in 2011 to be precise) I fell in love with the idea of making a hand sewn hexagon quilt. I must have been temporarily insane at the time because I'd never hand sewn a whole quilt in my life....

I consulted everyone I know about paper piecing and debated the merits of  glue basting or thread basting and read so many tutorials on the subject that I almost went blind.

I finally screwed up the courage to make a start in October 2011, when I went to visit Little Miss Sunshine for the very first time.  Her daughter, BP was pressed into service and admirably basted about 170 hexies for me (without complaint might I add !) and the hand sewing began. 

And went on and on and on ....forever.

Somewhere in there I decided that I was going to applique the individual hexagon "flowers" to backing blocks because I knew if I tried to hand sew an entire quilt of hexagons I'd still be doing it in the retirement village, or handing it down to Little P to finish as an ancestral WIP.

When it came time to take the hexagons out of their basting papers, I realised that I'm a classic over gluer. I pretty much needed a crow bar to pry those things out. The Not The Farmers Wife sewing group girls took pity on me and helped me take all the papers out one day, while making rude comments about how much glue I'd used.  Suckers...I had the last laugh because I didn't have to tackle that little job all on my lonesome.

I was all for machine sewing those suckers onto the backing blocks but a couple of my "friends" (I'm looking at you Val and Tara ) made "that's the most stupid idea ever" faces when I mentioned it so I bowed to peer pressure and started hand appliqueing them onto the backing blocks. I've never hand appliqued anything in my life so Val taught me how to do that after I made it look incredibly difficult one day at another one of our sewing days. I think the phrase she used was "Do you want me to show you how to do that an easier way" which roughly translates to "I cant stand to see you doing that completely wrong you idiot".  After my success in suckering them all in to taking out the backing papers I was kind of hoping if I made the applique part of the process look hard that they'd all take pity on me and do a few each but alas that was not to be. I think they'd gotten wise to me by that stage.

So hand applique I did - and that went on and on and on- forever. 

I finally finished (amid loud vows to never listen to well meaning "you must hand applique" friends again) and ignored it for a couple more months then screwed up the internal fortitude to sew the whole hot mess together into a top. 

By that stage I was really liking it again and since I was shit scared if I quilted it I'd do something to completely wreck it I prevailed on Val to quilt it for me with the brief to do whatever she wanted.  And I'm oh so glad I did ...

Look at this utter feast for the eyes ....



Variegated dragonflies - adorable!



The back 


In all her glory on my king sized bed. 


I'm thrilled with how it looks so thank you to everyone who helped, cajoled and threatened me into this finish but a special thanks to Val who really made this quilt come alive. 


This is my first finish for the 2nd quarter of Katy's FAL 


Finish Along 2014
 and I'm also linking to Elizabeth's finishes linky party for May

May Finishes

Now I just need to get that Dresden finished since there was the small matter of the threat of a nudey run down our main shopping precinct if it was still lurking by the end of June...



You can see my original FAL goal list for the quarter here 

39 comments:

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I so love your translations of the words your quilty friends speak...:)

Your quilt is so wonderful. Congratulations on your finish.

Noela said...

Your quilt is gorgeous Shay and well worth all that work. Love your blog post story about it. Hugs.....

Michelle Ridgway said...

It is a feast for the eyes....oh so beautiful! Well done for persevering.

Simply Sandy said...

I loved reading your story on how your hexie quilt came to life. It is stunning. And the background fabric is perfect. I too, made a king size hexie quilt. Completely hand sewn (no paper piecing involved since I had no idea how to do that.) And I actually hand quilted the whole, damn thing myself, in my lap, without a hoop, or a thimble. What was I thinking?!

Sooli said...

Well for all your complaining about not being able to applique properly your stitching looks pretty darn fabulous to me. Be thankful those helpful friends of yours didn't pressure you into hand quilting it too! (Still hoping to see that nudey run, perfect weather for it today too!)

Elizabeth said...

Wow! I loved every post you did about those hexies. The fabrics & colors are amazing! And it is so wonderful to see it all finished! That is a really amazing quilt! You did a beautiful, terrific, stupendous job! Congrats on the great finish and thanks for linking up!

xo -E

Lorraine said...

Love the hexi quilt (as did Rose!) ...you must be pleased you stuck with the hand applique!? ...and if I can help with the finishing of the Dresden quilt let me know...the thought of having a whole shopping centre load of people losing their eyesight at once is too much for me to bear!

AnnieO said...

Super finish! I could hear your sigh of relief from California! Sorry all your pathetic tries at plying for free help didn't work, but you will always have the satisfaction that you did it anyway!

Kate said...

Your Hexie project turned out beautifully! Congrats on the finish. It looks great on your bed.

Deb said...

WOW.WOW,WOW, Shay you have every right to be thrilled with that quilt. It is amazing. It looks absolutely beautiful, well done you!!

Logopaedchen/Kirsten said...

What a Beauty. And you gave me a good idea of what to do with the 200 or so hexies I have left from Annikas quilt I made a few years ago.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Yay Shay!! It's wonderful! I love the idea of sewing the hexies onto backing blocks, it gives them a floaty look. The quilting finishes it all off beautifully.

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

So it's true then - good things do take time. A fantastic finish, you're right the quilting is perfect.

Happy days

Linda

audrey said...

Yay YOU! What a special, utterly gorgeous quilt! And the machine quilting is just perfect. Hope you're celebrating!

Diane-crewe said...

SO SO worth all the hard work ... and sweat .. and tears xx it is beautiful x

Tazzie said...

Ohhhh, I would never make such a face!! Actually, you're right, I probably did ... but aren't you glad?? What a wonderful finish!
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Maree: said...

Congratulations!!! Looks Beautiful

Karen said...

Wow! You are really impressing me with your finishes. This quilt is gorgeous and the quilting is perfect. Nicely done on it all :)

Barb H said...

Once again, you did it Shay! Another beautiful quilt. Your house must be filled to overflowing with all the beauty you create. Well done.

Marie said...

awesome, simply awesome Shay!

P. said...

Bravo!! It is simply gorgeous, Shay! The quilting is perfect, love those meandering dragonflies flitting over the field of hexies.

Mad about Craft said...

Beautiful!

Mistea said...

You must have the best stitchy friends, doing all that hard work on your very pretty quilt.
At least now you can enjoy your garden without getting dirty (or should that be sticky)!

Tamie said...

I have not been bitten by the hexie bug although several of those around me have. I really love your quilt though. Not enough to make one myself mind you but still…. Congratulations on your finish!

Canadian Abroad said...

Oh wow, Shay. It's absolutely beautiful. Who cares how long it took or how much angst it caused. Totally worth it. Plus BP basted for you. Result!

the running hare said...

I have to admire your perseverance and what a wonderful result! Well worth the effort though I don't expect you'll be doing another one soon.

Cindy said...

You totally crack me up!!!! That quilt is A....MAZ....ING!!!!!!! You just are the whole package patent you sister??

Terri said...

Atta Girl, Shay! You did it - with a little help from your friends. (That's what quilt bees and guilds are all about.)
It turned out wonderfully. You should be proud. Now you have time now for the Dresden.

Sue SA said...

Yeah a great finish! So love the colours together. Yes some times, some projects seem like a bad idea, but so glad you finished this one and love it. Plus you learned some new skills!

Kirsten's Cooking said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! It looks beautiful on your bed. I love how the traditional and modern look so good together. You should be really proud.

thea said...

It turned out great! I think all the help from your friends worked out for the best. I love the way you can read between the lines! It's amazing!

Dee said...

Love the quilt Shay. My hand pieced queen sized quilt top took me 9 years to make, then it sat as a UFO for six months until I quilted it. In my defense it was mainly a winter project that I did in front of the heater and in that time I did also start a 'Manx' quilt and a hexi one as well. I was lucky that DH did help me take the papers out and even though I decided to sew the fabric without going through the papers it was a chore so I can imagine glued papers would be worse. Mine was from a magazine and called paper plates, similar to Drunkard path but with 2 1/4 circles, a total of 4 pieces per 4" block

Dianne Neale said...

Worth every minute - every frustrating, boring minute of it! Especially those minutes that you suckered your mates Into doing

Pokey said...

Wow, whatever bug bit you and made such wonderful finishes to start rolling out, could you send it my way?!? Or, is it only native to down under? Your work is inspiring, beautiful, lovely! Hugs to you!
:-}pokey

Suzan Oxenreider said...

What a wonderful quilt and an even better story! I am amazed and totally in awe. I would never cross my mind to even begin such a project. Kudos!!!

Sarah said...

Beautiful Shay! Well done on another impressive finish. You don't do things by half do you! Never one to shy away from something many of us, ie me, would think nah takes too long, too fiddly, too slow. Good on you!

Vesuviusmama said...

It's awesome! I need some "helpers" around here to help me get some projects moving. Maybe I don't act pathetic enough?

Kristie said...

Holy shitballs, Batman, this is AWESOME!!! Love it!!

Lani Glasser said...

I love the Hexie quilt, and you are hilarious! I always laugh when I read your blog!