Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Life just keeps getting in the way

The thing about life is it just keeps getting in the way of this blogging caper. How dare it!! 'Tis been a little while since I last waxed lyrical (to the point of boring you all to death) about my hexies. Life these past weeks has continuously interrupted me; in monotonously keeping you up to speed on all my hexie goodness. 

There has been some progress but I fear my scrappy hexagon quilt is not going to be lounging languidly on my sofa anytime soon. Alas no....though I have been whirring away on my 'new' little Bernina, whipping up framed hexies, I have only completed six rows of my quilt. As most of this quilt is hand stitched it will be a while yet till my hexie quilt is seen in all it's finished glory state.

The joy of a scrappy hexagon quilt is that each individual hexie seems to find it's own way, intermingling with all the other colourful hexies, that juxtapose side by side to each other, singing the most lyrical of colourful songs! Love, love, lurve all that colour and pattern! I love the higgledy piggledy-ness of it all.

Six rows of colourful, scrappy hexie yumminess.

I also have started to  prepare the bias strips of fabric to cover the seams at the back. The bias strips are also hand stitched. Normally I would finish the quilt before undertaking this step but this time I have decided to do it as I add a couple of rows of hexies; I have found it is easier this way. Again, there is no rhyme or reason as to the placement of each strip; just oodles more of scrappy higgledy piggledy-ness.

So there you have it....short and sweet!! Is that a sigh of relief I hear percolating from your lips?? Who would've thought that I could possibly have written a 'short' post......wonders will  never cease!!

So toodlepips for now. I must dive back into this thing they call life, hoping  there will be moments of hexie loveliness sprinkled throughout. Hope you are all enjoying a lovely week.

Monday, May 11, 2015

A little vintage shopping and ................... a few hexagons

One of my all time favourite things is to jump into our old tin lizzie and go for a drive with my significant other and see what pot of gold lies at our rainbow's end. There is always some quirky place down a country lane which needs to be explored. Sometimes there is nothing to tickle my fancy BUT sometimes there is so much treasure to be found, I can hardly contain my excitement.

A little over a week ago was one such day. Meandering over undiscovered hills and down dales brought a few exciting sightings.

At one little shop these pretties were unearthed.

A soft as soft pure wool blanket of the prettiest green, a lovely white tablecloth and this pretty coloured, large doily. They were all bargains. I think I will fashion the doily into a round cushion embellished with a few flowers.....(of course). Oh, and there was a length of sweet 1960's floral fabric. These blues are my all time favourite!

Then lo and behold at another strange li'l place where  teeny tiny bugs seemed to reign supreme was this gorgeous frippery!

Yes, this gorgeous embroidered gal was just hanging out, waiting for me to take her home. "Waa-ll aah do declare.......isn't she beautiful?" As ever, the handiwork on this southern beauty is amazing. Indeed the embroidery on the back is as perfect as the front.

She of course is going to hang out with some of my other ladies that lay dilly-dallying in my dowry of cloth.....waiting.....waiting....for me to fashion them into a pretty, which another generation can enjoy. All these embroidered beauties vary in height from about 24 inches to 36 inches. They are all exquisitely stitched! The southern gal on the left is embroidered on what was once a coverlet emanating from the 1930's. These pretty ladies are just dripping with oodles of sugary, syrupy southern charm; don't you agree?? I can never resist bringing a southern gal home with me when I happen upon one.

THEN........not I......but my husband, discovered this piece-de-resistance, an old Bernina Minimatic 707 sewing machine. Be still my beating heart!!

I know, I on earth did I miss this little beauty. Alas, my engrossment was fixed on all these embroidered and crocheted pretties. Aah yes......vintage heaven.

Can you understand why I might have been a li'l distracted? Though these pretties are all neatly arranged and you can see in an instant what is on offer, I prefer to dive into baskets burrowing deep, deep down to the bottom in search of pretty embroideries. I find scrunched up and rumpled embroidered pretties usually are a lot kinder on the purse than those starched, neatly displayed pretties such as these above. None of these pretties came home with large southern belle was a lot cheaper than any of these.

BUT.....back to the 'find of the day', my Bernina sewing machine. I have always hankered after a Bernina. Many of those who "are in the know" swear Bernina machines are one of the best machines one could purchase. This model was produced in 1971 and would have been a sought after acquisition in it's day. This particular machine, with an electronic foot control was the top of the line model for 11 years.

It is a solid machine with a very small free arm width, which is brilliant for sewing little children's sleeves, pants, cuffs etc. It is certainly making my life so much easier when tarting up children's clothes. When the free arm isn't required you just place the little table back. It is a teeny, tiny sewing machine......'tis so cute (that is of course if a sewing machine can be deemed as cute).

I must say I am enjoying stitching with this mechanical sewing machine. This machine has only had one owner and was only for sale after her passing. It has been serviced diligently every year and I must say it purrs like a kitten.

This machine truly has the most meditative and soothing sound, with the most beautiful straight stitch; with perfect tension. It's whirring sound takes me back to my childhood where I would sit and watch my mum sew on her Singer treadle machine. A sound which always seemed to be rather akin to a comforting and reassuring hug.

Though this machine only has eight stitches in it's bag of tricks I am finding I don't really need much more as I have my Janome 6600 to turn to for all those other sewing jobs. My poor old Janome is feeling her age....after all she has been in use every day of her life for the past ten years, both by me and oodles of children who walk through my front door! I suppose 10 years is not venerable for a sewing machine but I have demanded a lot from her and have put her through oodles of stress. She is a grand old girl but she is feeling a little weary. I am actually in the process of purchasing another sewing machine. I have my eyes on a new Bernina but as they are expensive I need to do a lot of research. Pray tell, what machine do you use.....or indeed what machine would you recommend?

I have been sewing the 'frames' of some hexagons on my little Bernina, that I have been preparing for yet another scrappy hexagon quilt, and it has been such a joy. Yes, I am in need of some hexagon therapy....another hexagon quilt is going to live in my humble abode....just because I don't have enough!!!

As some of you know, I go into a state of apoplectic shock when my beady li'l eyes spot a hexagon. To me there is nothing quite like a hexagon quilt. I love the higgledy piggledy nature of a hexagon quilt. I love that there is no rhyme or reason to the scrappy makeup of these quilts. I love the fact that oodles of disparate fabrics are thrown together with a myriad of colours and designs. Yes, love, LOVE hexagon quilts!

Normally, when I stitch a hexagon quilt I would sew all the hexagons by hand but as this fabric is 100% cotton, and cotton's DNA tends to have a perfectly behaved disposition, I have decided to machine stitch around the frames. I will then stitch all the hexies together at the back, by hand. If I have piqued your interest and you would like to have a bo peep at some of my other hand stitched hexies, I wrote a post waxing lyrical of all things hexagon, way, way back

Yes indeedy, I am so thankful this old girl caught the attention of my husband. Wasn't he a sweetie to say "you really, really need to buy this beauty"! Such a discerning man is my husband! AND....she was only sixty I am a very happy gal....delirious with great joy actually! I might say if I hadn't purchased it, another lady was ready to pounce and whip it up into her arms and head for dem dar hills! I actually thought she might do me some harm and I would be no more....but no, I live to see yet another day....or indeed, to sew another hexagon or two!

So.........'tis toodles from me. I will be in hexie heaven this week as I have oodles more hexagons to stitch. Soooooooo much hexie love!! Wishing you all the most wonderful week!