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Shall I make a hexi-quilt?

 
master pollinator
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r ranson wrote:Cotton thread - I can't believe the current price.  When I bought some in mid-2020, it was $1.14 a spool.  Now it's at least $6.



How many yards per spool?

WAWAK Has 350 yds for $1.69 per spool. Plus shipping, but still!

Took a further look around, Here is their Canada specific site!
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Urgh this is making me want to do a patchwork cover (not a quilt) I think I'll "cheat" and use a sewing machine if I do though!



You totally should! It would make me happy to see photos if you can.
Cheating is encouraged.   It is about doing it the way that works for you.
 
r ranson
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No frame hand quilting

 
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Wow - I'd never heard of curved quilting pins and searching for them suggested they're not hard to get. That would definitely help me since I don't have a frame. I've tried basting large areas like that, and it's not the sort of task I enjoy.

Personally I don't like the idea of the plastic tags - we don't need more plastic garbage!
 
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I use the bent safety pins for quite a few things, especially if it's something that I'll have to handle very much, where straight pins would likely leave a blood trail, lol. Otherwise, the running stitch is the most secure and environmentally friendly means, and if you're careful, those threads can be reused.
 
r ranson
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A different hand stitching   https://youtu.be/JOZicyttwz4  
 
r ranson
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I went around a few thrift shops today.  I don't know what happened between now and a couple of weeks ago, but their crafting supplies are empty!  Crazy.

It looks like a bedsheet big enough for the backing is going to start at $12.99.  Although I am probably going to want the duvet cover which starts at 24.99.  They didn't have anything that matched my vision and I'm still not certain I'm going to start this project.  
 
Jay Angler
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r ranson wrote:I went around a few thrift shops today.  I don't know what happened between now and a couple of weeks ago, but their crafting supplies are empty!  Crazy.

Hmmm... maybe parents trying to keep their kids busy for the summer when people are still not booking vacations away?

It looks like a bedsheet big enough for the backing is going to start at $12.99.  Although I am probably going to want the duvet cover which starts at 24.99.  They didn't have anything that matched my vision and I'm still not certain I'm going to start this project.

All you can do is keep watching if you're not in a rush. A lot of people are only just going back to shopping, so you may find if you wait a month, you'll have more to choose from, although prices may not drop. A *lot* of prices in the shops have gone way up in the last year, often for questionable reasons, and I'm not convinced they'll go back down.
 
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If I were you, I'd just concentrate on making the quilt top for now. That is going to take a long time.  A looong time.  While you do that, watch for sales for the other things you need as you go along.  The backing is the last thing you even need to think about right now. If you want to make the quilt, just start sewing.  The rest will come later, you don't need to accumulate everything before you start the top.

If you spend the next two months looking for a backing that fits into your budget before you even start quilting the top, you'll just be two months in with nothing to show for it and that quilt backing will only sit there for another 2 or 3 or maybe even 6 months while you sew the quilt top.
 
r ranson
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Right now I'm uncertain if I want to start the project.  I have a lot of other things to do.

To make the decision, I want to plan out if it can be done for my budget and goals (posted earlier).  Or if I need to adjust the goals.  

When I start, I'll just get started.  But until then, I'm researching how to make it more affordable - like quilts of old that were for using up and making do.
 
Violet Jones
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What you're talking about is that they used to make quilts with what they have.  The key point being, they already had the materials they needed, they just had to come up with a design they wanted to do.

You're not in that situation so your choices at this point are to either just get on with it and start with what you have and know that the rest will come later, as you acquire it (like in the "days of old").  Otherwise, you're just sitting on all of these scraps that you want to use up.  

I don't know if you realize this but you don't even need to have one full piece of fabric for the back.  There are many pieced backings that look beautiful too which create a sort of reversible effect.  You can piece your binding too with strips.  

I guess I just don't see how this is such a quandary for you...either start sewing it or just let the scraps keep accumulating and/or sitting there.
 
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It sounds like your stash fabric was just hanging around before, doesn't cost anything to keep it hanging around until you're ready. You might also be able to put the word out you're looking to start quilting and maybe have people look out for sheets or other big things of fabric for you, I know I've given lots of stuff to people a few times when I was moving or cleaning out things.
Just an observation- I only start a big project like this when I know I'll have a lot of stalled time-- roadtrips, crummy winter weather when we're stuck at home, etc. Sometimes I have inspiration when I know I won't be able to work on a quilt or something, and I will write things down, make a sketch, etc, and put it in my sewing cabinet til later. Usually when I find it again I've totally forgotten, and then I can start it for good later when I have time.
 
Violet Jones
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My favorite pieced backings are the ones like the first two images here, but there are sooo many different designs out there.  You're basically making two quilts but you get a great reversible effect.  I hope this choice inspires you.  

Your other post said you don't know if you'll even have time to spend doing a hex quilt.  Giiirl...you're gonna need a lot of time if you're going to do this. lol
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Hexi's are super cute. I'm terrified of quilting myself. Math and precision are my biggest challenges. I've never made a quilt because of this. Consider this: Make a small one. Make a 12"x12" or a 6"x6". If you end up doing it please post it in this thread. Good Luck. I hope you find the advice you need.
 
Kerry Eyman
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CRIKIE I haven't purchased any new thread in maybe 6 years because my sewing game is weak. I have stumbled upon some free thread though. Maybe you could join or start an Arts/Craft Alliance in your area and have the group on Facebook. You could potentially do posts about people de-stashing? Is there a Craigslist in your area? Best of luck to you.
 
r ranson
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I finished the experiment with the batting: https://permies.com/t/162483/sewing/fiber-arts/real-wool-batts-drum-carder

Discovering, I love making and piecing together the hexagons, I do not enjoy putting the quilt together.  I can't get my hand to figure out how to do the quilting stitching.  

I'm going to put this project to one side as I have a huge pile of must-dos on the go.  Not giving up, but I won't start for a while.
 
Carla Burke
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This popped into my email, this morning, and I thought of you! Here's is rather simplistic, but the concept is awesome. Because the little pillows are so small, they'd be fast to do, individually and over time, until you have all you want. Then you'd just start sewing your little hexi-pillows together, again, as you have time and inclination, et voila! https://www.sewcanshe.com/blog/2015/8/7/quilting-unplugged-sew-a-pillow-quilt-tutorial-too?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Today+s+Tutorial%3A+Comfy%2C+Cozy+Puff+Quilt&utm_campaign=Saturday+07%2F24%2F21&vgo_ee=iMnDR0yhlr8W2pftMYs0vovy7T5YEJ8ohjC9vauJg30%3D
 
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I love English Paper Piecing.  I am currently 2 years into sewing these pieces into a quilt.   I don't always work on it and I am in no rush to finish it.  I tend to work on it when I am traveling, in waiting rooms, and when I am mentoring my robotics team during the times they need me there but they don't need my direct help at the moment.  It is also useful in Zoom meetings when I only need to listen in.

The expensive hand quilting thread is the best for sewing the layers of your quilt together and it doesn't need to be used in the entire project.  
To save money on thread you can use any old thread to baste the fabric to the papers.  You will remove these once the pieces are stitched together and  it is a great way to use up leftovers on bobbins and random older thread that one can easily find at a thrift store, yard sale and in old cookie tins.  

The thread you use to sew the hexies together with is best a high quality thread that isn't too thick.  It isn't worth your time to fight with fraying breaking thread when hand sewing.  Thread has a direction and you will get more or less fraying when hand sewing depending on what end of the thread the needle is on.  When using thread from a spool thread the needle before you cut the thread from the spool.  If you are using thread form a bobbin cut the thread first and add the needle to the fresh cut end.  Having the thread going in the correct direction will help reduce twisting, fraying, and knoting. I use a 50wt cotton thread like Aurifil or a 60wt polyester thread like Bottom Line.   I like off white and a light medium grey for thread colors.  They blend in with most dark or light fabrics.  I watch for sales for high quality thread and stock a good range of neutral colors  for the various different types of sewing I am doing.  

If you can find a second hand wool blanket they make amazing batting for a very warm quilt. I was watching a youtube video about a quilter whose grandmother would cut up damaged wool socks and sew them together to use as quilt batting.  Thrift store sweaters may be another source of low cost batting.

You quilt back does not need to be a single piece.  You can assemble it with more upcycled fabrics.  Pieced backs are recommended to have 1/2" seam allowances to give them extra strength to the seams during the quilting process.   Bonnie K. Hunter has 2 quilt  books on making quilts from upcycled shirts and she uses pieced backs in almost all of her quilts.    Some people use the leftovers from their project in the quilt backs.    Just Get It Done Quilts has great videos on making quilts  including several on making an After Quilt for the back of the quilt form scraps and leftover fabric.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goF9PWf6UYE&list=PLchS26NEYgVwM1VECnV60RxjomhYWiPGE&index=8

 This is my current project. I have a little over 100 of these hexagon based blocks sewn.  I am still deciding on how big to make it so it won't be finished anytime soon.  I bought a bunch of quilting scraps and remnants second hand for this project and used a bunch left over cardstock from my teaching days for the papers.  






 
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Kate Muller wrote:If you can find a second hand wool blanket they make amazing batting for a very warm quilt. I was watching a youtube video about a quilter whose grandmother would cut up damaged wool socks and sew them together to use as quilt batting.  Thrift store sweaters may be another source of low cost batting.



This tip of yours really inspired me, Kate.
I have a bunch of sweaters that I've been keeping through the years that are too small and/or too worn in some places. I was thinking of turning them into pillows, but now I'm thinking of a warm blanket, maybe sewing them together as big hexigons, because of all the inspiration in this thread!

And looooved your storage. So tidy and colorful and ... inspiring!
Now that the cold is here, it will be lovely to begin this project!

Thanks! :-D

P.S.: Hope you can go back to this idea and post pictures of your progress soon, Ranson, cos it sounds wonderful and - in my humble opinion - your pin cushion colors are really earthy and cozy and would look good on a quilt, for sure. ;-)
 
r ranson
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I can't get this idea out of my head.  I don't know what it is about EPP, but something about it calls to me.  Probably because it is so frugal.  

And yet, when I read about it online, it seems like one of the more expensive quilting methods out there.  Buying fancy cutters or cards and precut templates and fussy cutting tools and... That side doesn't interest me.

I want to use up scraps of cloth from old clothing and from sewing projects.  Cut my own hexies.  

I've done a few more experiments including a cute little pen case.  The case had hexies 3/4" per side and this felt very comfortable in my hands.  The larger hexies are hard for me to handle, so I think if I do go with a quilt, it would be between 1" and 1.25"  per side.

I've also been asking different quilters in town about this style of quilting.  They seem to think it won't work if the hexies are smaller than 2 or 3 inches per side.  That it's too time-consuming or too difficult.

But in a way, their objections are also the thing that drives me on.  I don't mind small repetitive tasks.  My goal isn't to get it done, but to do the thing.  To be doing the thing.  I think I'll be sad when it's done.  
 
Kate Muller
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r ranson wrote:I can't get this idea out of my head.  I don't know what it is about EPP, but something about it calls to me.  Probably because it is so frugal.  

And yet, when I read about it online, it seems like one of the more expensive quilting methods out there.  Buying fancy cutters or cards and precut templates and fussy cutting tools and... That side doesn't interest me.

I want to use up scraps of cloth from old clothing and from sewing projects.  Cut my own hexies.  

I've done a few more experiments including a cute little pen case.  The case had hexies 3/4" per side and this felt very comfortable in my hands.  The larger hexies are hard for me to handle, so I think if I do go with a quilt, it would be between 1" and 1.25"  per side.

I've also been asking different quilters in town about this style of quilting.  They seem to think it won't work if the hexies are smaller than 2 or 3 inches per side.  That it's too time-consuming or too difficult.

But in a way, their objections are also the thing that drives me on.  I don't mind small repetitive tasks.  My goal isn't to get it done, but to do the thing.  To be doing the thing.  I think I'll be sad when it's done.  



I am slowly working on a 1" hexi based quilt.  I am in no rush to finish it either.  I printed the papers pieces on card stock I have left over from another project.  I cut the Hexagons, triangles, and jewel shapes with a pair of scissors while listening to audio books.  Getting a hexagon shaped paper punch makes it easier to use junk mail post cards for your papers.  

I chose to glue baste my pieces.  If you baste them with thread you can save a bunch of money and use up random bits of thread on spools and bobbins.  You can use the older hand me down spools of thread that your sewing machine doesn't like for basting thread.  

It is your quilt and if you enjoy the process more than finishing the quilt on a schedule than make the quilt how you want it.  
Scrap quilts historically were made slowly as you accumulated the fabric and found time to cut and assemble them.  If you  to make it out of 1" hexagons go for it.  I have an ever growing pile of 1" hexagons to make  several EPP quilts out of  and I have a pile of papers to make 1/2 hexagon based quilt out of.  
 
r ranson
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I want sheep!
 
Jay Angler
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r ranson wrote:

The larger hexies are hard for me to handle, so I think if I do go with a quilt, it would be between 1" and 1.25"  per side.

Although I totally agree with Kate's suggestion that you do what you want, if I was doing this, I'd want to lay out the pieces, and groups of pieces to see that the constant colour/design change didn't make my eyes "go buggy". One way I would deal with that, is to try groups of the same coloured hexes together, and I'd be careful of zigzag rows of patterns. Many hexes making up an overall pattern such as the sheep picture you posted could work for me - just because the picture shows a small number of large hexes, doesn't mean that I couldn't find a way of getting the same effect with groups of much smaller hexes. Personally, I'd also make several sheep if I were do a similar pattern - sheep are groupies!!!  Hmmm... no sheep on my farm would be such a clean, white colour either. Today at duckie bedtime, I had the dirtiest white duck to put to bed that I think I've ever seen - mud everywhere from her bill to her tail!
 
r ranson
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Found this example of color combos.  https://pin.it/5dsYpdQ.

Did this ever happen? I like all your fabrics together. I try to balance the placement of darks and lights within the piece. If doing a flower type of effect, alternate center and petals, or petals 1/2 dark &1/2 light. So much can be done.

Once you have the shapes you can play with how it ends up getting constructed. Having a large table to lay them on helps as you get them sewn together.
 
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The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers:
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