Monday, May 7, 2012

Craftsy Block of the Month for April 2012

Check out the video lesson and instructions for the Craftsy Block of the Month for April.  It's free!  All of my Craftsy BOM blocks are documented here.

Yes, it's the first week of May and I've only just completed the Craftsy Block of the Month for April!  To be honest, I was going to give these blocks a miss because I'm not a fan of English paper-piecing, in general, and hexagons, in particular.

Here are my two blocks for the April BOM.

Sunny With a Chance of Hex

Hexi Stripe
 I kept procrastinating and putting off the inevitable until I could stand it no longer and took another look at the instructions.  With a lot of grumbling and mumbling, I sat myself down one afternoon and started creating the three hexagon templates.  The size of a hexagon is determined by the length of one of its six sides.  So I created a 2" plastic template for the sun, a 3/4" template for the rays and a 1-1/4" template for the striped block.

I then went through the exercise of tracing the templates onto parchment paper and cutting them all out.  Why did I decide to use parchment paper?  Because I was working at the dining room table and parchment paper was closer at hand than typing paper.  Subconsciously, I must have been thinking that parchment paper would withstand the heat of an iron better than typing paper.  As it turned out, using parchment paper was a very good idea because it was very easy to baste through.  I've saved all the hexagon paper pieces and was surprised at how well they stood up to all the (man)handling.

Parchment Paper Pieces
Another evening was spent picking out all the fabrics, tracing a quarter inch around and cutting each hexagon from the fabrics.  Yes, the whole process sounds very tedious because I've got so used to rotary cutting the pieces of a quilt and machine sewing everything in sight, but guess what?  The repetitive process was almost meditative and extremely relaxing!

However, the next time I make a hexi-anything, I will create a plastic template for the cut-size of the hexagon to remove one step from this process - that of measuring a 1/4" around the paper piece onto the back of the fabric.  Yes, that will save a lot of time!  Why didn't I think of this earlier?

Fabrics for Sunny With a Chance of Hex
Oh boy, there was more hand piecing to be done, whip stitching all the hexagons to each other.  Then the fun began as I finally sat at the sewing machine and sewed all the hexagons down to the background fabrics.

I love how my blocks turned out!

Somewhere in my pile of UFOs , there are some grandmother's flower garden blocks that are begging for some TLC.  Dare I suggest tackling one of my UFOs?  After all, it's one of my New Year resolutions!  This  UFO is a blue and yellow quilt made from 1" hexagons.  I've completed exactly two blocks out of eight and it was started in 2007!!

I think I can!  I think I can!  After these two blocks that were just completed, I know I can!  But that will be covered in another post.

Cheers, everyone!

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