Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Garden of Faded Memories

I've joined a fantastic blog called the Great Hexagon Quilt-Along. Why not pay them a visit and admire all the beautiful hexagon based quilts that are being posted there. I'm hoping that they will inspire me to press on with the latest UFO to be displayed here.

As you will see this is the proverbial hexagon quilt that I’m sure most quilters will have started at some point in their quilting career.

Indeed, paper piecing hexagons was my very first foray into the patchwork world many years ago. Much to my disappointment I can’t remember exactly how it came about. My mother knew nothing about patchwork although she very into sewing and as a young child I had been taught how to knit, crochet and embroider. I must have been fairly young as I can recall sewing classes at primary school when I would have been around 10 or 11 where I took in my embroidery to share with the teacher. You know the sort of think - a table cloth with the pattern printed on it that you embroider in stem stitch, lazy daisy and other stitches.

Anyway, I’m digressing! In my early to mid teens I did some large hexagons and not knowing the first thing about patchwork I used whatever materials my mum had lying around - a mixture of all sorts of polyester and cotton blend fabrics. The piece was never finished (a sign of things to come!) but I came across it a few years ago and the interesting thing was that the colour choices were really quite good. Now I get myself all tied up in knots agonising over colour choices but then I did what came naturally and it worked. Somewhere along the line I became crippled by colour indecision! How did that happen?

A couple of years ago a bought a beautiful book of Japanese style floral patterns A Floral Affair by Jennifer Rounds and Catherine Comyns.

There is a beautiful hexagon quilt in it made from Japanese taupes and that inspired me to have another go.

I’m using the Moda Faded Memories range and bought some charm packs to ensure a good mix of fabrics. Each 5” charm square is large enough for four 1” hexagons. Every know and then I take it out and do some more paper piecing and it’s really quite additive once you get going and satisfying to see all those little hexagons building up. Originally, following the instructions in the book, I was going to wait until I had them prepared before I started piecing but the thought of putting all those hexagons on a design wall and playing around with them was a bit overwhelming so I’ve started sewing some together.

Can anyone really wait until they've pieced over 1200 hexagons before being tempted to see what they look like when sewn together?