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What the Hex!


Like all quilters and crafters, I have a stash of fabrics and supplies that are just waiting for the perfect project.

Most of my fabric bundles come from a store called Tuesday Morning. It is one of those stores that is a last ditch effort by retailers to sell unpopular items (think a Ross version of TJ Maxx).  Luckily, they have a little craft section at Tuesday Morning that has hidden sewing and crochet/knitting treasures.  I have found many a fat quarter bundle for about $8 or so here, and they are decent fabric collections (albeit about 3-4 years old, but still good quality).

The first discovery I made was the Farm Fresh collection by  Riley Blake designs called Farm Fresh that I have used to make 2 baby quilts for friends & family.  When I am in AZ, I try to duck in every few weeks or so to see what they have to offer.

Farm Fresh by Riley Blake Bundle

Farm Fresh by Riley Blake

 

A few years ago I bought two bright and cheery packs of an aqua & green fabric collection (sadly no name on this set…) that I have been dying to use in a quilt. Only problem was figuring out exactly how I wanted to use them.  In comes the inspiration from Jay Bird Quilts and their hexagon quilt pattern.

Teal and Aqua Fabric Collection

Aqua and Teal Charm Pack

So with very little pre-planning and quite a bit of improvisation, I have begun to work on this twin size quilt as an “art exchange” with my friend Rommy in return for one of her oil paintings.

Setting up the cut

No fancy tools here to make the cut

Moving along

Moving down the line

Pieces Ready to Go

Ready to be assembled

I will admit, due to my lack of pre-planning (and not looking at all steps of the quilt-a-long), I have made this quilt a bit more difficult in terms of piecing the top together.

Half-Hexes ready to go

Should of stopped and planned here to sew along rows instead of having to later do Y-Seams….

IMG_20140730_185355_nopm_

First one done- many more to go. The more I do, the better they look.

There is a great explanation and demonstration on how to sew the Y-Seam in the Craftsy 2013 Block of the Month class online (for free!!). This is my first time tackling the dreaded Y-seam, so piecing the top has been slow going but I hope to have something finished to show in the next few weeks!

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Cloud 9 Curtains

Yes this blog is to share my quilting projects. No this first post is not about a quilt.

When Victor (the boyfriend) and I moved into our apartment, the curtain situation was a disaster. The previous owner and subsequent tenant seemed to be content with having screws & nails barely set in the concrete block walls with various “poles” (aka half of a shower curtain rod or wooden dowel) set on top.

Bad Curtain Rods

Gross “Curtain” rod hardware when we moved in

I was not pleased with the set-up. Imagine my surprise and glee at finding actual curtain hardware tucked in one of the closets. The first weekend after moving in involved installing these curtain rods and modifying the existing curtains in the apartment to use with the “new” hardware. Not wanting to invest personal funds in the curtain project, the guest room curtains were given a temporary fix until I was able to figure out exactly what to do.

Temporary Fix

Hanging the real hardware we found and temporary curtains

The curtain hardware that came with our apartment is reminiscent of the 1990’s or a hotel room. Continuing the deep clean of the apartment, I found three sheer curtain panels hiding in the guest room closet.

Curtain Hardware

Supplies to get started

It took a fair amount of meditation & pinterest searching to finally realize that a lightweight ruffled curtain was exactly what the room needed.

There are a variety of techniques to making ruffles. Since I envisioned a shabby chic style curtain, I did not need anything too precise.  I ended up using the last technique shown here.  Since I knew there would be 14 attachment points on the top of the curtain, I cut 14 strips out of the sheer panel  that had been hanging 4″ wide and 14 strips out of the off-white sheer panel I found 2″ wide.  Laid on top of each other, a stitch length of 5″ and a tension of 7 on the Brother sewing machine gave the perfect amount of ruffle without making the length too short.

Ruffle Construction

Making the individual ruffles

I did do some measuring and calculations in figuring out how far apart to place each of the ruffle strips and getting the finished length of the curtain to the appropriate width. I was raised on the phrase “measure twice cut once” but honestly, measuring is not my favorite thing, so this part I winged a bit and crossed my fingers it would work.  Thankfully it did.

Measuring

Rough measurements and calculations

Once all 28 ruffle stips were sewn and the panels were marked, I simply sewed the strips on top.  The tricky part came into play when figuring out how to “shorten” up the curtain. I ended up folding the fat seam at the top over and then gathering the two points together to make a “pocket” on the back where the hook could be inserted.

Top of the Curtain

How to attach at the top

Finally up, I was surprised how much shorter the finished curtains were, but realized it was a blessing in disguise since the guest bed sits right along the wall next to the window.  I am so happy with the finished product. It gives a good amount of privacy while still letting in lots of natural light during the day.

Finished Curtain

Finished Ruffle Curtains!