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Bringing Hex-y Back

As promised, I have a WIP Wednesday update on my “What the Hex” quilt!

The back was pieced together in December using an old cotton shower curtain from either Cost Plus World Market or Pier1 Imports (it’s been so long since I purchased it, I can’t remember where it came from). When making the top I had no idea what I would use for backing. Then on a trip home to Phoenix, I discovered the (future) backing sitting in one of my craft boxes stored under the bed.

Turns out, just a little strip was needed to add to the length. The teal, green and blues in the damask design match perfectly with the aquas and greens in the top. I also like the bit of juxtaposition of a very feminine and organic pattern on the back contrasted with the geometric design of the front.

Quilt back from old cotton shower curtain

Quilt back from old cotton shower curtain

Superbowl Sunday was spent basting; my least favorite part of the process. Had I been smarter, I would have used our nice new big kitchen table. Instead I did it on the floor (and with the help of Berna).

My "helper"

My “helper”

As much as I think I have basted enough, I find my quilts can always use more

As much as I think I have basted enough, I find my quilts can always use more

Finally! The front basted together

Finally! The front basted together

Frustrating part, because this was a lightweight cotton shower curtain, manipulating the backing to be smooth under the batting was near impossible.  You can see one part where the backing was too loose and sewed a fold.

This drives me nuts to no end! But not enough to rip out the quilting and do it again...

This drives me nuts to no end! But not enough to rip out the quilting and do it again…

For the actual quilting pattern, I had sketched out some ideas but really had no set plan.  Still too scared to try free-motion quilting, I have been using my trusty walking foot and a 1/4″ spacing all around.

I started with a center hexagon and have worked my way out in a somewhat circular pattern. Each hexagon has been quilted with a different design using a white cotton thread.  Overall the designs blend well into the quilt top.

Center hexagon that I started with

Center hexagon that I started with

See how well the thread blends?

See how well the thread blends?

My favorite part of the quilt has actually become the backing. I love the texture that has developed as the quilting has progressed.

Love the texture that has developed

Love the texture that has developed

I estimate I am about 40% done with the quilting on this one.  I have been averaging a hexagon a day since starting. Hopefully it will be finished before the end of the month so I can get this project checked off the list and give it to its future owner!

On a somewhat related WIP Wednesday topic, my husband and I are in the middle of a puzzle of Monument Valley, AZ. I picked it out because it was a piece of home. It has also been a very challenging project and we will be happy to have finished!

WIP Puzzle holding our kitchen table hostage!

Holding our kitchen table hostage!

Lovin’ Feelings

A month has passed since moving into the new house. One of my favorite features? It has three bedrooms; meaning one for Victor’s hobby (guitars), one for mine (sewing) and one for us both.  While the desk is not the ideal size, I love the fact that I can keep the sewing machine set up all the time and take a few minutes here and there to sew. Victor loves the fact that all of my creative endeavors are contained to one room instead of taking over the kitchen table.

My new "craft" room

My new “craft” room

I, along with Berna, also love the fact that we have an actual front and backyard.  The tomato, cilantro and basil plants that were cultivated on the apartment balcony have found a new home in the front yard (the backyard belongs exclusively to “Bernadette the Destroyer of Plants”).  They have yet to be transplanted into the ground, but there is a small pepper plant that has sprouted (from seeds saved from a grocery store pepper) and hopefully more will appear soon.

Baby pepper plant. Jalapeno or Sweet? Will be a surprise!

Baby pepper plant. Jalapeno or Sweet? Will be a surprise!

Cilantro gone to seed

Cilantro gone to seed

Tomato Plant

Tomato Plant

Basil plant aka Luca

Basil plant aka Luca

Speaking of love, instead of flowers for Valentine’s Day, Victor got me  mint plant and rosemary plant to add to the growing front yard garden.

New Valentine's Mint plant aka Jule(p)

New Valentine’s Mint plant aka Jule(p)

New Valentine's Rosemary plant aka Mattathias

New Valentine’s Rosemary plant aka Mattathias

Tune in tomorrow for a WIP Wednesday update on my “What the Hex” quilt! .

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In Vino Veritas

The first item on my 2015 “To Do” list was to finish VINO wine cork wall-art project I had started in October.  While I finished this in January, moving and getting settled into our new home has kept me from posting until now.

This started with a collection of wine corks (leftover from the previous tenant of the apartment and added to by Victor and myself).  I estimate there were about 50 wine corks total and this turned out to be nowhere near enough.

Initial wine cork collection

I steamed the wine corks before cutting them, taking out only about 5 at a time to keep them from drying out.  Being nervous cutting a small rolling item, I cut them about 1/4-1/2 inch thick and got 4 to 5 slices from each cork.

Steaming the corks

Steaming the corks

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Utility knife to cut the corks

 

Cork slices

Cork slices

To cut the letters, I used a cardboard box our tetra pak milk comes in. The four even sides worked perfectly to draw and cut out the needed V-I-N-O.

Milk box from PriceSmart aka CostCo

Milk box from PriceSmart aka CostCo

Drawing out the letters

Drawing out the letters

Close-up of letter N

Close-up of letter N

Quilting tools doing double duty

Quilting tools doing double duty

Letters prepped and ready to go

Letters prepped and ready to go

After the letters were cut, it came time to glue.  Wanting something similar to the industrial strength Gorilla Glue in the US, I bought RinoGlue.  In my mind, both Gorillas and Rinos come from the same continent, so they must be similar types of glue. I must also confess I have never actually used Gorilla Glue before, nor the RinoGlue.

1.5 bottles needed for the whole project

1.5 bottles needed for the whole project

The glue went on clear but when it started to dry, I was surprised to find out it expanded and turned a light yellow-white color.  So during the drying process, I had to press down the now puffed up glue and corks to keep them flat on the cardboard letters.

Going on clear

Going on clear

Starting to puff up as it dries

Starting to puff up as it dries

As I mentioned earlier, the initial amount of wine corks was not enough and left the N and part of the O empty.  My in-laws came to the rescue and donated some of their wine cork collection to the cause.

Ran out of corks

Ran out of corks

In the second round of cork cutting and gluing, I may have been a bit heavier handed with the glue (even knowing it would puff up) and you can tell a bit on those letters as more of the glue seeped through the corks.

First set of glued letters

First set of glued letters

Second time gluing. Used a bit too much this time

Second time gluing. Used a bit too much this time

Another lesson learned for future similar projects is to cover the counter or work on a surface that can be messed up.

While the VINO wall-art was finished while still at the apartment, it was in the new house that it was finally hung on the wall diving the dining area from the kitchen.  While Victor feels there is not enough distinction between the wall color and the letters, I personally love how they give a subtle texture to the wall.

Finished while at the apartment

Finished while at the apartment

Check one off the list!

Check one off the list!

First project on the list and of 2015 done, onto the next one!

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