So back in March, I blogged about how I was looking for something to work on outside my sewing room, something I could take with me in the car and on trips, or have in my lap while watching TV with my husband in the evening. I thought Hocuspocusville was going to be the answer, part handwork part sewing, but I could tell right off, that was not the project for me.
Several folks left comments that I should try working with hexagons. I did a little research on English Paper Piecing and basically felt making all the hexagons would be fun, but wasn't so sure I would ever make anything with them.....kind of like those yo yos.
So I'm mulling over the whole hexagon thing and then, I remember, I have these . . . . .
28 hexagon blocks made by my Mamaw, just sitting in her old sewing basket, that my Mom had given me ages back, way before I even ever thought about quilting!!
These blocks are well over 40 years old, cut and pieced by hand, the seams are maybe 1/8 of an inch wide.
So I dig around in my sewing room and find the blocks. And at first I wasn't so excited about the prospect of actually making something with them.
I loved that the blocks were made by my grandmother, but the fabric, not really my thing, and the white blocks around the edges, no longer white, or even close to white. I took this picture of two of the blocks laying on white fabric.
So I did some research on the internet and found that perhaps the blocks could be brought back to life. The blocks are very fragile so I weighed the possibility of ruining the blocks against never using the blocks, just keeping them in the old sewing basket. I decided to risk two blocks.
In my kitchen sink I soaked two blocks in hot water with 3/4 cup of oxy clean for 2 hours.
I then carefully rinsed and soaked them 20 minutes in white vinegar.
Finally, I soaked them for 15 minutes in plain cold water.
I pressed the excess water out with a towel, and pressed them with an iron while they were still damp.....and look what I got...
This is the after shot of those yellowed looking blocks......they look as good as new. I feel like I've won the lottery, these blocks are priceless to me. Since the blocks are made by hand, they don't fit together, which is why I suspect Mamaw didn't make a quilt from them. So I've decided to attach them to squares of fabric, that will also help protect them, make them less fragile.
This the the back, I'm using the paper pieces to help me turn and baste the tiny edge around each block.
Then I will attach them to fabric.
I'm also making some blocks of my own. Right now there's no master plan, other than making my blocks with the same yellow center and same design, yellow center, solid fabric, floral fabric, white border.
I'm still trying to decide how to best use Mamaw's blocks; make one quilt with her blocks and a few of mine and give it to my Mom, divide Mamaw's blocks up, add more of mine, and make a throw for me and two more my two brothers to have.....I'm not sure, I guess I'll ask my family and see what they would like.....
I'm thinking about adding some little hexie flowers to each corner of the blocks with the bigger hexie flowers....
The top hexie is the size of Mamaw's, 3/4 an inch...I'm practicing on those, once I'm good with the bigger size I'll drop down to the medium size, then the small.
Something that helps me work on these pieces is this light I wear around my neck. It's light, bright and portable.
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I carry all my hexagon supplies in my Mothers Day floral arrangement basket. I just love being able to pick up the basket and carry it from room to room, and just having a sewing basket in general!
So in addition to being thrilled with the prospect of finally getting Mamaw's blocks out of the closet and into a quilt, I love making the hexagons myself. It's a very relaxing way to end each day.
And the funniest thing of all.......if I would have been happy with that Hocuspocusville project, these blocks would still be in the closet, in the dark, forgotten and forlorn......
It's just so true, when one door closes another opens.....