Making paper piecing Lemonade…

So a couple of weeks ago I realised I had made a hideous paper piecing miscalculation…. it all started in December last year when I had lots of time sitting around hospitals with my darling husband.  I wanted to bring hand work but my hexie pelt…

hexagon pelt

..had become unruly and unmanageable.  I had taken the cardboard papers out of the center to help make it easier to handle but it was too big for me to keep adding hexies easily.  The solution was of course to start a second pelt that I could just sew to the first pelt when it got big enough.  Great solution right?….

In theory yes… in practice I stuffed it up big time.   Fast forward five months and I go to attach the second pelt only to discover my second pelt would not fit my first pelt.  The two pieces would not align no matter what way I put them.    My huge miscalculation resulted in a tantrum, lots of tears and copious amounts of swearing.

do not fit

My darling husband, who has claimed the hexagon pelt as his quilt, tried to comfort me…but somehow failed to grasp the complete heart ache of spending months hand sewing something together only to realise you are going to have to unpick it all.  The worst bit was that I had removed all but a few of the papers which made the flowers almost impossible to reattach to the main pelt… it is very tricky to get neat, even stitches without the cardboard supporting the hexagon.

paper less hexagon

So I put everything aside, not sure when I would be ready to face the horrible task ahead of me, and uncertain about what to do with the hexagons that could not be re-attached.  Then Sunday it dawned on me what I needed to do….

The idea came from a special quilt that was made for Rachel of Stitched in Color…. I had made hexagons for this quilt and watched it slowly come together.  This was the solution to my problem.

new hexagon blocks

And so I have started gluing….

glue down hexagon

and sewing my hexagons onto a 6 1/2 inch square low volume background…

sewing down hexagon

and I am loving the effect.

Design wall shot

I will have enough flowers from my second pelt mishap to make a baby quilt.  I  can not tell you how excited I am to find such a pretty solution to my issues.  I have definitely made lemonade out of those lemons!

29 thoughts on “Making paper piecing Lemonade…

  1. Nooooo! Joining big pieces is always the hardest and dullest part, and you do have to be quite careful about how things line up. I feel your pain, I truly do. But you have come up with such a creative solution. If you wanted even more of a nod to EPP with your baby quilt, you could put another hexie at the point where 4 squares join after you’ve put all your squares together. I hope it hasn’t put you off hexies for good – your darling husband deserves his very own quilt. I repeat my offer: Make your flowers, lay them out how you like them, photograph them and then send the lot to me for assembly.

  2. I’ve had to resew hexagons without the papers too many times. You can replace the papers back into the hexagons quite easily. Hold them in place with the little Wonder Clips. They really clamp down tightly and are easily moved along as you work along the hexagon. I use two. One at the bottom of the nex and another at the top where the two pieces meet up. It takes just a little bit of finagling, but you’ll get a little system going soon enough.
    You did come up with an excellent solution. Good job.

  3. I was given some period pre-cut hexagons and started making my flowers (no paper piecing, just by eye). Worked on them on and off for FIVE YEARS. Went to put them together….I had 2 different sizes…many tears later I have a lap quilt, a sofa quilt and a few left over flowers. You have my sympathy on this.

  4. It turned out great. They really stand out in their new setting – not that they didn’t altogether, but now they all fit. Beautiful!

  5. I feel your pain, just about finished the unpicking. I was contemplating what to do next and your post arrived. I have my solution – thanks.

  6. I found a post of yours with a picture of your quilt from last year a while ago whilst looking for hexie inspiration. I didn’t pin it for some stupid reason and couldn’t find it again (oh I have been cross with myself!). Anyway, up it popped again yesterday when I was looking for hexie flower pictures for a blog post (I used my own in the end) and I was so happy! I thought I would have a look at the rest of your stuff and see how far the hexie quilt has come. You have some beautiful things on here, but I love your hexie quilt the best. Your rescue of the flowers for the 2nd sections was a great idea! Can’t wait to see both finished quilts 🙂

  7. Just shows you what you can do after you throw a tantrum eh! It empties your brain and your imagination comes back first, well done! I threw one today as I am learning free motion quilting and twice I had to unpick what I did and just about tore my hair out! It still hasn’t come to me how to quilt it, never does and it really brasses me off that I have no sense of free motion quilting! Wjill have to ask my group on Wednesday as last two weeks were school holidays and we don’t meet as our space is taken by the school kiddiwinks!

  8. Just recently stumbled onto your post researching Sue Daley’s EPP. Love what you did with the baby quilt, reminds me of 1930’s. Where did you find all the low-volume backgrounds?

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