More Scrappy Hexie Blocks

Yellow Scrappy Hexie Blocks

Yellow Scrappy Hexie Blocks

I am on a roll.  Today I finished 8 scrappy hexie blocks.  I don’t piece with a lot of yellow so when I saw a bag of yellow scraps/strings that someone had donated to the destash at our guild meeting, I snatched it up.  Yellow is such a happy, cheerful colour.  These blocks will definitely brighten up the finished quilt.

The Great Granny Bag

Our modern guild meeting was Thursday, February 8.  Our annual guild destash usually takes place at the January meeting.  Because many members were unable to make the January meeting because of a snow storm / freezing rain, we had Part II of our annual destash at our February guild meeting.

At destash night, members bring any usable items from their sewing rooms that they no longer have use for and put them out on the tables for other members to adopt for free.  After all, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, right?

Tables loaded with items from members' studios - destash night.

Tables loaded with items from members’ studios – destash night.

The tables were loaded!  In the bottom right hand corner of the photo (above) you can see some bamboo purse handles.  Another member and I each picked up a pair of these round bamboo handles.

Bamboo handles

Bamboo handles

After some discussion and joking around, a challenge was born – first person to finish a bag with their handles and post a picture to the guild’s Facebook page…

I worked the next day so I couldn’t start my challenge right away.  My challenge partner – Christine – is retired and she was able to start her bag immediately – Friday morning.  When I got home from work on Friday there was a picture to taunt me on Facebook with the caption, “Pattern cut, now to sew.  How is your bag coming along?”

Christine's bag in progress

Christine’s bag in progress

I got up early Saturday morning and got to work on my bag.  I worked through the day, checking Facebook frequently to make sure Christine hadn’t finished her bag yet.  I managed to finish my bag late in the afternoon and I got a picture of my finished bag posted to our guild’s Facebook page before Christine.

In the end, I am not sure who really won the challenge.  Although I was first to post a picture of a finished bag, Christine outdid me by finishing a total of 6 bags before she called it quits.

My bag was The Great Granny Bag which is a free bag tutorial on Emmaline Bags’ blog.

The Great Granny Bag

The Great Granny Bag

The Great Granny Bag - side view

The Great Granny Bag – side view

I modified the pattern by including a zippered pocket on the inside of the bag.  This was a new-to-me technique.  I made 2 pockets (not intentionally) before I got it right.

The Great Granny Bag - inside with zipper

The Great Granny Bag – inside with zipper

This  bag will be perfect for transporting projects-in-progress as it is very roomy inside.  The elastic on the sides gives it almost unlimited expansion room.

Thank you to whoever provided the bamboo handles on the destash table – they provided entertainment for a friendly challenge and the beginning of a very useful bag!

Because Christine and I were posting our progress to our guild’s Facebook page, other members were watching with interest.  The member who organized our destash night made a comment about being inspired to create a challenge for next year – January destash and February challenge.  It sounds like we can look forward to some more fun next year in conjunction with the destash.

 

String Blocks

I am determined this year to make a significant reduction in my stash of strings and strips.  I have been piecing string blocks and stacking them on the shelf until I have enough to make a quilt.  I have used various materials for foundations – most recently used dryer sheets. Before using the dryer sheets as a foundation they need to be pressed with a cool iron.  You start with a pile that looks like this:

 

Used dryer sheets

Used dryer sheets

And you end up with blocks like these after trimming to 6″ square.

String blocks pieced onto used dryer sheets

String blocks pieced onto used dryer sheets

I have 121 – 6″ trimmed blocks on the shelf right now.

Stack of trimmed string blocks

Stack of trimmed string blocks

I need to decide which quilt layout I am going to use these blocks in so I know if I am close to having enough blocks for a quilt top.  I am always on the lookout for ideas to use string blocks so I don’t have to continue to repeat the same design over and over.

I have also been piecing larger blocks (8″ square) onto fabric foundations.  I was gifted some broadcloth from my MIL’s stash.  The fabric is more lightweight than I like to use in my regular quilt blocks but it makes a great foundation for string blocks.  These are a few of the string blocks.  There area a total of 95 – 8″ blocks in this stack on the shelf.

8" string blocks pieced on broadcloth foundations

8″ string blocks pieced on broadcloth foundations

String blocks pieced on a fabric foundation make for a heavier quilt top than string blocks pieced on a dryer sheet foundation.

Despite all the string blocks I have been making, I don’t seem to have a significant reduction in the string / strip stash.  I think I will be making string blocks for some time to come!

 

Scrappy Hexies

I fell in love with the quilt,  Scrappy Hexies in the March / April 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine and it has been on my “To Do” list since then.

March / April 2015 cover of McCall's Quilting magazine

March / April 2015 cover of McCall’s Quilting magazine

The quilt is a design by Bea Lee from www.beaquilter.com .

Bea Lee's Scrappy Hexies quilt

Bea Lee’s Scrappy Hexies quilt

I started my blocks today and I finished my first 7 blocks from my blue scraps.

My first 7 Scrappy Hexie blocks

Blue scrappy hexie blocks

The pattern in the magazine suggests tracing the hexagon pattern pieces from the magazine pullout section onto template plastic.  However, I recently used my discount coupon for Joann’s to purchase a large hexagon shaped ruler which has made trimming the blocks so much easier than using template plastic.