I am learning to love hexagons again.
There is something calming and soothing about cutting up cardboard (Dilmah and Twinings tea boxes, in my case) to make templates, fussy cutting little pictures from fabric and slowly tacking the fabric around the templates (while watching Downton Abbey).
My first quilt, which I started as a teenager, was an English paper-pieced hexagon quilt. It took forever, and I was over it by the time I finally finished. I did not even particularly like the fabric choices I had made many years earlier, before I could call myself a ‘quilter’, when I was just a nerd who liked to sew.
One member of our sewing group recently chose a fun project for her friendship quilt: she supplied a rectangle of plain fabric and group members were asked to sew any arrangement of hexagons onto it. She found the idea in the book Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee. The colour brief was ‘red, yellow and blue, predominantly blue’. What fun!
After struggling with the layout for a while, I made a decision and stuck with it long enough to finish the block. (I set myself a rule to avoid grandmother’s flower blocks.)
As some of the pieces I was appliquéing down were large and oddly shaped, I used a spot of fabric glue here and there to hold them down. I had never used glue in my sewing before. Somehow it seemed like cheating. I now understand why people do it: everything stays exactly where it should.
The real discovery for me was the joy of sewing with silk thread. It made the whip stitching and appliquéing a dream! Why had I not learned this lesson before?
I can see more hexagon projects in my future, and I think I might make up a little hexagon travel kit.