February 9, 2014: “Snow Day” = Quilting and Reading

Greetings!

On Wednesday, the 5th, we had a snowstorm, the university “curtailed” operations, and that meant I didn’t have to go to work.  A gift of a “free” day!  I spent all of it going back and forth between reading and quilting activities.  I was tired of working on the same quilts and decided to start a new doll quilt.  I have been looking at some blogs recently that feature hexagon stars. They look so great when made with fussy-cut pieces of fabric that I have been wanting to try it and thought I could potentially make 4 or 5 of these appliqued to a background for a doll quilt.

When I was at Keepsake Quilting 6 weeks ago I spotted this fabric that I thought would make great fussy-cut hexagons so bought a yard:

2014 Hex #1 fabric

 

A bit closer:

2914 Hex #2 fabric closer

 

And here are 4 of the 5 hexagon stars that I cut out (these pieces in the picture are not yet sewn together):

2914 Hex #3 four stars

 

Aren’t they beautiful!  Here is the fabric from my stash that turned out to be perfect for the star centers:

2914 Hex #4 center fabric

 

And here are 3 of the stars (I have the pieces cut for 2 mores) with all the pieces stitched together:

2914 Hex #5 finished 3

 

Making and cutting out the freezer paper templates for all the pieces and ironing the seam allowances to the back, i.e. prepping each of the stars, plus sewing 3 of them together was my sewing accomplishment for the day – not bad!

The other activity for the day (besides getting in an accordian practice!) was reading well over a hundred pages in:

2914 Luminaries book

 

This book won the Booker Prize and was written by a novelist in her 20’s who writes incredibly well already!  It is written exceedingly well with great insights into character and excellent descriptions.  It takes place in New Zealand in the mid 19th century and is essentially a murder mystery but is fine literature.  Cuddling up with this book with the snow falling outside was a true pleasure!   My book group book this month is Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon.”  (Another murder mystery! – These are not normally my favorite genre!)  I could not read the book without picturing Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade and now have the movie from Netflix to re-watch for the first time in years.

Over the past week I have managed to finish making all 16 of the blocks for Spirit of Japan: (Each block is still separate i.e. not sewn to each other yet)

2914 SOJ #1blocks done

 

I have been studying this quilt on the design wall intermittently for many weeks now and have been thinking that the spots where each block meets the other 3 look somewhat “bare” and need “something” from a design perspective.  After all 16 blocks were complete, I started experimenting.  The first thing I tried was a “cross”:

2914 SOJ #2 cross

 

No!  Then I tried an “X”:

2914 SOJ #3 X

 

No!  Then I tried combining the two:

2914 SOJ #4 combined

 

Maybe…. I left this up for a couple of days, but wasn’t sure.  Then I suddenly thought “Hexagon Stars!”  I had just made the ones that I showed you at the beginning of this post.  Why not try them here?

2914 SOJ #5 hexstar

 

2914 SOJ #6 first closeup

 

2914 SOJ #7 second closeup

 

I think these will work well for the block intersections and have started making templates and picking fabrics for the other 7.  Some will have blue rather than red centers.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

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