I started this quilt after attending the SD Quilt Guild Fall Show. I purchased the printed fabrics as pre-cuts. They are from a line by Moda. I spent a couple evenings playing with layouts & cutting out white pieces to fill in the holes. It was fun to make the large, colored flowers. (Even when my chair got in the way!)IMG_2363The first step was easy-peasy: just straight stitch. Next, I had to start the awkward machine piecing of hexagons. It was super-duper hard & every third one seemed to pucker. IMG_2378

I hated it. It was hard. And, not fun. Finally, I hauled it to Missouri (notice the darker carpet) & finished it with my mom & sisters. It was almost (but not quite) enjoyable with someone to talk with while I sewed. Almost. But, mostly I still hate//loath//need to practice machine piecing hexagons.

See all those stinkin’ pleats? Those are not supposed to be there!IMG_2446(Sorry about my tennis shoe & a section of my Modern Christmas Tree Wall Hanging. It was one of those days. No time for cropping or staging pretty photos. I was just glad to have this tiny quilt together!)

Eventually, I figured out why my corners were all puckering when I machine-pieced. I learned that I was supposed to put little guide dots in each of the corners. Drat. Then, I found this good YouTube video! Why couldn’t I have found these before??? Too late now. Live & learn. #hexagonprobs

The Turn-Around

I hauled it back to South Dakota. Relieved to have it pieced. And, still wanting to throw it away. Finally, I decided — this isn’t a perfect quilt — why not continue trying new things? After all, hand-quilting a quilt is #4 on my quilt bucket list. That’s when this little quilt found some quilt redemption. Pinning by the Christmas tree helped me forget all the cuss words & frustration this quilt previously brought into my life.DSCN8001

Now, I’m using pearl cotton to hand stitch around each of the hexagons in the quilt. I’ve never used pearl cotton before. It is a dream! I swear I love this stuff. (Pearl cotton, seriously what a great name!)

There’s none of that awkward splitting threads like with embroidery floss. It is a tiny, sturdy rope. Doesn’t knot easily. Plus, because of the weight, it has great visual impact on the design. I just have a few little hexagons done so far!  DSCN8117

So, I don’t mind working on this quilt anymore. In fact, I really like it.

Stitch up, stitch down.

Repeat.

Relax.

Don’t think.

Just sit & sew for a bit.

DSCN8130

As much as I hated every moment of the machine piecing…I’m loving every moment of hand stitching. Trying new things is like that: sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t.

See what I mean? Quilt redemption.

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5 Comments

  1. Laurel Wilson

    It is just like you to make lemons into lemonade. Nice job.

    Laurel

    Reply
  2. Tina in Boston

    Hi there! I found you on the process pledge page. I too made a hexagon quilt this year. I took Jacquie Gering’s class at QuiltCon. She taught a method in which you do not need to mark the hexagons: http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/2012/02/sewing-hexagons-by-machine-without.html

    I sewed all the columns first for my quilt and then sewed them together. If I decide to make another hexagon quilt I might sew one hexagon at a time. If you’d like to see my hexagon journey: http://bostonsewer.blogspot.com/search/label/PB%20Complete

    Reply
  3. MARY LOU TATTON

    You might want to look at trying out the “half-hex ruler”. You use strip piecing to assemble the rows of half hexes. Granted you end up with a seam through the middle of every hex, but if you don’t mind that, then the piecing is an absolute dream compared to the assembly of entire hexes.

    Reply
  4. Lea

    This is a great post for a beginner (me). I recently received some precut hexagons and was looking for a way to machine sew them…thank you for helping me learn from your mistake (puckers, grrr) . Love your layout, and the embroidery tips.

    Reply
    • Sierra Shea

      So glad it helped you! Good luck with your quilt! 🙂

      Reply

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Hey there... I'm Sierra!

I am from a family of all girls. I always keep a journal. John & I were married back in 2013. It was a miracle then & it is now. We had three kids between Oct 2014 & August 2018 : Joslyn Shea, J.D., and Jesse Lee. We remodeled two houses & moved three times in our first 5 years. I grew up in Missouri, but was transplanted to South Dakota. I am working on my masters at Sioux Falls Seminary as of 6.1.19.

I started Sierra Shea & Co. as a space to curate encouragement for all women toward creative, redemptive lives as daughters of the King of Kings.