Machine stitching the New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt rosette #2: I still love paper and glue, but mostly fabric


Most of the time I think it is wonderful that I don’t know today’s date.  That’s one of the perks of retirement.  But on Friday, I had a lightbulb moment.  I realized there was only one week left in February.  And I had finished only the center of my “assignment” in the New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt along!

Although I had cut and glued the pieces for the first round, there they were, sitting on the table next to my chair.  I had stuffed them into a cute little bag.  But I could hear them whispering.  Kinda like Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.

Before I tell you what I did on Saturday,  I want to give you a little back story.  I am not a block of the month kind of gal.  I’m not overly fond of randomly imposed deadlines.  If I am doing a project, I want to do it because I WANT to, and WHEN I want to.  Especially if it is something that I am supposed to be enjoying.  Something I voluntarily chose to do because it would be fun.  Or because I could learn something.

Really, a project needs to speak to me in some way.  So I don’t want that project to get all sassy and belligerent, up in my face looking at it’s little timepiece and telling me to get moving.  Why would any of us want to do that?  Time is precious.  Life is short.  There are cats waiting to be petted, chocolate waiting to be eaten, naps that need taking.  And I, for one, intend to honor all those important things.


Anyhoo…my little paper pieces are whispering.  They are whispering politely, and I am still interested in what they have to say.  So I got out my glue stick, fired up Netflix, cut myself with my rotary cutter, and got back into the game.  And I followed my own tutorials.  I pieced those puppies with my sewing machine.

Now, mind you, I had hand stitched the center.  I had cut and glued the first round, and hand stitched three of those hexies.  On Saturday, I cut, glued, and stitched together the rest of the rosette.  That’s six Dolores’ and a shitload of Carols.  And attached them all to each other.  Rosette #2, in the bag.

I didn’t do it because of peer pressure.  I didn’t do it because I thought I might disappoint someone.  I didn’t even do it because  I would disappoint myself.  I did it because I actually wanted to have the rosette finished.  I want to move on to the next one, I want to anticipate number three!

You see, I figured out what I wanted out of this project.  I asked myself if it was the product or the process?  For me, is it all about spending my time hand stitching?  That would be a big no, not for me.  I want the finished quilt.  Since my goal is the product, the finished quilt, I had to figure out how I could make that happen.  And hand stitching the whole thing was taking me down that well-worn path that leads to a dead end.  If I tried to hand stitch the whole thing, this project would end up abandoned.

Knowing my limits, I have chosen to do my rosettes in an unconventional manner.  And it works for me.  I am happy with my results.  And, most importantly, I am still excited by this project.  I know that my new friend Katja Marek will be happy for me  too.


I was not the first to finish this rosette, not by far.  And I know I am far from the last to finish.  But it’s hanging on my wall, next to it’s fellow rosette.  And it looks spectacular, and triumphant, and inspirational.  And I want to make more companions for these two.

Now go out there and make something pretty!  Right NOW!

P.S.  If you want to try machine stitching on your EPP project, here is a link to my three-part tutorial:

Get off my case, I finally gussied up your hat!

I really, really, REALLY want to do some sewing.  At least I’ve done a few things on my  wouldn’t-this-be-great-if-I-made-the-time-for-it list.  Things I didn’t want to make time to do, because, well, they’re boring.  Stuff like this.


No, I didn’t make a hat.  I made a hatband.  Before you go all whoop-de-doo on me, I made a really NICE hatband.  What a pain in the ass.

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I made it like you would make a tie.  I cut the batik fabric and the interfacing on the true bias.  The interfacing I used is a soft, woven fusible, found while digging through an armoire.  The bias allows the band to hug tight and curve onto the crown of the hat.

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I chose to make the band one inch wide.  I used a loose hand stitch on the reverse to seam the band.



I hand stitched the band onto the hat, and voila!


A custom band for a custom hat!  It has passed the tiki bar test.  On Tuesday it is heading out for the golfing test.

I don’t need to be doing that again any time soon.  It’s one of those futzy projects that I have been putting off, and I was running out of excuses.

I also cut out the pieces for a cute new little quilt.  That was way more interesting.  But you’ll just have to hold your horses, you’ll get to see it eventually.

Now go make something pretty.

How am I going to tote around all those hexies?

Don’t you just love those ah-ha! moments?  I’ve been working on rosette number two from the New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along.  And I have bits and bobs spread all over the table next to my chair.  Time to rein in my mess.


This is the Bionic Gear Bag Notions Tote, by RipStitcher.  The pattern is here on Craftsy:


This has enough zipper compartments to make me do a happy dance!  And I got to install four zippers!  A place for everything, and everything in its’ place.


Can’t do EPP without my trusty 3M blue painters tape.  And massive spools of gray thread.  Here’s a small preview of some of the fabrics in my second rosette:


I may start putting this together by machine.  I am very pleased with how my first rosette turned out, using invisible thread and a zig-zag stitch.  If you haven’t checked out my tutorial, you can find all three parts here on my blog.


For those of you who are loving on my Shaka Hula Fork Chef Dude, here’s a gratuitous picture of his bad self.

My wonderful Destiny is still in the shop.  You will never believe what I ended up doing all day yesterday.  Just try to guess.

Stay crafty, my friends.

Ring around the rosette

Hot diggity dog, I made some progress!


This is part of the Millefiore Quilt-Along using the book The New Hexagon.  Bless her heart, Katja Marek is starting a revolution with this project.  Based on absolutely no science, I’ll bet that more people have started English paper piecing (EPP) since this project hit the web.  And I’ll also bet her book is flying out of stores and warehouses all over!  Go get your Google on or look on Facebook and see what’s happening!

I fussy cut the bee fabric for the diamonds, but the batik and the blue were so easy since they didn’t require fussy cutting.  Which is good, because I am discovering I am not speedy at hand sewing.  But I’m making progress, amazing since I ripped out my middle.  My rosette, not my midsection.  I kept seeing my crappy little stitches.  Even though I’ve thoroughly embraced the mantra that finished is better than perfect.  What the heck was I thinking when I used a whip stitch the first time?


This second time I used the ladder stitch.  The funny thing is, I know that’s what I should have done the first time.  The ladder stitch is what I ALWAYS used when stitching together knitted garments.  It’s my go-to stitch when I want to make sure my stitches don’t show.  I guess I just had a brain fart, didn’t translate my knowledge back to fabric.  My bad.  I’m also thinking that whenever I am full of myself, thinking I am too clever for my shirt, I will post close-ups of some of my wonky work.



Might not be much progress on this for a few days.  I’m off to Honolulu for the weekend, hanging with some young-uns.  There will be rum and a pirate ship involved.  And perhaps some photographic evidence.

Crafting can be dangerous.  Be prepared.  Arrrgggghhhh!