Machine stitching the New Hexagon Millefiore quilt: rosette 6

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Yahoo, it’s still June and number 6 is done!

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I’m still using the glue basting method that I learned from Katja’s wonderful book, The New Hexagon.  I hand stitched the center star, and completed the rest of the center and all the other rounds using invisible thread and a narrow zigzag.

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It’s all about feeling good about your projects, isn’t it?  This project was so far out of my comfort zone when I approached it with the notion of hand sewing.  I never could have made a dent in it!

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It’s so exciting to see stitchers from all over the world embracing this project.  And all the ingenuity going into the fabric choices  – and construction methods – makes it all the more inspirational.

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If you want to try the method I am using, check out my 3-part tutorial, starting here:

https://handmadebycarolecarr.com/2015/01/23/machine-stitching-the-millefiore-quilt-tutorial-part-one-for-those-of-us-who-hand-sew-at-the-speed-of-a-turtle/

Machine stitching the New Hexagon Millefiore quilt, tutorial part three: where I actually finish before February

What is the date today?  I believe it is NOT February.  It’s still in the Januaries.  And my rosette #1 is done.

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I’m not being braggy, I am making a statement that I did not believe would ever be true.  And if I had kept on with my turtle-paced, nay, snail-paced hand sewing, I sure wouldn’t have a finished rosette to show you now.

I have to give a big shout out to all who have sent me the encouragement and positive comments on the first two parts of the tutorial.  Especially Katja Marek.  I am so glad she is using her powers for good and not evil, drawing us in to this project that is making our world a more beautiful (and apparently hexagon-shaped) place.  Go see her at http://www.katjasquiltshoppe.com

Shall we finish up the tutorial now?  Let’s put the final round on the rosette.

There are 18 hexagons in the final row, 6 each of three different configurations.  (If I may point out the obvious, make sure you don’t mix up your mirror-image Maries.)  Using a bunch of of the blue painter’s tape, line up your first two  blocks.

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This shows Brandi and Marie taped to the second round.  We’re going to attach Brandi first; Brandi is the block with the two floral diamonds in it.   (The second block needs to be taped in place because Brandi is joined to it in the first seam.

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Same procedure as before, removing tape, pivoting, and lock stitching.  This is the same was each of the subsequent blocks will be joined, so tape on your next Marie and go for it!

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The stitching to join this block starts at the place where we pivoted sewing our first seam.  In other words, at the place where Brandi and Marie both meet the row below.  Sorry I don’t have a picture of the start of this seam.  The first photo below shows the pivot after the first part of the seam is shown.  Notice that this seam will have two pivot points.

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Time to lather, rinse and repeat my friends.  I’ll wait here for you.

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That was intermission.

To get the papers out of the back, just follow Katja’s instructions in the book.  I am always looking for a reason to use fun tools, so I love an excuse to get out my pointy little awl.

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Think of this like paper dolls, the kind that punch out.  I always loved those as a kid.  The papers have been stitched in around the edges, but they are now perforated.  Gently pull on them, and if they don’t release right away, punch them out!

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What more would it take to convince you to try this?  Go buy that book.  Dig through your collection.  You know you want to.

Now go make something pretty!

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Machine stitching the New Hexagon Millefiore quilt, tutorial part two: this is where I stop feeling bad about my hand sewing skills

This process rocks!  I hope some of you have had a chance to try it!  I am still amazed and pleased with the results.  First, a re-cap of part one and some questions that have come up.  Then, on to part two, sure to have your project speeding along.

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Short and narrow zig-zag stitch.  Got your thin, sharp needle loaded?  And the smoke-colored invisible thread?  There’s a reason I’m using the smoke-colored instead of the clear invisible thread.  Smoke blends right into the fabric, the clear stuff looks shiny.  Always use a lockstitch (stitch 2 or 3 times in the same hole) at the beginning and end of each seam.  Don’t cut the threads short – I leave mine 2 or 3 inches.  We don’t want scratchy whiskers on the rosettes!

And if you have somehow made it this far, yet don’t know what we are talking about, head over to Katja’s  website and learn more about the New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along.   http://www.katjasquiltshoppe.com  And definitely check out the FB page The New Hexagon – Millefiore Quilt-Along.

Here we go!

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This is block one from the outer row of rosette one.  Six pieces in the hexagon, I decided that the best way to start was to join the three hexies in the center together first.  I used my painter’s tape to hold the three together.

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Lockstitch and zigzag, stopping with the needle down before hitting the tape.  Don’t stitch through the tape – you can’t see where you’re going, and it will gum up your needle.

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Lift the presser foot.  Lose the tape, stitch to the intersection.  Pivot and continue.

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You’ll notice that the tape behind the presser foot in the last photo above remains in place.  Keep it there so the blue hexie does not wiggle away from it’s position.

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Start the seam, remove the tape, finish the seam, lockstitch.  Lather, rinse and repeat.

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Look at those hairy little threads just dangling.  Now we’re going to do the seam joining this blue hexie to the other green/yellow hexie.

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This is the first time we have to deal with a thread sticking out of the middle of a hexie.

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Flip that baby over, and use a pin or a needle to coax that thread end through to the wrong side.  Then just leave it flopping around on the wrong side.

Now we’re going to add the next piece, a purple diamond.  Notice that I have kept the pieces stacked the same way they are to be constructed.  Just lay the stitched section on top of the stack, lining it up with it’s kin, and it’s easy to see what gets attached and where.  I tuck in the thread ends that are sticking out where the two green/yellow hexies meet.  Tape them to the backside if they are misbehaving.  And then do it!

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Tuh duh!  Now keep on keepin’ on.

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Now you must stand back and admire this stack of yumminess!

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Tomorrow is the third (and final) part of the tutorial, where everything joins together to finish rosette one!  Just in time to start rosette 2.  Tomorrow I’ll also talk about popping out the papers.   My fingers are getting tired of talking today.

Now stop reading and go make something pretty!

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin,’ keep those hexies rollin’

Ding ding, that’s the end of round 2!

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I’m working on the Millefiore Quilt-Along, using the book the New Hexagon by Katja Marek.  I am trying desperately to make sure it doesn’t overtake my entire life.  Must.  Resist.  Feeling.  Weak.

What can I do to prevent that, you ask?  Only one solution.  Finish the last round of this rosette before the other one is released!  Which is the first of next month.  No pressure there.  It’s only 18 hexagons.  Only 126 separate pieces.  Which have to be cut, basted, stitched together, attached to the second round.

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By the way, I just can’t help myself.  I have to show off this gem on my kitchen counter, which surprisingly coordinates very well with this project so far.

I’m in love with the fabric in the center diamonds of this round.  It looks like stripes of sequins, coincidentally in the colors I’m using in this rosette.  I chose to cut half horizontally and half vertically, using different colors of the stripes.  It really looks like two different fabrics, doesn’t it?

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As I plot my last round on this rosette, I think I want to incorporate that floral from the center.  Hmmmmm…I’m having fun working without a flight plan.

Now go out there and feed your crafty obsession.  Daylight’s burning.

Ring around the rosette

Hot diggity dog, I made some progress!

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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?

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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.

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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!

Sewing by hand. Not kidding.

Hire an exorcist, I have been possessed.  In my defense, I accidentally ran across some pictures of what is called a millefiori quilt.  Err merr gawsh.  Go google it.

I couldn’t help myself.  I knew I had to try it.  Even though all of my instincts are on high alert.  Even though my fight-or-flight instinct was screaming, “run away!”  Because they are made BY HAND.  You know, like sewing with a proper needle and thread.  And probably a thimble.  Because needles are sharp.  (Some of the needles even have the word sharp written right on the label, in case you couldn’t remember.)

Then I found something called The New Hexagon – Millefiore Quilt-Along.  Heaven help us all.  The brainchild of Katja Marek, it uses her new book The New Hexagon.  She’s using her superpowers to suck in all of us unsuspecting fabric collectors.  She’s egging us on, drawing us in with a Facebook group and encouraging comments on our progress.  And I don’t think she sleeps, either.

Here’s my first hexagon, hexie if you’re a savvy quilty/sewy person.

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Don’t you dare comment on the fact that you can see my crappy little hand stitches, petite though they are.  I took them all out and had a do-over.  Not anal much, huh?  I will put up a new pic soon, along with my next row or so.

Wish me luck on my (insane) adventure!

Now go make something pretty.