Friday, July 31, 2015

It's a Silk Hexie Day!

I worked on my necktie project yesterday - trying to get a section done every couple of weeks. I do like to have a schedule, plan, and deadline. I get so much more accomplished that way. 

Today I hope to work on some magazine articles. Hexie Love is alive and well! Thanks to you all for supporting this, my baby! This time last year, it was just a dream. And now it's going strong - so happy!

I remember years ago when I first started blogging - I was afraid I'd run out of things to say. Well, that has obviously not happened! And the same with Hexie Love - would I run out of hexie articles to include? Absolutely NOT! I'm constantly coming up with new ideas, discovering new hexie artists, and so much hexie LOVE! Don't forget - go HERE to buy an issue, or two, or three, or four. 

And the wedding.... within the first week of planning, we have a date and a venue! Yippee! They'll be getting married under this gorgeous Chihuly!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Is Basting a Quilt the Bane of Your Existence?

Firstly today, the new system for Hexie Love is working perfectly!!!!! No complaints! No problems! Not even a single question! It's easy peasy now to buy and read Hexie Love!

Now moving forward...

Do you hate basting quilts? It's not my favorite thing, I'll admit. I don't have a longarm machine - just don't make enough quilts to justify it. And I do love to quilt my own quilts unless the quilt is really huge (like my Celtic Solstice) or really special (like my Odyssey).

Yesterday I decided to try a new way to baste, trying to make it easier on myself. Here's what I did.

1. I pinned the quilt backing (face down) to my design wall. (Pin just at top and sides.)

2. I pinned fusible batting to the wrong side of the quilt backing, smoothing it out as I went. (Only pin at top and sides.)

3. I pinned the quilt top on top of the batting. (Only pin at top and sides.)

4. Using a cordless, rechargeable iron on a hot setting (mine is a Panasonic), press small sections and replace iron into its cradle to recharge. The iron reheats quickly and you can repeat the pressing process until the entire quilt has been pressed.

5. Carefully unpin the layers and remove quilt from the design wall. Turn it over with the quilt top facing the design wall and pin at the top and sides. Repeat pressing process with the rechargeable iron.

6. Remove quilt from the design wall. Using a plug-in (non rechargeable iron) press both sides of the quilt one more time for good measure.

7. Be sure to press well around the edges.

8. Machine stitch around the perimeter of the entire quilt - approximately 1/8" from the edge.

9. And you are done! Ready to quilt!

This is what I did yesterday morning. I have a couple of more tops I need to baste - but not today. Today is for hexies! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New and IMPROVED Hexie Love!

I'm thrilled to share with you the NEW way to buy Hexie Love. I'm done with the old way!!!

Simply go the HEXIE LOVE website. You'll see each issue with a button below (Add to Cart). The price is the same - $5.99 per issue.

If you purchase an issue, you'll immediately receive an email with a direct link to the PDF - easy as that!

The e-mail will state that you can download the PDF "3 times in forever" - I know this sounds a bit confusing. What it means is that you can use the link 3 times maximum, but there is no time limit for this. The reason for this limit of three times is simple: if everyone could download it many times, someone could send the link to a friend who could send it to a friend and so on. And I would not receive the compensation I deserve. I'm sure you all understand this! I would not stay in business very long like this!

Just save your PDF and you won't need to download it again! Simple as that!

The only negative here is that I can no longer accept subscriptions. The issues will have to be purchased one at a time for now. BUT, don't worry if you are already a subscriber!!!! I have your information and will manually send you the link for each issue as soon as it comes out! No worries here!

Now, if you have not had success in downloading a past issue that you purchased, please email me! I'll verify that you have made a past purchase and send you the link of the issue you need. Please be sure to specify which issue you were unable to download: 1,2,3, or 4.

I'll be adding this information to a tab at the top of the blog so you can easily refer to it when needed. And as always, I'll remind you when a new issue comes out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hexie Shelves!

Remember that "had to have" hexie purchase I made last week? Well, here it is! Isn't it fabulous?!

It's BIG! And eventually it will hang somewhere in our house. Still trying to decide where...

You will probably see this in the pages of Hexie Love...displaying hexie stuff, of course! Yes, I know...I'm hexie obsessed!

I purchased this at World Market - it retails for $129.

So what else in new around here? Another day, another wedding venue to check out with my daughter. We will be glad to have the date and venue set in stone!

And tomorrow is the big day for Hexie Love - I'll be announcing the NEW way to purchase issues - you are going to love it!!!! It is so much easier! And fast! Thanks for all your patience and for sticking with me through this...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Long Hexie List Today!

Today's photo is the top shelf of my rolling cart - crowded with all my hand sewing paraphernalia. Look closely. Do you see Cooper in the background? Having his morning nap in Hubby's recliner?

I have more than 3 things on my list today - not ever a good idea. I need to narrow it down! I do need to go to the grocery store if we expect to eat this week. I think that will be the first thing I get done.

I'll be doing some computer work - SO CLOSE to having Hexie Love transitioned away from the previous software (Joomag) to the new delivery system...

AND, if I'm lucky, I'll get in a bit of sewing!

I'll be meeting Daughter 2 and her fiancé at a possible wedding reception venue at lunch - we hope to tie down the venue and the date by the end of the week - then the other details will start falling into place.

I wish you lots of Hexie Love from here!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chinese Silk

I basted hexies last night! If you follow me on Facebook, you know that yesterday Daughter 2 got engaged to be married to her boyfriend! After all the excitement died down, Hubby and I relaxed, watched a move, and I basted hexies. Ahhhh..... nice evening......

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that a friend visited me from China. Her visit reminded me of some gorgeous silk she brought me years ago when home for a visit. I've been saving to use for something special (though I wasn't sure what).

While she was here I was working on my special necktie project. Suddenly I had a light bulb moment! (Don't you love having a light bulb moment?!) -----This special silk would work beautifully in my necktie project!!!!!!!!!!

This fabric is the real deal - not a reproduction! Gorgeous color, print, and sheen. And look at the backside of the fabric below -

The back is totally different from the front! Not sure how they do this, but both sides are so pretty. I'm using the red as the 'right side' for this project, but I think I'll have enough fabric left to use the 'back side' for something special too.

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Hexie Birthday Gifts...

I've been promising to share my birthday gifts from a couple of weeks ago. The last item arrived yesterday! First up is BOTH Millefiori books by Willyne Hammerstein (from Hubby). LOTS of eye candy within!!!

Do you know what this is? They are nail wraps from Jamberry! (From Daughter 2). They aren't really hexie related, but I think these do look like quilt patterns!

Here are the ones I got. (Got some Auburn ones for football season!) My nails are going to rock!

Daughter 1 gave me a gift card to Hancock's of Paducah and my mom gave me some cash- lots of fun fabrics are now residing with me. I picked colorful options for fussy cutting. A girl can never have too much fabric!

And this is the most special gift ever - my new hexie necklace! This is something Hubby found on his own! It's very delicate and dainty. The fine chain runs right through the center of the hexagon.

This has been a super duper busy week! Today I'll try to slow down a bit. This morning I'm making some homemade mashed potatoes for my son-in-law - he's getting his wisdom teeth out this afternoon  and I'm hoping he'll feel like eating tomorrow. The only other thing on my list is some computer work.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Sashing Has Begun!

If you're a member of Hexie Love Open Studio on Facebook, you got a sneak peak at this last night!
Since I'd already selected this fabric from my stash, it was super fast to cut the strips and stitch them to the blocks. I'd like to add a more complex outer border...still thinking on that! Maybe a hexie border? I feature a hexie border design in every issue of Hexie Love, so maybe one of these patterns?
By the way, I cut 2.5" strips for this sashing. I have all the remaining strips cut for the rest of the quilt, too.

If you haven't started the 2015 Hexie BOM yet, you still can! The patterns are all under the tab at the top of this page.

This morning I'm working on the Perle Cotton stitching on the August BOM. When I first sat down I couldn't find my ball of thread. I'm sure you know the first place I looked...Cooper's mouth! Yes, there it was! Cooper! No harm done - I found it in time, thank goodness. So what else has he had in his mouth recently? Let's of my credit cards (I still need to call and get a new one) and a foam drink sleeve (destroyed completely).

Today will be a busy one. After finishing the Perle Cotton Stitching, I have several phone calls to make, a bit of cooking, and lots of computer work. Let's make it a Happy Hexie Day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Bit More...

I have just a bit more appliqué for the August BOM. I'm working on it this morning. I also auditioned fabrics for the sashing for this quilt. Hopefully today I'll do the cutting and maybe even add sashing to some of the previous blocks.

Despite my plans (and common sense) I did run some errands yesterday in the 108 degree (!!!!!!!) heat index weather. I bought the batting for a couple of quilt tops - determined to do some basting soon!!! I also bought the absolute coolest hexie related item!!!! I'll be sharing it soon! Spent a bit too much for this, but it was one of those HAVE TO HAVE IT items! A BIG thanks to Daughter 1 for bringing it to my attention!

I need to get out a bit today, but this time I'll do the errands in the morning - before that heat gets overwhelming.

How do you like Cooper's new 'stick'? He looks so funny running around the yard with it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Orphan Block Top: DONE!

Yesterday I spent only about 30 minutes to finish this lovely. Yes, I'm no longer calling it ugly. (And thank you to all who sent me such nice comments about this quilt.) It's just funky enough to love. I really need to write a tutorial on making an orphan block quilt because I figured out lots of tricks and hints along the way.

You can see I added another strip of the black and white fabric. The quilt looks a bit crooked in the photo, but that's just the photo angle. It turned out pretty straight.

So now I have yet another quilt top that needs quilting. I really need to set aside a block of time to do some layering and basting so that the quilting can be accomplished in little bits of time, since little bits of time seems to be all I have in between hexies and the magazine.

I also finished stitching together the motif for the August BOM. This morning I'll be doing the appliqué. And the rest of the day will be devoted to the transition of Hexie Love.

The weatherman says it will feel like 105 degrees F! So I'll be working inside the cool house for sure.
If you're not a part of the Hexie Love Open Studio group of Facebook - go join! So many are sharing their BOM's there - lots of hexie beauty! And there have also been some competed BOM quilts from last years' patterns. Fun stuff!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hexie Morning!

Here's what I'm working on this morning! This is the August BOM. I like to sew these designs in little units...3 of this, 2 of that. Now it will be so fast to stitch these parts and pieces together.

It's been an exciting week around here - a PGA golf tournament was held over the last several days here in our little neck of the woods. Thousands of golf fans have been here watching...very exciting stuff. Hubby is a huge golf fan, so he was amongst the throngs a couple of days. But it was simply too hot for me.

Today the temp will be 98, which means a heat index well over 100. Yuck! Good day to stay inside and stitch, don't you think?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Ophan Block Top...continued

I allowed myself a bit of studio time this morning to play with the orphan blocks. You can see I added some black and white striped fabric. And yes, I have more orphan blocks to go. I like the current width of the quilt, but I plan to add more to the bottom. This thing is almost done!  And it's so ugly, that I think it's pretty cool, and pretty in it's own ugly way.  I will always think of my Birthday Block friends when I use this quilt.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Gail Garber!

Last night was our guild meeting - and we had Gail Garber from New Mexico as our speaker. Her program was wonderful! In addition to being a quilter, she loves to hike and she is a HUGE supporter of wild bird rescue. Which totally relates to her quilting focus of free-form flying geese.

Her quilted geese fly in circles, arcs, and every way possible. The quilts she shared were amazing! It was a fun evening.

You know, when we moved to Auburn I was not expecting much from the guild here. Boy, was I wrong! It's definitely a more laid back guild, but I like that. They bring in very good speakers and teachers. Next year, Sue Spargo will be here! Yes, in little bitty Auburn! I've taken a two day class from her already, but I know I'll take Sue's classes again when she comes. Maybe this will give me a push to get out my Sue Spargo projects and finish some of them...  I think I have about 5 of them...

So what else is going on around here? A friend is coming by this morning. I've decided it's time to stop hoarding  collecting so much junk stuff that's is piling up in my studio. So she's going to be the new owner of garbage bags FULL of old, colorful t-shirts. I'd been saving them to eventually make t-shirt yarn and braid a rug. Yeah. I've finally come to the conclusion that it's not going to happen in my lifetime. And so they will be re-homed. I'm rather proud of myself.

I have other stuff I need to to re-home - this is one of my goals this year.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hexie to Baste...

I pulled out my little container of 3/4" hexies this morning. Time to get to basting again - need to get on top of the August BOM! This is at the top of my list for today!

I did successfully cook another huge batch of chicken breasts yesterday. I guarded it with my life (from Cooper!) and made two chicken casseroles. Yum!

I'm very close to finishing the transition of Hexie Love from Joomag to my new system. A few more days and I'll be ready to go. Yay!

We're in for another HOT, SWELTERING day here. And if that's not bad enough, when you walk outside you can see the mosquitos swarming around you. And so, I plan to stay inside as much as possible. A very good day to make hexies!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chicken Casserole, Take 2

In between computer work and hexies, I cooked a PILE of chicken breast yesterday. I like to cook chicken in the crock pot with some water, salt, and pepper. The chicken turns out tender and juicy this way, and I can make lots of recipes with it. It's easy to package in freezer bags and stick it in the freezer for another time, too. So anyway, I cooked about 3 pounds of chicken breasts.

While it was hot, I shredded it and divided it into two large casserole dishes. I left it on the counter to cool a bit (planning to make two large chicken casseroles.

I went outside for a few minutes and came back to find this. COOPER! Did he have a guilty look on his face? No! He was joyful, as if to say, "Look! I ate it all for you! It was so good! Aren't you proud of me?" He kept looking back and forth from me to the counter. "I couldn't reach some of it - can you help?" Uh, no! You've had more than plenty.

So I went back to the grocery store and bought more chicken. This morning I'll cook chicken AGAIN and make sure I keep Cooper away from it!

I did get a lot of quilty stuff done though. And today I will again!

We have a friend staying with us for a couple of nights. I grew up with her and now she lives with her husband in China. Alway fun to have her and hear stories of her life in China.

Better go get the chicken cooking....

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hexies on the Sofa

This is a typical sight in our house...a quilt tossed on a sofa. This was the very first hexie quilt I made and it gets used on a daily basis. Even during a hot Alabama summer, we have quilts at the ready to cover up dachshunds in our laps - they insist on being under a quilt! If you don't have one over you lap, they'll try to go up under your shirt. So, despite the fact that it is miserably hot here, we are always covered up with a quilt. Good thing I'm a quilter!

Yesterday ended up being a computer day, all day. And that's okay! I'm getting closer to having Hexie Love transitioned to a new and improved system. It's going to make it SO MUCH EASIER to purchase and view the magazine!!!! Yay, Yay, YAY!!!!

I got lots of questions about my necktie hexies yesterday:

How big are they? 2 inches

Will you use silk thread to stitch them together? Not sure yet.

How do you take the ties apart? Just rip open that back seam!

More details to come in a future issue of Hexie Love! This project is scheduled for the Nov/Dec issue!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Back to Ties

I pulled out my necktie hexies yesterday. These are big, fun, and relaxing. I have several more ready to baste today.

My work continues on computer stuff for Hexie Love. I hope to finish this transition in approximately a week, maybe two. And then I will heave a sigh of RELIEF! I KNOW this will be a HUGE improvement in the system! And well worth the effort.

I had such a nice birthday weekend! I can't wait to show you my gifts, but some of them are not here yet. I got some fun gift certificates for on-line shopping - yes, I've already spent them and they should arrive soon. There will be a lot of color, some inspiration,  and a little bling in my mailbox later this week.

Today's focus will be more computer work! And some hexies here and there! And maybe, if I get a lot done, I'll run up to the studio and work on my orphan block quilt...

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Double Nickels

Today is my birthday - YAY! And I got a hexie cake! Hubby ordered this for me - it's my very favorite - carrot cake - yum!!! (And if you didn't know, family and close friends call me 'Judy' - I really like the name 'Julia' better, but it's hard to switch a nickname after many, many years!)

I wish I had some fun hexie goodness to show you, but my focus for the last couple of days has been on the transition of Hexie Love to a new delivery system. I'm working on a very large spreadsheet to help me accomplish this - about 1/5 way through this part of the process. It's slow going BUT will be worth it's wait in gold once done.

I did get some hexie related birthday gifts - I'll share them in a couple of days.

I do hope you have a wonderful 7-11!

Friday, July 10, 2015

My Distraction...

Yesterday I had a great list of hexie work I wanted to accomplish. But...these orphan blocks pulled me upstairs to the studio. I couldn't resist!

So I arranged and rearranged. Then I started sewing. And I rearranged. And I sewed. And so forth and so on. And sew on.

Most of what you see on the design wall is sewn together. There are still many more blocks in a pile that I can add. And I think 3 more people will be bringing me orphan blocks next week. So this quilt will definitely grow! 

But today I will try to resist the urge to work on it - hopefully I'll get yesterday's list completed!

Happy Hexie Friday!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hexie Show and Tell....And Orphan Blocks!

I got this photo in my inbox this morning. One of the quilters in my workshop Tuesday at the Allatoona Quilt Guild finished her pincushion from the hexies she made in class. She said,

"Hi Julia,
I really enjoyed both your trunk show presentation and the hexie class on Tuesday.
I got my pincushion finished! Not perfect, but I am sure I will do some more hexies, they are addicting!" 

Thanks for sharing, Sue!

And this is the December 2014 Hexie BOM pattern. A friend is making this wallhanging. Yes, Christmas in July!

 And look at my haul of orphan blocks that I was given yesterday at the Birthday Block lunch! And this isn't all of them! I can't wait to get started putting this together.

These are photos from my road trip Tuesday. This one was taken at about 6 am just outside Auburn, the sun just beginning to rise.

And here's a pic from the drive home. Gridlock traffic in Atlanta...

So what's on tap today?

1. I'll be working on the transition of publishing Hexie Love in a new way.
2. I'll be working on a new hexie project.
3. I'll be writing some pattern instructions.

Sounds like a fun day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hexies in Acworth, GA!

I was on the road EARLY yesterday to spend the day with the Allatoona Quilt Guild. WOW! This is a wonderful guild, full of energetic, enthusiastic, and prolific quilters! 


I was thrilled to meet Melinda in person - we've been blogging buddies for years!

Here is Melinda during Show and Tell sharing her 2014 Hexie BOM quilt. LOVE IT! 

 I gave a lecture/trunk show - I had PILES of hexie quilts to share, even some antique quilts.

And in the afternoon I taught a sold out workshop. We had so much fun! The ladies learned to make hexies from circles first. They got the hang of the technique very quickly!

And then I taught them to make hexies using English Paper Piecing. It's always fun at the end of the class to get a show of hands as to which technique they like the best. For quilters who have never made hexies, the circle technique always wins because it's so quick and easy. But the quilters who had already done EPP like that technique the best. 

I was so impressed with the guild's charitable work - this is the pile of quilts turned in yesterday for charitable donations. AMAZING!

I had a blast with this group!

And today will be fun, too. I've talked about the Birthday Block group I'm in here in Auburn. We each pick out a block pattern each year and each member makes the designated block for us for our birthday. I had trouble deciding on a pattern, so I asked the members to bring me orphan blocks so I can make a 'kitchen sink' quilt. Today is the day! So I get to go to a luncheon celebrating my birthday (and that of another member/friend who has a July birthday) and I'll get my orphan blocks. I'll share pictures tomorrow - should be fun! Can't wait to see the variety of orphan blocks.

I'm spending the morning catching up on computer work. I'm fine tuning the new Hexie Love magazine delivery system - I know it will be a big improvement over Joomag!

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Quilt Label and...A New Way to Get Hexie Love Coming Soon!

Last night I sewed the label on my Eye 1 quilt, TWICE. I put in the wrong corner the first time. Today I'll pack it up and ship it off for the Grand Rapids show.

I've been working hard behind the scenes this weekend to find another way to get my Hexie Love magazine to you. And I'm pretty sure I've found it!!!!! I still have to do a bit more work to set up the system, BUT I know it will be easier for you, the customer!!!! I'm so excited about this!

Today I'm packing up the car - I'm making a road trip to Atlanta tomorrow to lecture and teach a class. What fun we'll have! Hexies will be flying!

What else am I doing today? I'm pulling out my neck tie hexies to do some basting, I'm working on the designs for next year's hexie BOM, and maybe I'll even baste some 3/4" hexies for the August BOM.

Hope you have a happy hexie day!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th!

Happy holiday to those of you in the US! We are having a quiet day here in the world of hexies. 

Now, let me tell you about my Boston Butt! I actually cooked it Thursday night. I figured if it wasn't good, I'd still have time to go out Friday and buy some BBQ from a restaurant. The recipe calls for you to cook it overnight.  So yesterday morning we removed it from the oven and hubby used two forks to pull apart the meat.

OH MY GOODNESS! It was melt-in-your mouth tender! And the flavor is out of this world. It's really not hard at all.

After hubby finished, I decided that I wanted to cook more - I want lots of leftovers to share with my daughters! And for us! So I immediately went to the grocery store and bought more meat. And last night we did it again. It should be ready in a few minutes and then we'll have pulled pork coming out our ears!

You can find the recipe HERE!

And now some news concerning Hexie Love. I had a nice chat with Daughter 1 (the software engineer) and she has an idea we think will work so that I won't have to use Joomag any longer AND you'll be able to easily get the PDF of the magazine with no hoops to jump through! So excited about this!

We need to figure out the details and make sure it works. And I'll have to convert all my current subscribers to the new system, but stay tuned! I hope in the near future I'll have a better system up and running! Yay!