I've been seeing a lot of hexagon sewing recently and thought it looked very relaxing. Since 90% of the sewing I do requires me to sit in front of my machine or at my cutting table for long hours the idea of having a project that was portable that I could do while sitting on the couch seemed very enticing. In July when the Hex-a-long over at Lily's Quilts and Gayle Brindley's Blog started I was too busy to start a new quilting project so I didn't commit to the Hex-a-long, but the idea stuck with me to one day give it a try.
Now I don't know how many of you have seen me say in this blog that I come up with most of my own patterns for what I make, but that's the case. I've never actually followed a pattern for any quilt I've ever made, and even when I make something like a doll from out of a book I normally only follow the pattern so far and then go my own way. Well, to keep track of all of the patterns I make and all the designs I come up with I decided to put them all in a journal, and my husband lovingly obliged me and went out and bought me a graph paper composition book. And since no journal is complete without a cover, I saw an opening for my hexi project.
A few months ago I won a charm pack of some "It's a Hoot" fabric and so I thought I'd use that. I used the incompetech website to make my hexagons, and since I didn't know what size to make them I made them two inches (seems about right, right?). Well, they turned out a little bit on the large size, but that's okay, since it was a learning experience.
Cutting the fabric and basting them to the paper templates was super easy and stress-free. Since I don't like to waste fabric instead of making a bunch of full hexis and trimming them to make my rectangle, I made some half hexis. They were easy enough to do, but in the future I might just suck it up and make them all full hexis, that way I'd have more freedom about placement.
I fussy cut the one owl that I had in the charm pack. All of the other squares that should have had an owl had half an owl, or the ear of an owl... only the red and yellow colorway cut had the whole owl.
Sewing them together was easy. I've done enough hand sewing that matching lines and getting the corners tight wasn't too much of a challenge. And sewing them while the templates were still there made it that much simpler since they were nice and crisp and easy to work with.
Finding a color to make the rest of the journal was difficult. It couldn't be white, and I didn't have the right off-white. I didn't want it to be red or yellow since that would make it too bright. I finally settled on grey. I can always count on grey.
I made some triangles to fit snugly with the hexagons out of the grey and attached them, and then since my hexagons weren't quite tall enough for my journal I bordered it with some strips of the grey.
For the rest of the journal I did some simple piecework. I thought I'd give myself a chance to make a title for the journal so I left a little patch of light color on the front.
To balance the patch I made another border strip, and then to add interest to the inside cover I made a strip of patches using some of my leftover scraps, and then put enough grey on either side so that the fabric piece I had made wrapped all the way around the journal.
With right sides together and the sides lined up so that my left line of hexagons would cover the binding of the journal I sewed along the top and bottom edges, folding over the fabric on the exposed edges. The next time I do this I'll probably choose to serge the raw edges and then stitch them down, but since this journal is just for me I skipped those steps.
I then turned it right side out and pressed.
And then slipped my journal right on in there.
Viola! A completed project!
I still haven't decided yet what word to put on the cover. Create? Sew? Patterns? Ideas? Does anyone have a suggestion?