The challenge of EPP hexagons

Sunday, August 7, 2011

| | |
Reading Mark Lepinski's blog about various aspects of creativity from his point of view, is actually kind of mind boggling and ofter very challenging. That is - in a good kind of way :-)

And that is how I find working with English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexagons. Well not to cut and cover them, not even to sew them together -  that is easy peasy - whip-stitch-whip-stitch - just like when Sid tried to teach Diego how to swim in Ice Age - paw-kick-paw-kick LOL.

So there you are with 500 fabric hexagons and you sort them after color and after the first experiment where I sewed them on to each other circle wise. Well it did turn out quite ok (see earlier post), but I was still left with umpteenth hexis. So this time I put them together the traditional way, one in the middle and six "petals" and ended up with this:
Kind of hard to try to mach these babies - huh? So the Virgo me and The Grim Ripper got to work and ended up with this:
A pile of hexagons.....Tried to match make 'em better this time, tried to keep to a color theme for each flower instead of going "the more the merrier", laid them out on the table and made little piles - one for each "flower". Found out that it was kind of hard to get these piles not to topple over and keep the hexis in the right assembly order. Then I came up with this so simple idea (in facts it's so simple that I'm pretty sure someone else already done it).
Take ordinary steel pins with flat tops:
stack your stack and push a pin right through the middle. I laid the center hex at top and pushed the needle from the bottom of the pile:
and the little pile "sits" on the flat top :-)

So you sew them all together one more time:
and you get a new nice little stack of flowers.

And it's here where it starts to get tricky for me. I have been quilting for 4 years now and enjoyed most of it and most of the stuff I'm quite proud of, either because I think they look good, or as with the assignment pieces - that I pulled them of instead of crying and giving up.
I am (in mine and others) opinion at my best when it comes to put colors and patterns together, the actual quilting is not my forte, specialty not FMQ....vojjne.

I've done a lot of stuff over the years and even if things hasn't looked good to start with, they in some mysterious way came together in the end. But now I am stumped, I have my pile of flowers and for the life of me can't come up with a working solution on how to marry them the best way. The problem might lay in the fact that I used four different fabrics in each flower, but using only two seemed so ....frugal?

I read somewhere that EPP is a year or more so project and I believe them. Oh yeah, I do believe them.
I put up the sorry excuse for a design wall that I have (The DH promised me he will do a more proper one for me) and started to play around.
This time I tried to pin them up in a sort of color order, otherwise it looked very very muddily.
I realize two things - I have no clue on the this project will be when it has grew up ;-9 or - I didn't plan any color scheme  before I started. I just cut through my stash of scraps and some jelly strips, using whatever stroke my fancy and in the end I had to cut into some of my FQs to get the colors even out.

Now the big question is - do I leave them as they are in the picture and try in some way to work on filling the gaps? In my mind I can't see myself making a large piece with 1 inch hexagons, but who knows? Is there a way to make each color to stand out better? Or do I just start over again?

The biggest issue for me with this kind of sewing is I simply can't figure out how you plan the color and audition the fabrics to start with due to the size and - the shape of the hexagons. And it really galls me, I use to be able to figure patterns out, I mean - I did a Double Wedding Ring quilt that came out rather nicely after all :-D so why can't I solve this???

I think I go downstairs and cut up the browny, fudgey cake I baked yesteray. And I even might splurge on a tiny bit or two LOL.


Melody said...

Wolfie, I can't believe you were patient enough to take those apart and put them together again. What about putting a border of hexagons of some other color between the flowers. Maybe black or a tan or white. I've made several pincushions with them and a wall hanging but I'm with you - I can't imagine making a whole bed quilt. How about another pair of your fabulous pillows?

Wolfie said...

Melody - normal people would have chucked the whole thing into the waste basket and I admit - I did consider it - it's only tiny bits of fabrics - right? But then again, I just couldn't do it ;-)

The border etween the hexagons is a great idea, so of I go to IKEA after work, they have a sale on solid black and white fabrics. Probably not top notch quilt quality, but good enough to experiment with. Haha, I very doubt I'm ever going to make anything larger than pillows in this technique.