Thursday, June 11, 2015

Progress -- 1" at a time

I have been working this week at assembling the units of this reproduction of an antique mosaic quilt that was exhibited in a local quilt show about 15 years ago.  I've been piecing the rosettes over the past year and for several months, they've been hogging the work wall.
 I finally got all the ivory background hexagons stitched in place.  I've used partial hexagons to fill in the outer edges so borders can be attached easily.
 The time arrived to do some pressing.  I find it easier to manage y-seams if I don't press them until a section is complete so there is lots of pressing to be done at this point.
  So far I've only pressed the large center star motif.
It's not difficult, just tedious.  I started at the center and worked my way out into each point swirling the intersecting seams in opposite directions. 
After a bit I found a rhythm to it and it's laying quite flat.
I'll press the other sections as they are joined to the center.
And because I chain-piece through all my set-in seams, there are no long messy threads!!
This is a section of my piecing chart which I created in Electric Quilt from several photographs of the original quilt.  The colored pencil lines are my guide for where to add the background hexagons to create manageable sections for the final assembly.  I learned that trick from Karen over at Faeries & Fibres -- she maps out all her hexagon mosaic quilts.
I'm going to start by adding the large rosette on the right side to the center star.  I'm working on the machine, so it's 1" at a time.  I joined the center hexagons to each other first.
Then I stitched the two at each end of the section together. 
This gives me more control and keeps the work from feeling like I'm tangling with an octopus.  The pins mark the first three seams I stitched.
Once the units are anchored together, I go back and do the rest of the seams.  I align the edges of the hexagons, slide a pin into place parallel to the seam, and use the chain-piecing technique to stitch the seam. 
My "leaders and enders" this afternoon were the next six hexagon units for the sixth rosette of Katje's Millefiore Quilt Along.  All straight seams in these hexagons -- no y-seams.
I did some rough math for this quilt -- I think there are 1091 hexagons.  I don't usually count pieces but I was contemplating how many 1" long seams I might have stitched -- think it will be at least 3300 if my math is correct.
The weekend plan is to weed when it's not raining and stitch hexagons together when it is raining.
What's your weekend plan?
Mary Huey


  1. Wow - your quilt is a real beauty! I love the look of hexagons on a design wall - it makes my fingers itch to sew! Thanks for the shout out!

    1. "itch to sew"?? I don't think Karen H's fingers are ever not itching!!

  2. This is going to be so wonderful, like an antique quilt! Mine did not progress since last year!

    1. Thanks, Christine! It's been in progress for over a year -- hope you'll come back to your's!!

  3. Wow, are you busy! I can see how knowing the secrets of chain piecing really makes this project doable. I'm impressed. So another project, too? I'll have to check that group out, and might even jump in with you. Thanks for sharing on the Pet Project Show today.

    Julie @ Pink Doxies

    1. Someday, I'll work on one project at a time, Julie? Naaahhhh!! (-"

  4. The pressing frightens me more than the sewing. How to hold so many small seams and intersections flat without scorching fingers!?

    1. Don't press with steam for sure!! Once I got the center done, it's moves along easier than I expected.