I have been under the weather since the family gathering at Easter where a couple people were sick and passed it on to me. While it's a drag having a cold it means I've been taking things easier, catching up on Outlander, and working away on my English paper piecing.
My technique has become streamlined and routine and my stitches are 100% better looking already. I have got into a groove and am able to position the hexies to minimize travel stitching, have fewer tangles, and better, more evenly spaced 16th-of-an-inch whipstitches. It's a whole lot less frustrating! My quota is one rosette a day and I work through the colours of the rainbow in order. I'm randomly selecting the fabric and so far, no duplicates. Ok, I've only done two of each colour but it feels very productive and I am starting to see results. Once I have the 7 flowers complete I remove the centre paper template and store the finished hexagon unit in a craft tote. They look so pretty!
When I sit down to sew, the first step is arranging the 'petals'. I was alternating light and dark fabrics and then taking a photo in case I got mixed up, interrupted, knocked over or bumped my arrangement. Once I was sick in bed where things are tippy and easily shifted I decided to create a mini design board just for my hexies. I used a double layer of cardboard (a little thicker than a cereal box) and glued on some batting. I taped it on the back and then used a piece of tacky shelf liner to reduce any slipping or shifting.
I made it 8"x8" - just the right size for a completed flower. It works so well and I can even stand the board up vertically without the hexies falling off. It takes me the day to stitch the 7 together because I squeeze in a seam or two here and there when I sit down. I'm always getting up, getting interrupted, and taking breaks to rest my hands so being able to keep the remaining shapes in order is a must. Necessity is the mother of invention, right!?
I'm loving my custom wee design board, my Ott light magnifier, my Aurifil thread (both the 50 wt and 80 wt - I keep the small sets in my kit to have all the colours ready!) and I'm totally smitten with English paper piecing! There truly is something great about having a portable project to chip away at and keep busy and that is something I never thought I would say. Now it feels like I'm wasting good sewing time if I'm not stitchin' when I'm sittin' and I look forward to quiet times or waiting times (or play-off games!) so I can work on another hexie flower!