Friday, June 2, 2017

Hexie Care Package

What do you call a project that interrupts a project that interrupts a project? I guess most quilters would call that typical sewing. But it does have me rattled. I kind of like to work on one project at a time--or at least one type of project. I might have a long-term one on the side (such as hand quilting), but I'm usually most comfortable working on a project until it's done. Until this year. I blame Sandra at mmm! quilts for her DrEAMi (Drop Everything and Make it) linky parties because for some reason, I keep interrupting myself to make something else. 

It happened again this week. I was working on a project that was already a "squirrel" (I'll share that one another day) and then I read on Instagram (madebychrissied) that the Manchester Quilting Bee is collecting blocks to make quilts for the families of victims of one of the most recent terrorist attacks. They are collecting 6 1/2 inch blocks with hexagons appliqued to them. You can read more about the project at the above Instagram account or at Manchester Quilting Bee (either on Instagram or Facebook). There is a template for the hexies as well as instructions for how to make and send them. The timeline is tight, but the project is easy. The hexie shape refers to the worker bee, the symbol of Manchester and now a powerful symbol of their unity in the face of this tragedy. 

I just had to stop my current project and make a couple of blocks. In past blog posts, I've talked about my need to contribute to these kinds of quilts, so you know how I feel about them and the way our quilting community all across the planet gathers in support of those who are suffering great losses. 

I had some honeycomb fabric as well as a piece of floral fabric with a bee-like creature on it. Because the two fabrics were of pretty much the same value, I used a dark turquoise as a background for better contrast, and pretty much improv-pieced the hexie. 
I could have pressed that better!!
Then, on a shopping trip I saw some fabric with bees on it. Actually, there is a lot of fabric out there right now with bees! I just hadn't been paying attention before. I used that with a bit of a black print from my stash for the other block.

Because of the overwhelming amount of work to make these quilts (there are 99 blocks in each!) the Manchester Quilt Guild has asked block makers to stitch their blocks together to help ease the task a bit, so before popping these in the mail I sewed a quick seam.

There are various collection sites for the blocks to make getting them to Manchester more efficient for people who live in other countries. You can read about that on the sites noted above if you are interested in making a block or more.

That kind of sewing, although unwanted, helped me focus my attention on events in our world and on how we are all connected. We must care for each other. My contribution is small, but I hope that the thoughts and prayers that went into it were significant. 

Now it will be time for me to clean up my multi-project mess and get back to other sewing. Here's what the banquet table set up in my living room for my current projects looks like today. No more room to do anything! 

And the chairs. Oh, they are for sitting on? Not for this quilter.

I'll clean this up tomorrow. Meanwhile, I have some happy mail to share with you. 

Mari, at The Academic Quilter recently wrote a blog post (well, lots of them, actually) about her organization of her sewing space. The post that really struck a chord with me was about storing fabric. She showed how pretty her fabrics were wrapped around comic book boards to keep them neat and lined up on a shelf. In response to a comment I made, she sent me some of the boards to help me jumpstart improvement in my own fabric storage. And she included a yard of fabric folded around one of the boards to demonstrate how it fits. Isn't that sweet?! The fabric matches a fat quarter bundle I've been saving for my next project (after I finish the current WIPs, of course).

My fabric collection is kind of different from that of a lot of quilters. I usually buy barely enough yardage to complete a project so most of my fabric is what many other people think of as scraps. I do have storage bins for my tiniest scraps, and that works well, but the rest of my fabric is odd sizes, many around an eighth to a quarter yard. I keep them in six drawers of an old dresser, stored on edge so I can see them. The problem is that after awhile they get pretty messy from my pawing around to get something and jamming them back in and then I start having problems opening and closing the drawers and this happens:
Three of the drawers: red/orange, yellow/multi, and blue
My idea is to pull out the few pieces that are large enough to wrap on a comic book board and store those on a shelf and then cut boards in half to wrap the smaller pieces of fabric and store them on edge in the drawers. I'm excited to give this a try. I will post pictures. There. I've said it, so now I'm accountable for following through. This will take awhile, and that's okay. Mari said so. So this gift from Mari is much more than comic book boards and a yard of fabric--it's the gift of organization. Isn't that neat??!

Okay, time to relax and catch up on correspondence. Whenever I get in the sewing zone I get so behind on responding to comments and looking at what everyone else is working on. 
I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday. I'm also linking up with mmm! quilts for DrEAMi even though technically this is a June finish instead of a May finish. By the end of June it will be past the timeline for the blocks for Manchester--and thus, old news for anyone who reads this and might want to take part. While you are at Sandra's site, be sure to check out the awesome caring quilt she made. And there are more pictures of it in her more recent post. 

Have a lovely weekend. Keep quilting. And keep caring. 


  1. What a lovely gesture. You are so kind hearted! Wish I'd heard of this campaign a little earlier. Enjoy your weekend! XO

  2. Your hexies are so cute! You have a generous heart, and I enjoy reading about your donations to these good causes. I think its important for each of us to answer with action when a cause moves us. You're so right: the quilting community is at its best when we come together to comfort others.

  3. I hadn't seen the Manchester campaign - thanks for pointing it out!

  4. Got to love when our squirrels get squirreled by another squirrel :) It's awesome that you were able to take a break and help contribute to the block drive. I love how our quilting community is full of love and willingness to help. And hold up a minute...chairs are for setting?? I thought they where mini tables that scoot under the big table. Maybe that's why my family is always cranky.

  5. We recently lost our small chain bookstore due to closing. It was my outlet for comic boards. I have not found another source. Yet....but they work wonderfully well. I'm off to check out the Hexie block project.

  6. What beautiful hexies! I love your fabric choices.
    Chairs? Of course they are for fabric (and my kitties!)
    Yay on the gifted boards and pretty fabric! :)

  7. I love the bumblebee fabric Janine. The blocks are so sweet.
    You are always involved with these quilting acts of kindness. Speaking of acts of kindness, how great of Mari to send the boards and fabric to you. :-)