Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful festive period and I wish you all health and happiness for the coming year ahead. What better way to start the year than with a new project! I've been thinking for a long time about making a quarter inch hexagon wall hanging and I decided over Christmas that it was now or never. If I don't start it this year, I never will. So I set to work gathering scraps and basting my tiny hexies ready to start. If you are anything like me, you like to know the details behind projects so I thought I'd share with you why I want to make this quilt, my inspiration and my method, just in case you'd like to join me with your own quarter inch hexie project. I know quarter inch hexies aren't for everyone but already one lovely person has asked to join me and I'd love it if more people would like to join in too.
I've wanted to make a large piece from tiny quarter inch hexagons ever since I saw Miss Leela's Wedding Medallion Quilt. Please click the link and check it out as it is amazing! I've also compiled a Pinterest board with some ideas and inspiration from other quarter inch projects I've seen. I don't know the layout of my piece yet but I will use these designs as a guide to get me started.
There's a little bit more to making this piece than just wanting to though. Firstly, it will be predominantly made from scrap fabric. I am conscious of the effect the textile industry has on the environment and I strongly believe in making sure the fabrics we do buy are carefully considered purchases and are not wasted in any way. So this project will use floral fabric scraps left over from my other sewing projects in addition to some solid coloured fabrics that I have purchased specifically for this piece. As I am making quarter inch hexagons, even the tiniest of pieces can be used so this is a great way to use up scraps.
Sewing has always been a sort of therapy for me. It allows my mind to be calm and the rhythm of stitching helps me to relax and reduces my stress levels. I've recently struggled again with low mood and feelings of anxiety and worry. I want this project to be the one that I turn to to help me through those feelings and to provide relief from them. Nature has always had a positive effect on my well being and so I plan to fussy cut tiny flowers for many of the hexagons. I know that seeing these tiny blossoms will lift my spirits and will also remind me to focus on the small things in life that can bring us joy. I hope that by thinking in this way, I can feel better. Only time will tell but I will be sure to let you know how it goes and if it does work.
Staying true to myself, I will be making this quilt up as I go along, it seems to be the way I do everything these days! I will be using Hexiform shapes from Ashmead Designs and I'm buying them bit by bit as I think I will need 1000s! I love the Hexiform because you don't need to remove it at the end as you do with papers. It acts as a layer of wadding/batting and it gives a lovely structure to the piece.
I'm using Superior Threads Bottom Line Thread in colour 623 because it blends really well with most colours of fabric. As it's polyester, it is really strong and I need to use a strong thread as I've decide to sew the hexagons together using a ladder stitch rather than the usual whip stitch. When working with such small hexagons, I was finding that my stitches looked really big when I whip stitched, no matter what thread or needle I used. Ladder stitch definitely takes me longer than whip stitching at the moment, and it feels like I'm learning from the beginning all over again. But hopefully I will find my rhythm with it and when I do, I will post some video tutorials on Instagram just in case there's anybody who would like to see.
I don't really have a name for this project yet, but I'm sure one will come to me in time. For now I'm calling it the tiny hexie project! I'm hoping I can spend about 45 minutes a day on it most days and if you want to follow my progress, I will probably show where I'm up to once a week on Instagram.
If you fancy joining me with your own quarter inch hexie project or similar, let me know! It will be fun to stitch along together.
I feel like May was a super busy month but I didn't achieve half of what I wanted to do! I always find it useful to go back over what I have done and to plan for the month ahead. I didn't manage to write up the patterns and tutorials that I wanted to do, but that's ok, there's always this month for that.
I did make a few gifts and they were well received which is always so lovely.
Attending the bunny making workshop by Katy Livings at Needle and Thread Workshops was definitely the highlight of the month for me! I loved every minute of it, it was so special.
I'm up to date with my Sew and Quilt block of the month which is great, looking forward to the next box now.
I started a log cabin quilt and I still have a lot left to do on that project so I'm hoping I can do some more this month, as well as a little tutorial on this blog.
June is going to be the month that I try to learn a new sewing technique! I've signed up to the Summer Book Club QAL and that involves foundation paper piecing. I'm really excited to try this technique because it looks like magic to me! I just hope I can do it because it is quite complicated! The QAL involves making book blocks and they are so fun! I'm going to turn them into something special for my son. I will try to document this journey of learning a new technique here and I will share any tips I come across.
On top of all of that, I really want to make some t-shirts for my little boy this month. I have lots of fabric that I need to use up before he grows too big!
What are your sewing plans for June? I'd love to know so please let me know in the comments. Happy sewing!
Do you use Pinterest? I've been really getting into Pinterest lately and I'm finding it such an inspiring place. I have a lot of different boards over there, ranging from quilt inspiration to home decor, English Paper Piecing to making things for children. I fill my boards with images that I love, as well as images of things I've created. I'd love it if you would like to check out my boards, you can find me here. I spoke in my last post about how I think my style is vintage with a modern twist so here are some images that I think really sum that up.
I love brightly coloured patchwork quilts against a neutral backdrop. I think it's the white walls that give this image a modern twist.
The room below looks so cosy.
I love vintage china too!
Do you have a Pinterest account? Let me know in the comments and I will be sure to check yours out too.
I've changed the name of my website from Rose Petal Patterns to Vintage Sewing Box and I just wanted to take a little moment to explain why. When I started Rose Petal Patterns, I set up a separate Instagram account and kept my personal one (vintage sewing box) going at the same time. The idea was that I would just show my own patterns, designs and tutorials on Rose Petal Patterns and save Vintage Sewing Box for other makes not designed by me. It soon became difficult for me to keep up with posting to two accounts regularly and something had to give. So I stopped posting to Rose Petal Patterns and decided to just show everything on my personal account.
Recently there's been a bit of confusion about my two names, so I made the difficult decision to change my website. This also led me to rethink what I want to do with my website. I've decided I want to continue writing my blog as I really enjoy it. I also want to continue with tutorials because I love creating those. I want to develop more video tutorials as well as written/photographic ones and I definitely want to develop more free patterns.
It feels scary changing my name here, I've worked hard on my website and I could see that I was getting lots of regular visitors which is so lovely. Even though my name has changed, not much else will actually change! So I hope you will all still pop over here to see what is going on!
Vintage Sewing Box is a name that describes me really. I have a love of old, vintage, sewing treasures and I love how sewing connects me to the past. However, I am also really passionate about giving vintage style a modern twist to bring sewing into the 21st century and to get the younger generations into it. I think it's such a great hobby, I really want to inspire everybody to pick up a needle and thread! So moving forward, I think you will see more of me and my style over here, and I hope you enjoy what I make.
Thank you for reading this, it really does mean a lot to me.
Well April has flown by, where did it go? I can't believe it is the first of May today! But I'm really excited to see what May brings because I have some lovely things planned.
So I managed to stick to my plans mostly and I actually made quite a few things. I made my vintage baby quilt and blogged about it, and I included a step by step tutorial for how to make it. I love doing tutorials and I hope to do more in the future. It was gifted to a lovely little person for her first birthday and I hope she enjoys playing with it for years to come.
I took part in a few 'Sew Alongs' on Instagram this month and I loved it! There are so many fun challenges to get involved with, I wish I could do them all. I chose to take part in the Sunny Day Supply log cabin sew along and I made a log cabin block using all kinds of fun prints from my stash. I turned it into a little pouch and I'm using it to store my rotary cutter and rulers.
I also took part in the Trixie sew along, hosted by Kate Webber designs and I made another log cabin block using lovely Trixie fabric by Heather Ross. I turned this one into a cushion cover and I think it looks really sweet. As well as the cushion cover, I also made another pouch using Trixie fabric, but I made it using Hexiform EPP shapes which give it a squishy feel and mean you don't need to include wadding! I love this little pouch and I'm currently using it to carry small EPP projects around with me.
My favourite make of this month was this little bunny bag. I made it for my son for Easter and I filled it with chocolate bunnies. The pattern is by Minki Kim and is a free tutorial. I embroidered it with a Peter Rabbit inspired design. I embroidered it freehand, but I've had a request to turn it into a pattern. I'm hoping to get round to that soon and it will be available for free on my website.
I made a small amount of progress on my liberty quilt and didn't manage to write up a recipe for it as planned, but I will aim to do that this month too. I got up to date with my Sew and Quilt BOM and I'm so happy with how it is looking.
The final thing I started was a scrappy project involving tiny hexies. I don't know what this will become but I'm going to keep making hexie flowers out of my scraps and see where it takes me.
I share what I'm making most days on Instagram, I'm @vintagesewingbox over there if you'd like to see.
I'm so excited about May, mainly because on Saturday 4th I am going to a workshop at Needle and Thread Workshops. It is a workshop with Katy Livings who I have admired for such a long time. I'm so excited about this! I will of course share lots of details about the day over on Instagram and here on the blog too.
Other May plans include a log cabin quilt and I have a few gifts to make too.
What are your plans for May?
I feel like March was a bit slow on the making front as I had two weeks of basically making nothing due to feeling low because of my Gran passing away. When I feel this way, it is impossible for me to be creative, I need to feel happy and positive to produce happy and cheerful makes. But I thought I'd do a little round up of what I did make and set out some plans for April.
Above you can see the Dilly Flowers pattern that I was kindly gifted by Elise and Emelie on Instagram. If you follow me on Instagram (I'm more active on Instagram as @vintagesewingbox) you will see I turned them into a little pouch which I gave to my mum for Mother's Day.
I also finished the little outfit for the Maileg bunny and embroidered a little bunny onto the skirt. I think this added a sweet touch, I love little details.
I also made the tent I showed in my last post, which is proving to be a very popular toy with my two year old.
As well as these gifts, I started working on my own English Paper Piecing pattern. I've been wanting to create a rose motif out of epp for a long time so I started playing around with ideas and this is what I created.
I settled on the last design and I've changed my mind many times over what it is going to become. So I've set it aside and I'm sure I will pick it back up soon. As well as my own designs, I worked on my Sew and Quilt block of the month but it isn't finished. I'm not in a rush to complete each month on time, I'm enjoying working on it slowly.
I also worked some more on my large hexagon Liberty quilt, and bought some matching trainers accidentally on purpose!
So, my plans for April and quite ambitious as usual! I'd like to make a small quilt as a present for a lovely little person and I'd like to do a step by step tutorial on here so that if anyone wants to create the same quilt you can. I have a simple but fun design in mind and it will be perfect for beginners. I'd also like to make some more zip pouches/purses and other smaller makes. Also on my agenda for this month is to progress further on my large hexagon liberty fabric quilt and I'd like to have all of the maths worked out and a detailed explanation on here as I've been receiving questions from people who would like to make one too, which is so lovely and exciting! So I think April will be a busy month! There's also my Sew and Quilt block of the month to fit in! Happy sewing!
After a little break from Rose Petal Patterns, I'm so excited to be back working on this project and I'm really looking forward to what the new year brings. Somehow the start of a new year is like a mental reset, we tell ourselves that this is our opportunity to begin again, start something different or set ourselves goals. I am not giving myself any resolutions as such, but I have decided that my mission for this year is to reach more people with the message that sewing is good for you! I want to inspire people to either pick up a needle and thread for the first time, start a new type of sewing project if you are already a sewist, or just to make more time for sewing. I truly believe that creating with our hands has a positive impact on our wellbeing, I know I can feel the difference it makes to me. So I want to spread this message far and wide!
So what is it that is holding people back from taking up a creative hobby such as sewing?
1. Sewing is expensive. False! Like any hobby, you can invest as little or as much money as you want into buying tools and materials. But the truth is, you can take up sewing with some fabric scraps (you could reuse old clothing or sheets) and some embroidery threads which are inexpensive. If you wanted to take it further and buy a sewing machine, entry level machines begin at around £80 which isn't cheap but second hand machines are readily available on Ebay and you might even be able to pick up a really inexpensive machine from your local charity shop.
2. I have to be creative and artistic to take up sewing. Wrong! You don't need to be able to design your own projects or dream up your own patterns. There are so many resources available either on the internet or in books that will inspire you and I think the best place to start is with buying a kit that contains everything you need from instructions to materials. I love making other people's kits even though I design my own now. It's relaxing and satisfying knowing you have everything you need to create the item you want. And you never know, learning to sew in this way may well spark some creativity in you to one day create your own designs.
3. I don't have enough time to sew. Yes you do! Sewing, in particular hand sewing, is extremely portable so you can take it anywhere. Why not do a few stitches on your lunch break or in the car whilst waiting to pick up your children? It's a great activity to do whilst watching TV or listening to audio books, podcasts, music or the radio and you will feel a sense of achievement because you will have accomplished something rather than just passively spending the time. I guarantee that it won't take long before you become addicted to sewing and it becomes part of daily life.
So I've touched on just a few reasons to take up sewing this year, or to fit more into your life. So why not give it a go? Take up the challenge and see if it has an impact on your stress levels and wellbeing, my guess is it will be a positive experience that you will want to continue with.
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing, especially EPP. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to! All opinions are my own and I only share things that I think you will love. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.