making

Garden of Patience

Many years ago, I discovered English Paper Piecing. Very quickly I fell down a rabbit hole that would lead me to spending hours upon hours, cutting out fabric, carefully basting it to cardboard shapes & then painstakingly sewing them together again…by hand. I started with the quite respectable size of one inch hexagons and began to make myself a scrappy hexagon quilt (a project that is still ‘in the making’). Then I discovered something even more amazing. Mum and I made our usual yearly pilgrimage to the Sydney Quilt and Craft show. Here amongst the rows of quilts on display I came across a small wall hanging quilt that was created with quarter inch hexagons. I was immediately struck by it, so much so that it’s hard to describe just how in awe I was. I was amazed someone could sew such tiny hexies together, or that they even had a desire to work in such a small scale. Something about that quilt stuck in my mind and not long after I came across a packet of quarter inch hexagons in a local quilt shop. Quickly, I found myself purchasing them and thus began my foray in to the wonderful world of Miniature English Paper Piecing.

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Garden of Patience Issue One

I set about making hexie flowers. The first couple of times basting the shapes was tricky, but I quickly discovered a method that worked for me. I have tweaked my paper piecing methods over the many years I’ve been doing this style of patchwork. When I first started I used to tack through the paper and fabric, whereas now I baste through the fabric only. My method of folding and adding basting stitches has changed, and I’m always adjusting what seam allowance to cut based on which type of shape I’m using and the size.

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Garden of Patience Issue One

Once I had amassed a collection of hexie flowers I began piecing them together. I didn’t have a clear idea in my mind what size quilt I was making, I just kept making flowers and adding them in. Eventually I started to square the quilt up and decided I wanted to make it roughly A3 size to fit in an Ikea Ribba Frame. Once finished my first quarter inch hexie Miniature Quilt was made up from a total of 1,004 hexagons, with 129 flowers. I didn’t record the hours I spent making it, but it was many! I decided to name it Garden of Patience, very apt don’t you think?

I felt a great sense of accomplishment at the completion of my first Miniature EPP Quilt. It was a true labour of love. I discovered my passion in craft and making lied in hand sewing. The slow stitching nature of it soothes my soul and clears my mind.

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Garden of Patience Issue One

Not long after finishing it, a friend invited me to show my quilt at her stall at the annual Springwood Quilt Show. I happily accepted and helped man her stall over a couple of days, marvelling in the incredulous looks of people when they came to look at my quilt. I got a lot of comments like “How’s your eyesight” or “You’ll go blind doing that” and “you’ve got too much time on your hands”. I was ‘crazy’ and ‘insane’ apparently for hand stitching something so tiny. One thing that was true of the comments from viewers was that yes, I did have a lot of patience. Comments like these don’t offend me. I’m always proud of my work and what I can create on such a small scale. I always tell people that sewing quarter inch hexies is no different to sewing one-inch hexies, I use the same small whip stitches, just less of them and the pieces are just smaller to hold between your fingers.

After unveiling my Garden of Patience Miniature quilt, I received a call from a lovely local lady who commissioned me to make her a version, and so I completed my second Garden of Patience, Issue Two. This time I did record the time it took me to create, 186.5 hours! I added more hexagons and hexie flowers to this one so that when framed the pieced quilt extends a little under the mounting board so that no backing fabric can be seen.

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Garden of Patience Issue Two

I don’t really remember when I started Garden of Patience Issue Three and Four. I know I completed my Four Seasonal Garden Miniature Quilts first. Again, I started out by making flowers. I knew I wanted two different colour palettes, one in fresh pastel spring tones, and one in more muted tones. I dropped in and out of working on these two issues. By the time I had started them I had begun experimenting with other shapes in miniature size, diamonds, triangles and squares. I had also started making my Miniature EPP Hoop Wall Hangings, my core design of these being my Hexie Hearts.

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Garden of Patience Issue Three
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Garden of Patience Issue Three

Garden of Patience Issue Three was finished sometime last year…or possibly even the year before. I didn’t record my time for this version, but estimate it to be around 180-190 hours. The hexagon count is a bit less than Issue Two, 1035 total hexagons and 130 hexagon flowers. This time allocation doesn’t include appliqueing the finished piece on to backing cloth for framing as I haven’t done that yet. Garden of Patience Issue Four was finished this year in April. It has the same hexagon count as Issue Three, and I would guess time to create it would be around the same also.

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Garden of Patience Issue Four
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Garden of Patience Issue Four

Will there be an Issue Five? Well maybe, if someone wanted to commission me to make one, I might consider it. I feel I am done with this particular Miniature Quilt though. Hexagons are such a versatile shape when it comes to creating patterns and designs. I have so many ideas bouncing around my head and I think I’d like to realise them in Miniature Quilts.

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Until next time, don’t fear the humble quarter inch hexagon, it is worth the effort, and needle pricks!

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela x

Garden of Patience Issue Three and Four are for sale. I can sell them framed or unframed, so if your interested in one of these Miniature Quilt Artworks (as I feel they should be referred to), please feel free to contact me.

lifestyle, making

March Reflections

Hello Lovelies. So, I’m more than a little late with my monthly review post for March. I don’t really have a good excuse for my tardiness to be honest. I can’t say I’ve been too busy to blog, that’s certainly not the case. I think every time I thought to myself ‘I must write a blog post’ I just didn’t really feel like it. I don’t want maintaining this blog to feel like a chore, so I waited until the time felt right. That time is on my lunchbreak at work while I struggle with a nasty cold.

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March was the month for chocolate thanks to Easter. I am happy to say that my Mini Egg jar is full to the brim & I should have no trouble making it last until next Easter. How? I hear you ask. Well It’s stashed away in my studio where no-one else can find it & I only raid it when I’m working in there, which I’m sad to say isn’t as often as I’d like.

For Easter we went camping over the long weekend with our friends. We went to Windeyer which is out in the middle of no-where, about 30 minutes from Mudgee (NSW West Country). We went there last year as well. We had a great time, Matilda in particular had an absolute ball, running around & playing outside with the other kids. Unfortunately, she was sick with a nasty cold (the one I seem to now have) so the first night was a bit rough & we were just about ready to pack our bags & head home the next day. Fortunately though, she settled in to camping life & for the rest of the time she went to bed at night & slept right through to the morning with no problem.

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On the road to Windeyer

It was a wonderfully relaxing time, sitting around the camp fire, having a yarn (of the verbal kind). We had an Easter Egg hunt Sunday Morning. Tilly was mildly more interested than last year (she couldn’t actually walk last year which made it difficult). This year she picked up the few eggs outside our tent & then spent the rest of the hunting time re-arranging her rather small loot! Still she was happy, & truth be told being so young she doesn’t need the copious amounts of chocolate to survive like her Mother does!

I did take some crochet with me, as well as a couple of books & magazines to read but I really didn’t get much of a chance to do any hooking or reading. Most of the time I just chilled out, watched Matilda, ran after Matilda when she decided to go exploring, & played with Matilda & the kids.

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Much of the month of March I concentrated on my new branding & business plan for Miss Leela. I have put a lot of time in to getting my branding identity right & also making decisions on what I want my business to be & where I want to go with it. I’m really happy with the changes I’m going to make.

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I have been keeping up with my Bullet Journal – mostly. I have added a few new pages to track my blog posting & podcasting as well as To-Do lists for my business. I am still enjoying it & like to flick back & see what I have & haven’t yet accomplished this year.

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Making time has seen me concentrate mostly on sewing. I made a fair bit of progress on my Flowers Floor Quilt, but I have put it away for a little bit now.

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I pulled out another unfinished project, the 4th Edition of my Garden of Patience Mini Quilt, made from ¼” hexies & all paper pieced. At the time of writing this I am nearly finished, just working on the last corner. I will do a whole post dedicated to this shortly.

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I have been doing a bit of crochet lately. I started making Tilly an Amigurumi lamb for her Birthday in May & I have been working on a crochet ripple pram blanket for my Best Friends new Baby. I’m at panic stations a bit with that as she is due next week & it is still nowhere near bigger enough!

Speaking of my Best Friend, she had her baby shower at the start of the month & so I busied myself making some decorations. I made lots of lovely long paper garlands made from moon & star shapes in the colour scheme of her nursery. I almost thought I wasn’t going to make it to the shower as Tilly was sick with a Gastro Bug the day before. I planned to just go & set up all the decorations & flowers, but Tilly woke up perfectly fine & dandy & so I stayed for the whole shower making sure to not breath directly on anyone & risk passing the bug on (a bug I got exactly a week after Tilly, & then my husband got exactly a week after me).

For Rachael’s present I had my mum make a crochet cardigan out of yarn that I dyed. I also crocheted her a pear rattle toy & a Bunny Buddy toy.

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Much of March was spent going through my stash & chucking heaps out for my De-Stash sale, which I wrote a detailed post about here. I’m still feeling good about what I’ve managed to cull out. I shall be taking my de-stash stuff to the Glenbrook Rotary Markets Saturday 21st April, as well as my handmade items. This will be my last Market Stall for a while.

Well that’s pretty much all that March had install for me. A busy month of planning, looking ahead to the future & de-cluttering. I feel refreshed & ready to dive in full steam for the rest of the year.

Happy Making,

Miss Leela xo

Tutorials, Uncategorized

English Paper Piecing Tutorial #1

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Hello There!

Just popped by to let you know I filmed my first in a series of Tutorials about English Paper Piecing. Tutorial #1 is all about Basting & Sewing Quarter Inch Hexies. You can view the Tutorial on my YouTube Channel here!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela x