Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Howdy and welcome to my stop on the TRAVEL HANDMADE tour for Sewing Summit 2012!
If you're here for the first time- WELCOME!
This past summer my family was planning a big trip. In all the prep I decided that I needed some handwork. I don't normally do a lot of handwork because I'm usually not sitting still long enough. But with two separate 11 hour car rides and several hours in the air and in airports I knew some handwork would be nice. And so I decided to start a Grandma's Flower Garden quilt.
I know everyone has a different method for doing things and I'm here to show you mine.
This is my "Travel Kit". I know lots of people make the cutest little bags- way cute ones on the tour! I'm too lazy for that. :o) Instead I picked up this see-thru bag next to all the travel sized toiletries in the store. The fact that it's see-thru is the best - nothing gets lost in it!
This little bag (roughly 7" x 5 1/2" x 1") holds all I need to get this Grandma's Flower Garden started and it cost less than $2. But first there's a bit pf prep work before you leave the house.
I started with a jelly roll (2 1/2" strips). I like this width because with the 1" hexagons found HERE there's not a lot of waste and part of the cutting is already done.
[I have cut them from yardage and scraps before but this is still my preferred method- especially if there's a particular collection I want to use]
To prep I use a kids school glue stick. I put a tiny dab (tiny!) on the back of a paper piece and press onto the wrong side of the jelly roll. This keeps the paper from sliding later on but not enough to make removing the papers a hassle. Make sure you leave enough room between each paper to trim 1/4" around the sides.
Since I'm only making 1 ring flowers I only need 6 of each 'print' (my centers are a cream fabric).
[I think you can usually get 14-16 hexies of this size from a WOF strip]

This prep work happens while watching my favorite TV show. I like to do a whole bunch at one time.
Next I trim around the remaining sides (1/4"!) and I'm ready to go.
This is all the 'pre-trip' work that I do. Once I get to this point I stack a ton of them together and put them in my kit. Let's hit the road!
Now it's time to baste. This part you can do while traveling because it's super easy. But don't go threading that needle yet!
Just recently I found a Sewline Glue Pen in my craft room. Don't ask me when I got it- I didn't even know I had it! (If you gave it to me- Thank You!) Anyway, I decided to give it a try when "basting" my hexies and it has changed my life forever.  :o)

This is what I do- I hold down one edge of the fabric and place a tiny bit of glue in the corner like shown.
Then I press over the next side and hold for a couple seconds. Really, that's all it takes.
 [Sure you could use the kids glue stick too- but the Sewline pen is thinner and easier to control so you're not getting glue all over the place. I didn't use it for the paper pieces earlier because the kids one is so much cheaper.]

Repeat for the remaining sides and your hex is basted. It takes less that a minute for each hex.
Here's why I like this method:
Aside from the tiny spot of glue on the back there's nothing holding the paper in- this makes it so easy when popping those papers out later on.
Also, it's so quick! No messing with the needle and thread. You don't have to force that needle through the paper and later on there's no clipping out the threads.
Lastly, it's water based. So once you run that quilt through the wash the glue is gone.
This is what I put in my little bag:

I carry a bobbin of thread. Less thread- less bulk.
There's a tiny fold of felt that holds 2 needles (you know, in case I loose one)
The rest is my trimmed, prepped, and finished hexies.
Less is more when traveling. At least I think so.
Some of you may be wondering how I cut my thread. During my trip I used my teeth. I know, I know- my orthodontist/dentist would kill me. I kept meaning to get a dental floss container to put the bobbin in and use the cutter but I forgot. I know there are flight approved scissors but I didn't have any. And since the airport and I don't have a good relationship already (see HERE), I didn't want to test my luck. :o)

I do have a smaller baggy that I put my prepped hexies in now. Somewhere along the way I picked this up and It's been serving me well. It's also see-thru so I always know where everything is.
I hand stitch the hexies together like everyone else. When I think of a quicker way for that- I'll be sure to tell you!

I was pretty productive on that trip. I wonder how many I can get done at SS12 ?  :o)

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned something that can make your travel projects easier and more productive.
See you soon!!!


Frog Quilter said...

Thanks for the tip. I will have to try your glue baste method.

Danih03 said...

Oh great tip! I love time savers, thanks!

Flaun of I Plead Quilty! said...

I'm the same way! I don't do hand work, normally, but with car trips over the summer, I started a 1" hexie project. Well, it's turned into my new obsession, much to my machine's detriment. Not only did I finish enough to make a pretty ogee quilt, but I've started another project, this time making diamonds from hexies. I. Can't. Stop.

Erin Marie said...

When I couldn't find my scissors, I grabbed a pair of nail clippers to cut my thread with. I should buy a new pair cuz the ones I had were pretty dull.

Yvonne said...

Those are cute. I have made about 54 of these ones. I wonder what you are going to make with it. Mine are still waiting for that great idea what to make of them.

ritainalaska said...

i've half my hexies basted for a piece ... basted with needle and thread. i'm going to do the other half with my glue pen! thanx! do appreciate the tute; had read about using glue, but it seemed to be messy! not your way!

Teri said...

Love the glue idea. I am off to find it and try your method. Hexis are my new obsession and tearing out those basting stitches wears me out!

Lindsey said...

found this on pinterest, and I have to say the glue pen basting is genius! I've been doing the glue stick for sticking the paper to the fabric for awhile (I tried it out when I was doing hexies out of a charm pack). I need to go search for this glue pen. Thanks!

Heidi Grohs said...

I have just fell in love with hexies and someone linked me your blogpost. Everyone is trying to help me out ;D!

I wanted to let you know...scissors that have blades less than 4 inches are good to go. I have been traveling with my small embroidery scissors since about a year after 9/11. I traveled immediately after 9/11 and had my clippers taken away. But since then, I pull up the TSA website, they don't argue. It is my cross stitch frame that always stumps them. I think the screws that stick out when it is in pieces are worrisome for them!

A friend of mine posted the glue stick tip today also...but we both were wondering if you can still pop the templates out easier? Just curious!

Unknown said...

Love your suggestions! Here are two more: When using the children's glue sticks (I use Elmer's glue) make sure it's the washable kind! I use it whenever I do "needle-turn" applique and it washes right out! Another tip I read somewhere is to put a hole in the center of the paper with a hole punch before using it - then when it's time to take the papers you stick a crochet hook or something similar into the hole and pull the paper right out! I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like a great idea to me! :)

nhlady said...

I am a "hexie" lover too.

Thanks for the tip on the glue. I may have to try it one of these days.

Love your blog!!

Dawn said...

love your blog! Am a fan of hexies too and am eager to try your glue pen tip.

Tsoniki said...

I just got a sewline glue pen, do you just put a dab on the corner? Just on the fabric right? Not the paper. I am currently basting mine, which really isn't a big hassle. I guess. LOL

Unknown said...

I have done a block of My Grandmother's Flower Garden, but I don't know if I could do a whole quilt. It looks really good. Your glue tip might help.

Natalia from Piece N Quilt said...

I love the glue idea, it makes me kinda consider hexies! :)

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Jaci Emerson said...

Thanks for all the great ideas! I also have a tip for you - Sewline also has an awesome needle threader that stores needles and has a thread cutter right on it. That way you can keep your dentist happy, and not have to worry about trying to thread a needle on a bumpy road.

Becky said...

Cool! Hexies seem so time-consuming and fussy but now that I've read this post, I am relieved to know there is a simple way. Thanks so much.

Cloudy Stitches said...

I found you site looking at your patterns Thankyou

Cloudy Stitches said...

I found you site looking at your patterns Thankyou

Anonymous said...

Hi, love the glue idea. I'm new to the hex fever so just starting. I'm using a 1 inch card stock template and I have 2 1/2 inch squares. Do I need to cut the fabric into hex shape or using it as a square ok?

Angeliasue said...

I enjoyed your blog very much. I usually put glue around all the edges of my paper. If I understand it correctly, I would think my fabric would not hold that well all around the edges. Is that a problem? Or am I misunderstanding where you put the glue. Surely would save glue & time to only do the corners. I do many hexies so I use a lot of glue. I have found the Quilters Select glue pen to be less sticky to my fingers when I get it on them so I plan to use only that in th future. Happy hexing & thanks.