However, the brother's impending heart surgery put a whole new slant on this, and I decided that having something to do with my hands while waiting for the surgery to be completed or in ICU or in cardiac care would be a good thing. Hexagons are certainly popular, so I thought I'd see what all the fuss is about. I didn't want to do anything too big -- I needed to be able to finish the hand work during the surgery and convalescence, and I wanted something a little different than the usual flower motif.
|EQ7 Mock-up of a DNA Molecule|
I've been following Micky Depre and watched her Pieced Hexies Craftsy class. Even though I did not venture into more complex pieced hexagons, her introduction was very helpful for getting the basics of basting the little hexagons, and sewing the hexagons together. Using her 'hold things flat and sew from the back' assembly method, even my relatively poor hand work looks good.
The day of surgery we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 AM, I left him heading towards the OR at about 7:30AM, and I was allowed into ICU as my brother was waking up at about 3 PM. In between, I prepped all the pieces. In the evening, I laid everything out and took a picture on my iPad so I could refer to it later.
|Individual pieces laid out -- top of mock-up is left in picture|
|DNA partially assembled. Whipstitching is done from the back and does not show at all on the front.|
|Auditioning backgrounds and placement|
|Tracing paper mock-up of quilting of the DNA|
|Quilting around the DNA and on top done|
|I often use a large sheet of tracing paper to sketch and audition different quilting plans.|
|Tracing paper used to sketch in swooping lines to delineate sections of quilting|
Once the plan is decided, I need a few 'guidelines' to delineate the segments. I use a domestic machine and it is very hard (well, for me, impossible) to see the 'big picture' well enough to get smooth sweeping lines that go where I want without having drawn lines to follow. Once the major sections are defined, then free motion designs within a section are easier.
|Lines transferred to quilt top|
|Lines were transferred using Transdoodle Chalk paper|
Will keep you posted.
PS Surgery went fine. It was done minimal invasively, and it was amazing. It was still major surgery, but no big chest incision, less than 2 days in ICU and only 4 days in the hospital. A week after the surgery he was driving, walking several miles, and well on the way to better than new.