Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tips For Hexies On The Go...

Several of you are cutting all your fabric squares before starting to make any hexies. I can sense some frustration in your voices as you don't feel like you are making progress.
Like me, I like instant gratification! Cutting ten sets, making ten sets is the way I do it. I found a Rubbermaid (item code 11) plastic container in my cupboard and it holds more than enough squares, paper pieces, thread, needle and snips to make my ten sets per night. Now, you might not be able to finish all ten sets, but between my phone calls and breaks at work, I seem to manage it.
When I get home from work, I empty all the finished hexies in a box next to my iron to dry press and baste into "six-packs"  then replenish the container for my next day of work. Yes, it does take a few moments a day, but at least I see progress and the satisfaction to be able to package some each day really perks my spirit! Try it, you'll like it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

**Second Hexagon Swap-Two Themes-Sign Up Now

In collaboration with the great ladies at (see their contact information at the end of this post), we will offer you the opportunity to join a fun swap with other quilters and save 20% not only on your precut shapes of English paper pieces, but for all other merchandise on their website! Please note this discount doesn’t include the shipping charges. They offer an extensive collection of hexagon books to spark your interest and especially recommend “Piecing It All Together” and “English Paper Piecing”.

This a fantastic bring-along project while waiting in the doctor’s office, sporting events, watching TV, etc. The hexies just about make themselves! Check out the site for lots of motivation, books and patterns!

We will be swapping 1” hexagons (Paperpieces item # HEX100). Please note that these measure 1” on each side. Each “set” will be of six of the same fabric with the papers left inside. This will allow you to make the outside edges of a flower and use your own center fabric to bring consistency to your finished project. You can view the tutorial at

Each “set” is six (6) - 1” hexies of the SAME fabric. You can send in a maximum of ten (10) sets of the SAME fabric


You can send in a *maximum* total of 100 sets per theme. For those of you doing the math, that is 600 hexies! The *minimum* amount of sets you can send in is 35 sets per theme

 Due to the amount of work to swap out, we do need to have a 30 player limit for this swap. If I get an overwhelming response, I am open to offering another swap with a staggered playing date. It is my hope to have additional swaps offered during the year. If so, I will offer a poll so you can vote on your favorite themes, such as certain colors, holiday prints, florals, etc.

**You can join one or both, but be aware if you only join one and all the slots are filled/or swap sign up deadline has passed you cannot join the second theme swap!**

Below you will find what seems like a copy of “War and Peace”, but I run my swaps with open communication so there are no surprises and complete consistency from all swappers. Follow the guidelines? Great! Don’t follow the guidelines? Your swap will be returned. I need to be fair to all swappers who play. And I know what you are thinking and yes, I am a type A personality, lol!

Just remember for the TRUE 30's repros, this is for only genuine 30's repros, not just small floral prints that look like repros. You will find "Circa 1930" on most selvedges, and you can search the following websites for 1930 reproduction fabrics. Just remember the prints we would use would be small scale prints (see both acceptable and not acceptable) prints on the blog

You can also check out the following links for TRUE 30’s repros:

Still interested? Please read on…


*YOU MUST SIGN UP FOR THE SWAP NO LATER THAN MARCH 15, 2013 IN ORDER TO PLAY* (Or until the 30 playing slots are filled).


*PLEASE SHIP IN PLENTY OF TIME AS ANY LATE PACKAGES WILL BE RETURNED BACK TO YOU UNSWAPPED AT YOUR EXPENSE!* I will be sending out a “gentle reminder” notice two weeks before the swap is due.

This swap is for either washed or unwashed fabric. HOWEVER, if you use reds, black or indigo colors, please take the time to wash with a color catcher to ensure no bleeding fabrics in our finished projects.

As a member of the HGTV Quilting boards, you are invited to join us by clicking on the HGTV registration link on right side of the blog page. After you sign up (this is free!), you can join us on the “Quilting & Needlework” board. Any problems, just contact me. I will have a running discussion there if you want to communicate and share with the other swappers.

To sign up, please email me at with your HGTV board name (if you have one), real name, address, phone and email address AND what themes you are joining. I will forward you the same. All information sent to me is confidential and will not be shared. DO NOT SIGN UP ON THE PAPERPIECES WEBSITE OR THE HGTV BOARDS—only emails to the above address will be officially considered signed up! Remember, first come, first served! You will be notified by return email once you are officially a player.

I will also send you the coupon code for the 20% discount so you can order your paper pieces from These are fantastic as they are precision cut and just the right weight to allow the needle through the paper.

While I advocate using Paperpieces papers (#HEX100), you can also take magazine subscription inserts or lightweight card stock and cut your own. You cannot use regular computer paper or cardboard for this swap as they are subsequently too light and too heavy ensure a sharp point when turning corners and will be returned! If you do use your own inserts, be sure they are consistent while cutting. I will be doing a spot check to be sure they are not too small or too large and that once you sew down the corners they are not pulling up the tips.

Your swap guidelines on how to make of the hexagons will be posted on the blog.  Please DRY press your hexagons when finished. Be careful NOT to use steam if using printed inserts as the dyes may come off on the fabrics! Yes, we will be sewing through the paper, but as you see in the tutorial, it will be easy to remove the papers for reuse once you sew your hexagons together and remove the basting stitch.

As mentioned before, each set will be six-1” finished hexagons of the SAME print with a  knotted basting stitched (PLEASE USE THE SMALLEST NEEDLE POSSIBLE TO AVOID HOLES!) down the middle to hold each set together (with papers left inside each piece).  You can only send in 10 sets of the SAME print! (Total of 60 hexagons of the SAME print) to ensure a nice variety of prints. I found cutting 2 ½” strips of fabric and sub cutting them into 2 ½” squares work PERFECT for this project to ensure there is enough fabric to cover the hexagon.

**NOTE: You cannot use the same print used in 30’s repro swap for the Stashbusters swap as we will have many of the same playing in both swaps.

We do, however, want to keep the prints to SCALE so that we have a nice visual when the hexagons are sewn together. *Pictures of “naughty” and “nice” prints will be posted on the blog so that you can use that as a guide. If you have a question on a fabric, please do not hesitate to contact me or post a picture on the HGTV discussion board A couple of rules of thumb for this swap:

*Use only 100% cotton fabric.

*NO solids, homespun, glitter, novelty print, children prints (see note for the 30’s swap), flannels, thin or plastic-feeling fabrics.

*NO large prints, batiks, check, plaid or stripe fabrics.

*Be sure when cutting directional fabrics they do not end up looking off-bias or wonky once the hexagon flowers is put together.

 **For the 30”s repros, you can use all colors and acceptable children and novelty fabrics IF they meet the guidelines of photos shown on the blog. Contact me if you have ANY questions!

*Be sure to REMOVE your selvedges BEFORE cutting your fabrics. Check fabric for flaws, such as runs or stains. Since the sets will be stacked and tacked by a thread, I will not be able to double check your work. Remember the golden rule of swapping—do not send anything in that you wouldn’t want to receive in return.

NOTE: I know life sometimes throws you curve balls, but it has happened that people get excited and want to play, only to wait two months later when the swap is due in a day or so to say they didn't have time. By that time you should have already been ready to mail the package. That leaves me hanging to replace your swap with my stash and totally unfair IF you know you cannot make the deadline to begin with. I give you ample notice so you have plenty of time to make an informed decision. Also, another player may liked to play in your place. Be honest with me up front, or a repeat offender might not be able to play in the future The success of this swap depends on your ability follow through your commitment to our group of players. Thank you for your understanding!

By all of us being honest and accountable, I'm sure we will have a great 2013 swapping year! I really do enjoy hostessing and want to continue to enjoy it, so by coming up front with any issues is not really a complaint, but a way to correct it so my frustration level (and blood pressure!) stays at an even keel. Probably the MOST important thing I can say about a successful swap is the high level of communication between all parties. Without that, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Be prepared for me to contact you several times during the swap for an update on your progress and invite pictures of your hexies to share with other swappers!

I’m allergic to dogs and cats, so please do what you can to control the fur. Some packages come in with so much pet hair that they look like they need to be brushed! For health reasons, I cannot handle them and they will be returned untouched at YOUR expense. My health depends on it and I thank you in advance for your understanding.

POSTAGE or POSTAGE money must be included in your package. Be sure to add a stamp or two to your stamped envelopes if not going priority mail flat rate boxes. They also seem to weigh more returning than coming in! If you are a frequent swapper, you can also send in $20 or so and I can keep it on “account” and deduct your postage from it. This was worked nicely with some swappers in the past and that way you don’t have to worry about sending in money each time. Once the swap is complete, I will PM you your postage balance on account for your records. If you wish your extra postage money returned, I can certainly do that also.

If you wish to include a self-addressed mailer for the return trip back to you, remember NO metered postage or ACP postage on the return mailer. Stamps only. Our post office will not allow more than a 13 oz. pre-stamped mailer in any mailboxes nor can mail carriers accept them (since 9/11 our East coast mail guidelines have been modified). While your local p.o. may say it is okay to use metered or ACP postage, our p.o. will not accept anything that has been pre-dated. I’m just trying to make it as easy as possible for all concerned. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask! Also, let me know if you want a delivery confirmation.

For Priority mail packages, I have plenty of mailing envelopes and boxes here so there is no need to send a new one. I do, however, try to recycle the boxes if possible. IF YOU ARE SENDING YOUR SWAP IN A MANILLA ENVELOPE OR PADDED MAILER, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO SEND IN A RETURN ENVELOPE. If you do not use priority mail without a delivery confirmation, you are on your own!

PACKING YOUR SHIPMENT-We found that using dollar store sandwich ziplock bags package nine sets nicely and make it easier to swap out. You can put all your sets in a larger grocery bag with your HGTV board name (if you have one!), real name and address, phone number and number of sets in the main bag AND a separate piece of paper with your mailing address in case the package is damaged in shipment so the post office can still return it to you.


Paperpieces: (Use the search box to find the HEX100)


Call toll free in the US: 1-800-337-1537

Hexagon Swap blog:
Hexagon swap email:

HGTV Registration: (Once you sign up, go to the “Quilting & Needlework” Message Board)

My HGTV board name is KC1930


More Hexie Photos

Denise from AR shares here finished pile of hexies ready to mail out. Great job on being the first player to mail your hexies in!

Janis writes in that she is busy making hexies and also wanted to share with us one of her hexie projects. Love all the fancy trims!
Here's Karen's before picture...

...and her after photo!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kathleen's Meatless Chili Recipe

This recipe was modified from Light and Tasty Magazine

Serves 8 (1 ¼ cup servings each) 254 calories*, 12 g fiber, 13 g protein
1 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped peppers, green, yellow or red, or a mixture of all
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 med. zucchini, finely chopped
2 med. carrots, finely chopped
3 tbsp. cornmeal
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cans (one 28 oz., one 14 ½ oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can  (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
In large pan, sauté onion, garlic and peppers in oil until tender. Stir in zucchini and carrots. Add cornmeal, chili powder, paprika, sugar, cumin and cayenne; cook and stir for 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. You can garnish with sour cream if you want the extra calories.

*Note: To lower the calories even more, I add more carrots and/or zucchini instead of one of the cans of beans.  You might have to adjust the seasonings for your own taste. This will cut the calorie count down to around  145 calories per 1-¼ cups and you will also lower the protein count.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

While I was at a quilting guild meeting today...

I managed to make 100+ hexies during the meeting today! Just tote that hexie-making box around wherever I go and my pile of completed hexies just grow and grow!
Many of you have asked me if  I would like you to package your hexies like I do in a sandwich-size zipper bag (9 sets per bag). That would be nice, as I can just pick up a bag and swap away. Just be sure not to have any duplicate sets in each bag and remove as much of the air as you can before seal the bags.

Jessica's Progress

Jessica shares with us some of her many hexies "six-packs"!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Just Checking In....

This blog is for all of us to share our current swap progress, what quilting projects you are working on, etc. Please check in and share with your fellow hexie swappers!

And, don't forget to vote for your favorite theme for the second hexie swap. Right now, between the HGTV poll results and emails, the TRUE 30's repros and Stashbusters are the top two selections. I will leave the poll up until Sunday, January 27th and then post sign ups on the HGTV board.

If you haven't established your log in on the HGTV board or are just not interested, you can email me directly at

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How Is YOUR Hexie Progress?

I decided to package my six hexies in ziplock bags to make the swapping easier. So, if you are counting, there are 24 packages or 144 sets for 864 hexies so far! I seem to make great strides making them between phone calls at work.

Second Hexagon Swap

Since we have one swap in the works, let's plan for the second swap. You can vote on the HGTV boards for your favorite theme or write one in. The two with the most votes will be the winner.

We already seem to have a TRUE 30's reproduction following and IF this is one of our themes, it would be for ALL shades of fabric and children's novelty prints (see suitable prints below). Also, please remember when selecting your fabrics to be sure they are a tight print with little open background. This will ensure a nice looking 1" hexagon.

In preparation for the swap, I have taken photos of some of my stash and what would and wouldn't be allowed in the swap. If you have a particular print and would like to see if it would be suitable, please email me a picture at

Here is my 30's repro stash!

As you can see by the scale of the 1' hexagon, these prints wouldn't be acceptable as they are larger prints with open backgrounds

Good children novelties-nice and tight small prints
Not acceptable novelties-too much background showing and larger prints
Acceptable novelty prints
Not acceptable novelty prints-too large of a print or open background

More of unacceptable larger prints

The next four pictures are all acceptable small prints with good scale




Monday, January 21, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Football? Play Our Superbowl Game!

Are your ready for our second annual Super Bowl game to be held on Sunday, February 3rd between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers? The winning prize will be a $25 Joann gift card!

The winner of the game is the one who picks the winning team AND the closest winning score WITHOUT going over. In case of a tie, I will put the names in a hat and have Mom pull out the winner. You must be either an HGTV quilting board member or a player in our hexagon swap to be eligible to play.

If you want to play, PM me your winning team and the score, such as "SF 32-0". Please do not post your selection on the HGTV boards. If you are having a problem PM'ing me, you can also email me at

I will confirm back to you via email or PM that your prediction has been received.

You only get one vote and *CANNOT* make a change once you PM or email me your vote, so you will probably want to wait until closer to the date to make your prediction. I will post the official game post on Sunday, the 3rd and tally your selections.

All predictions must be sent to me no later than Sunday, 2/3 at 5:00 PM EST. This will give me time to compile the list and I will be posting the scores as the day progresses.

Any questions? Just ask! Now, do your research and good luck!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Second Hexagon Swap-Vote for you favorite theme!

For our second 1" hexagon swap, let's vote on our favorite theme!

This swap will be due sometime in June so that we have the opportunity to have a third swap well before the holiday season arrives.

You can vote here:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Win Fabric For Life!

Don't forget you can enter once a day until the deadline of January 31st to win! Just click into the link at to play!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013


Sorry I haven't been around but I had cut the tip of my index finger off Thursday while cutting fabric and my typing isn't the fastest!

You can email me pictures if you wish me to post them on the blog. Denise wanted to share her latest creation for her soon-to-be born, grandson Korbin. Its stunning, Denise!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meet Our Swappers!

Our  first swapper to share is Jessica from IL (and a member of the staff!)
She would like to share with us a tip she uses when making her hexies--recycle an enpty Kleenex box for all your snips and threads. I would go on to say to save them to set out in piles outside in the early spring for the birds to add to their nesting materials! It's fun to see all those colorful nests holding new life.
Who is this cutie?
Chrysanthemum heart quilt


Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet Our Players!

Yipee! Our thirty swappers are officially signed up and now we can begin the swap.

Meet the players!

*Kathleen from ME (yes, me! :))
*Deb from WA
*Brenda from NM
*Denise from AR
*Emily from WI
*Lisa from OR
*Jessica from IL
*Juliet from KS
*Julia from IN
*Kathy from NY
*Karen from CA
*Janis from TX
*Kayla from AZ
*Keely from CO
*Karen from CA (no, this is not a duplicate! :)
*Dianne from CA
*Mary from NY
*Pat from NY
*Patti from MD
*Pat from IL
*Peggy from LA
*Libby from SC
*Lindy from NC
*Wanda from IN
*Sandy from TN
*Sue from CA
*Teresa from WY
*Carole from AZ
*Vida from WA
*Christelle from France

Our first question seems to be about the knotted tail when putting all six hexies together as a set. You can knot the end of the thread after basting together if you wish--or not. Just leave me a 1/2" tail. The main reason is for me to be able to grasp each set without it coming apart during swapping.

 Like I mentioned on the HGTV post, the tutorial on the Connecting Threads website and on the blog post below are those--just guidelines. If you asked ten people how to do EPP, you would get ten different answers. The main thing as far as I am concerned for this swap is quality, sharp corners and using fabrics that are to scale with the size of the hexagon. To knot at the end of the hexagon and after the basting thread when putting your sets together is up to you. I will, however, request you do not use any glue to hold down the hexies while basting.

I will add pictures as they are available, so please feel free to share your progress!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Swap Sign-Ups are Closed!

We have our limit of thirty players, but if you would like to be on our waiting list or reminded of the NEXT swap, please email me at

I will be contacting each swapper with the maximum number of sets you can submit to swap very soon!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sign ups are brisk...

To date, we have 18 swappers signed up! Lots of questions--eager to begin! If you are on the fence, please jump off and join us! :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We are off to a good start...

So far, we have six swappers sign up the first day! Any International swappers feel free to join us as long as you take into consideration the postage and additional fees. Listen--the more, the merrier! :)

A couple of swappers mentioned allergies to cigarette smoke and perfumes, so please take that into consideration while making your hexies! Thank you in advance for your kindness.

If you have ANY questions, please don't hesitate to ask!