How it started
Have you ever participated in any Instagram campaign to feel connected to other people? I did, and it was the longest journey I have ever made in any of my crafting project. I never thought I would do it, but I did. I never thought it would lasted so long, but it did. I am surprised with myself, and I learned a few things along the way.
#jomhexies hashtag was initiated by a patchwork artist Lin, who carries the Cuddle Me Cushion (@cuddlemecushion) brand for her product. She started patching those small hexagons from fabric scraps and grew it into a bigger piece of hexagon patchwork. She brings it everywhere; when she travels and show her masterpiece to the world through her instagram account. It looked lovely. And travel pictures while parading your craft work look quite cool. Those colorful hexagons, and the breathtaking sceneries from many countries was just beautiful. They goes together very well. After a while, more crafters from the local sewing circle whom I get to know from Instagram started doing it too.
So I thought, maybe I should join the fun. I have a lot of fabrics we have to bring to Japan from my previous business, and I was struggling to use them up. It could be a #jomhexiesjapan I thought, eventhough deep, deep down I know we just couldn’t really afford to travel much during our 4 years stay in Japan. But I have a lot of fabrics, so even if it just stays inside our home, it would give me something to be occupied with. I made up my mind.
And so, I started going through some of my smaller stashes first, which just happened to be some beautiful, precious organic cotton fat quarters. I started to hesitate. This little fat quarter is so beautiful, should I cut it? But then I realized, I have to start somewhere, and one thing I know I love making things that I myself feel beautiful and appreciate later. After I printed out the template sent to me by Azzah from @sewfabby , I took out the scissors and started cutting the lovely fabrics. First piece, second piece, third piece, until I got enough for patching my first hexies flower.
The few individual hexagons, I captured for my instagram.
The thoughts going through my mind when patching up the hexy flowers.
Because this is a project that I don’t really thought through when I started, I started to feel confused, how should I start with the hexies flower. Should I make them very random, or should I do a theme for each hexies flower? I searched about hexy patchwork on instagram, and got a little bit overwhelmed by what I saw. Everyone make them so beautiful, I can’t do that, feeling a little bit down. In the end, I feel safe choosing colors that I have in abundance and went well together. So I started arranging them together, grouping them in sevens. When I have coordinating colors, I do that, and sometimes I just ended up arranging them very randomly. I didn’t even knew what kind of stitch I should use to patch those hexagons, I just thought maybe they use this stitch, and just started stitching them up using invisible stitch. After a while, the numbers of my hexy flowers started to grow. I feel like I made an achievement everytime I am finished with each flower, and that kept me going and positive.
Some hexy flowers personal favourites.
The changes along the way.
After I feel I have gathered my confidence in stitching the hexies flowers, I went to the next step, stitching up the flowers together. This part was quite tricky as well, because as usual there was no right and wrong way. There would be an easy way to do it this way or that way, but what is easy will vary to each person, I think. The fact that I am not racing with anyone, and I am doing this at my very own pace, was very comforting. It also gives freedom for me to experiment, and choose one method over another, depends on how I wanted to proceed, and how much time I got to spend with my hexagons. The first time I have a few flowers stitched together, came another feel of huge achievement and confidence. Oh, yes. I am really doing it, and I can do this, for real, and I feel happiness all at the same time. The stitched flowers are after all, looked like candies to the eyes once you started to put it together.
The moment of feeling I have made an achievement for this project.
After I have been stitching it a certain way, and started collecting the hexagons again, I started to think. Will it make things easier, to stitch them in rows instead of doing them in hexies flower batches? So I looked at every corner, and started stitching them in lines, starting from one corner and ended up trying to align them into four straight edges. Now, cutting the fabrics up into hexagons does not feel so bad, and I actually look forward to cut them, so that each fabric can have a chance to be featured in this project. A good way to make your stashes serve their purpose isn’t it? Perhaps if they can talk, they will be putting their hands up and say, “Pick me, Pick me!” Have you ever thought about your fabric that way? Everytime I choose a fabric over the others to make something, I would feel bad about the other fabrics, and will start to think what project I could use them for. (We will discuss about this later topic perhaps)
Collecting hexagons and arranging them by colors in a recycled shoes box.
Alternating between using hexies flowers method and stitching in lines, goes on until about October 2019. I ended up with quite a nice, small rectangular sized patchwork, and even brought it to a trip I had around the Kyushu island. One thing I learned is that, it really take one’s commitment to photograph it in public places. The eyes looking when I started to open up the patchwork piece at tourists crowded area, is not something I can get used to. There are also eyes looking at the piece with fascination, which made me feel proud. And me being forgetful at most of the time, I only have a few shots of it. Perhaps this #jomhexies while traveling is not for me.
A shot taken on a windy day during hanami in spring 2019.
It grew as big as my son, who was nearly 4 years old back then.
A shot on a misty morning in Kiwoku Uwaba, Kagoshima.
After that, I have not been actively adding more hexagons, until early this year up to May this year, which also the time I feel I need to call an end to growing the patchwork size. Turning it into a blanket, doesn’t seem like something I want to do at the moment, so what I should do with this hexies patchwork piece? Well, that is something for part 2, isn’t it?
I hope you will want to read the second part of my personal #jomhexies project. Sorry to keep the story hanging like this, but does it gives you something you can’t wait to read up next? I could only sit on the chair for a short time now. Hopefully I can finish writing the second part soon. See you in the second part, and do leave your comment for your thoughts on doing patchwork projects, or leave some comments on my instagram if you read this posts from my Instagram link. I would love to know what do you think about hexies patchwork, or if you feel like starting one after reading this post.