The motel we stayed at when I was down in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago was the Bell Rydges in Preston, and my funny, generous-to-a-fault friend Dawn Hay, named the project she shared at Let's Get Stitched in honour of our location - "The Preston Bag"!
As soon as I saw it on display at our Sunday stitching day, I was in love.
Already my mind was planning fabrics and threads, and a day or two to make it when I got back home - I simply chose to avoid the dilemma of never having made a hexie flower before.
I traced the block for stitching at Heather's on Monday, but as is normal with our chatty sewing days not much stitching gets done.
On Tuesday morning I set aside some time to work on the embroidered sections...
...and by Tuesday afternoon I decided to ignore the butterflies in my tummy and dive in with making those teeny tiny half-inch hexie flowers! For added interest I fussy cut each piece of fabric from those I intended using to make the bag (Cabbages and Roses)...
On Tuesday evening I declared to Mr E and Blossom that I would *never* again make a hexie flower less than 3 inches in size, as I could not understand the insanity of people who enjoyed such a trial of dexterity and wits with miniscule shapes.
But onward I tarried, sewing each of the little pieces together and even adding a little chain stitched border around the centre of the flower...
When I went to bed at midnight I only had the borders of the full front panel to stitch.
6.30am on Wednesday - I stem stitch and back stitch the borders whilst bracing myself for the migraine I can feel brewing...
9am on Wednesday, I have a migraine bursting from my temples and I take a lot of medication.
Now, medication does funny things. It kind of 'chills' me out.
What seemed insurmountable suddenly holds interest again.
After 42 years of migraines, up to ten a month, and still having to function as a young mum with up to seven kids in the house at any one time, I taught myself to accept the pain and just do things a lot slower.
This ability is what keeps me sane a lot of the time.
So I filled a very large glass with water, and in the quiet of my sewing room I began cutting the fabrics and piecing the bag.
Drawing a pencil line through all the steps as they were completed so I didn't need to tax my mind and think too much about where I was up to at any given time, the day moved on, more medication was taken, and the bag evolved.
By 5.30pm on Wednesday afternoon my gorgeous "Preston Bag" was made!
1. It's so gorgeous I don't want to put a single mark on it, but I made it to carry my sewing things in so I'll just have to be very careful.
2. I think the hexies gave me the migraine! (not really, it was the tropical low off the coast, but I will still blame the hexies if someone asks...)
1. I learned two techniques in Dawn's pattern that were much simpler than the way I do them in my own designs.
2. Teeny tiny hexies are like childbirth. It hurts and you're never going to go through it again. But two days later you forget the pain. I'll make hexies again, just like I had six more babies after the first.
3. It's gorgeous.
4. I finally got to use those beautiful 'Cabbages and Roses' fabrics from my stash! And don't they look sublime made up in The Preston Bag?
Dawn's "Preston Bag" pattern is available now in her shop as an instant pdf download.
She's the sweetest gal around, and we had a hoot in Melbourne...
...so why not drop over to her blog (here) and say hi! She has more photos of her original Preston Bag and when you see the fabrics she used you will swoon...true. Little teeny tiny houses...yep, swooning.
I still have some of the 'Cabbages and Roses' fabric leftover, so I think while they're languishing on the cutting table I should have a bit of a play. You never know what I'll come up with...