Monday, May 09, 2011


Since I gave up my fruitless fight for a decently snowy winter, I've been aching for spring. Technically, it already is spring, but the Northwest has a different sort of definition for that word. Here, "spring" means rain, a day of sunbreaks followed by rain, some temperatures that dip down into the forties, a tiny bit of the snow we didn't get in winter, then more rain. Now that we're getting into May, things are finally starting to warm up and get sunnier, but it's still a Northwest spring so things can change quite quickly.

Spring is a tricky little bastard that delights in showing me a ten-minute flash of sunlight, and like the gullible idiot I am I think that means it's warm enough to forgo the fingerless gloves that have been a daily staple for the last six months. Within moments the rug is pulled out from under me and the giant dark clouds roll on in. Some people think they look like bunnies, some see dragons, and the truly odd see the face of President Nixon. Me, I see a giant hand pointing as Nature laughs at me.

This is also typically the time of year when I start to go off the rails a tiny bit and, judging by the attitudes of the people I encounter throughout my day, I'm definitely not the only one. There are plenty of places in the world where the elements are more extreme and harsh, but the Northwest requires its own special sort of endurance. A mini-vacation to Disneyland(!) in early March and a visit from my sister helped stave off my usual early spring depression, but now I find myself aching for color and light and skirts and warmth and bikes and mojitos.

I think that's how I ended up on this hexagon quilt thing. I had been thinking about starting one a few months ago. I went as far as going over to my mom's to pull out the flower garden quilt my great-great-grandmother made to study it a bit, and buy a hexagon cutting template. After a couple of days, I shelved the idea in favor of sitting on my couch and knitting squares for my sock yarn blanket.

However, as the weather got wetter and my patience for grayness grew thinner, I thought about it again. Before I knew what hit me, I was at my local JoAnn buying a couple dozen fat quarters in shades of blue and green, and making dozens upon dozens of hexagons. Now, I find myself stealing every moment I can to go up to my sewing room and sew just a few more seams.

I'm foregoing paper piecing methods in favor of machine sewing based on the Lady Harvatine tutorial on the subject. When I consulted my mother, she was reasonably certain that my great-great grandmother never used the paper piecing method on her quilts. Frankly, if machine sewing was good enough for Kate, it's good enough for me.

Given how many hexes I cut out, this quilt is going to end up being about twin size, but I'm envisioning large picnics and snuggling under it in camping tents.