Ever since I first saw what clever Nicole Dacsiewicz had done with the humble hexagon I've wanted to try it for myself.
With the help of her easy-to-follow Modern Hexagon tutorial I made this.
But I didn't stop there.
I tweaked my hexies by rolling back those edges and slip stitching them down, so now they look like stars. Or starfish, as one of my Instagram friends described them :-)
I like the secondary pattern that's happening here now, don't you?
If you think they're a little like Cathedral Windows, you're right! I've been spending some time lately researching Cathedral Windows variations in the hope of coming up with a reasonably simple technique I can teach at St Mark's Quilters sometime.
Perhaps I've found it?
It was so refreshing to work with these cool, calm shades for a couple of weeks.
At the year's send I had staggered across the line, weary, grumpy, over-committed and emotionally fragile, and I needed time out. My friends probably needed time out from me too :-)
So, for a week I enjoyed a 'staycation' at home. I stitched, cleaned out some cupboards, caught up with my paperwork, and walked Chester the WonderLab.
With a little photo editing of this sign from the park across the road, you can get the picture :-)
I also decided to make a couple of changes that might give me more balance in my life, and I chose my Word for 2015 - Balance.
As every quilter knows, creating beautiful quilts can be wonderfully therapeutic, and giving them away can be equally heartwarming.
Di B and I recently delivered 70 Blankets of Love, made by St Mark's Quilters, to Dahlia Brigham (Volunteer Co-ordinator) at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital's Newborn Intensive Care Nursery.
It was only a short visit, but crammed with joyfulness.
For a start, as the three of us were jostling to take turns of getting photos of each other with the quilts in the foyer, a young, very pregnant mum offered to take the photo so the three of us could be in the shot together.
We got talking, as you do, and discovered that her bub (number 5) was due in just 2 weeks. She looked so serene, waiting for her husband to pick her up after her final check up. She smiled as she told us she was having a little girl, and we were full of admiration when she calmly revealed that her 4th child, a little boy, had Downs Syndrome.
This lovely young mum really made an impression on us.
Inside the nursery Dahlia introduced us to some of the staff and nurses on duty that morning, including midwife Jan Polverino who, with her sister Shirley, a quilter, started the whole Blankets of Love venture back in 1992. The concept has since spread worldwide. I was so excited to meet her! Too excited, apparently, to get a photo with her.
Finally, on our way out, we passed this wonderful, whimsical fiberglass sculpture, decorated by Penny Lovelock, part of a fundraising venture by Taronga Zoo to save wild rhinos. Called "Beauty and Hope", it's painted with Javan fabric designs and of course depicts a baby rhino ("Hope") in utero.
We left the hospital with huge smiles on our faces. As always.