Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Morning Star Count 6

It's been a slow week for EPP over here.. I did manage to finish my 3rd star, and baste about 40 more hexies, but I'm not feeling too bad about it.  I pulled out my sewing machine (!!!) and whipped up a comfy, girly, couch quilt for a very special friend and I hope to share pictures of that soon.
I am faithfully bringing my sewing kit with me everywhere still, you never know when someone will take a nap and you'll have a free minute.   This past week I got a lot of basting done at the local pool while George was at swimming lessons..

Have you been stitching anywhere fun lately?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Morning Star Count 5

37 tiny hexagons make one star.  Repeat.  And again, and again..
So I'm not that far yet, I don't even have a full star to show this week, but I have news to report-- I need more fabric.

I have basted all of the tiny crumb scraps I had in my sewing kit, and now I need to find more, yay!
I don't have to look far, honestly, but since we've been home I haven't really had time to "play" in the sewing room and things are pretty much the way I left them 7 weeks ago. (I do follow Victoria's tip to never clean/reorganize your studio before a long trip-- makes it easier to remember where you left things)

I'm happy because this means that I'm actually using up my tiny scraps-- some have been sitting here for over 10 years-- and it's always better to see favorite fabrics in a quilt than in a box, right?

How are things progressing at your end?  Anyone else need to replenish your fabric stash yet?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

DWR Template Giveaway Winner

The lucky quilter is...


It must feel really good being back home!!

Mmm...curves, are really really intimidating, but this challenge seems really cool..and "challenging", maybe I should give it a try...
In real life curves are a simple reality, if you know what I mean!

Thank you for the chance to win!

You're welcome, Z!  I'll get these templates in the mail to you this week and I'll be anxiously waiting to see what you do with them~

Thank you everyone for entering the giveaway.  Good luck with your Double Wedding Rings.  I hope to see all of you entering the Challenge before the December 1st deadline!!!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Double Wedding Ring Challenge

I made it, I'm home!  I just dropped my bags (didn't even touch the laundry) and sat right down to write my post for the Double Wedding Ring Challenge!

(ok, I lied.  I took a nap, fed the kids, and signed George up for swimming lessons first.  But now that they're all sleeping off their jetlag.. I finally have a minute to myself~)

Have you ever seen a DWR quilt in person?  For some reason, every time someone pulls one out at a guild show-n-tell it leaves a deep impression on me.  They always elicit a great response from the crowd..   oohs and ahs.  The curves!  the tiny pieces! the CURVES!

 I have never tried to make one, but that might change this year.  The NYC Metro Modern Guild is hosting a DWR challenge through December.  All the details and instructions for entering can be found here.  There are categories suited for every quilter, and there are PRIZES!   And while I've got a good 10 quilts I should be making, and another 5 I want to make, I'm really tempted to jump in here..
I do own one DWR.. it is hanging in my sewing room.  Here, have another look:
Yes, the patches are only slightly larger than my fingernail.  It's an amazing piece-- hand pieced and hand quilted by my mentor, Kikuyo Kubota in Hokkaido, Japan.  The whole piece measures 15" x 19". 
If I give it a try, I'll go with larger patches, of course.  And I'd like to encourage you to try to make something with these curves for the challenge too..
The generous people at Simplicity have sent me a set of Darlene Zimmerman's EZ quilting DWR templates to give away to one lucky reader.  Please leave a comment on this post telling me how you feel about curves-- in quilting, in life, in nature, in design.. (and give it some thought, more than just "Oh, I love them!").  I'll choose a winner on Sunday.  (Domestic and International entries welcome~)
The templates make large rings, btw-- a twin sized quilt would be 5 rings x 6.

So are you ready to start your Challenge entries?  Here's a bit of information from the NYC Mod Guild site:

This is a challenge FOR EVERYONE, All quilters… of any style from Anywhere! This is an international challenge.


SMALL: ONE RING! Easy! size: under 20″ or smaller… This is a great way to play and learn your curves, and try your own version of making this fun design!

TRADITIONAL: 4 rings or larger…  Make the traditional double wedding pattern by using the template and your choice of fabrics…not straying to far from the traditional style. Four rings or larger for this category… must have three layers and bound.

MODERN:  4 rings or larger… ANYTHING GOES!  How can you interpret the double wedding ring, put a MODERN spin on a traditional design? Piece it, applique, fuse, whole cloth? Possibilities are ENDLESS!!!  No rules other then, it must have three layers and bound.

You don’t need to use Darlene’s Double Wedding Ring templates to enter, but we’d sure like it if you did! Any double Wedding ring template will work.

EZ Double Wedding ring challenge and single arc is available at or at your local store. You do not have to use this template to enter the contest.


Images must be uploaded by Dec 1st.  Winners will be announced Dec 15th, 2013  **Winning quilts with need to be sent in by January 1st.

I am at the tail end of the Challenge Blog Hop, but please go around and stop by all the blogs.  Most have templates to give away, and you just might get lucky!

July 8th
​NYC MOD​ Quilters
 July 9th
Emily Bailey
Shelly Pagliai -
July 10th
Amy Ellis
Faith Jones
July 11th
Amy Smart

July 12th
Dan Rouse
Elisa Albury
July 13
Jenny Cameron
July 14th
Jane Davidson
July 15th
Joanna Wilczynska
Jackie Kunkel-
July 16th
Kathy Doughty
 July 17th
Lisa Mason
Flaun Cline
 July 18
Pat Sloan
Jessica Alexandrakis (That's me!)
 July 19th
Jacquie Gering
Lee Heinrich
Monica Solorio-Snow

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Morning Star Count 4

I've got a little fessing up to do this week..
See, our Athens trip is over and today I'm packing up to leave.  The clothes are washed, the toys sorted, the drawers empty save for the beach gear we'll leave behind..
but then I came to the shelf where I had been piling fabric and quilt notions.. and I open the suitcase to pack and find projects I  brought with to work on but never touched!
Do you do that?  Think you'll have more "free time" on vacation than you actually do?
So, now I'll come clean. 
For this trip, I brought a total of 9 quilt projects to work on, 5 of them were separate EPP boxed projects.  I finished ONE project, start to finish! yay! (don't get too excited, it was a pin cushion-- tutorial photographed but still unwritten).  I also made significant progress on my Rain hexie pouch, but the projects involving a sewing machine or hand applique-- didn't even take them out of their bags.  However, I did manage to start a NEW epp project, for which I'm  happy to report my progress. :)

I finished the second star!  Only 5 more to go!

Now it's your turn~ Trina, Becky, Helen, Christa, Fiona?  How far have you gotten this week?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

I really wanted to be all removed and post just a photo today (which I already posted a few hours ago on Instagram), but then I read this really awesome post, and had to stay true to myself..

I brought my quilting to the beach today and stitched 4 hexies together.  That was enough, then I put it away and ate an entire piece of saganaki with a nice big horiatiki ("greek salad").  I even had some beer.  It was a good day.  I hope to have more of these in the future. 
(and hope that you have some too).

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Morning Star Count 3

I have done so many exciting and crafty things in the last week, and I'm dying to blog about them all, but the baby (and inconvenient Wi-Fi range) are complicating things a bit. 
If you follow me on instagram (@jessica_alex) then you may have seen the pics from yesterday's awesome Etsy Craft Party that we had here in Athens.  I want to share all the photos and add in the links to the shops of the very talented crafters I met there, and if I don't do it in the next day or so, someone remind me, will you?  Thanks.  It was fun, but I was the first quilter most of them had ever met, hehe.

In epp progress news-- my Rain hexies aren't finished yet-- there's less than an hour of stitching left to assemble them all, but I don't have any basting spray with me here and I got caught up in a new project so.. (yep, that's just how I do things.  work on whatever holds my attention for as long as it lasts..)
I started making stars out of tiny hexagons:

I finished one (above) and started on a second (below).  I want to make 7 stars and then figure out how to put them together, so I've got 6 and a half to go~

Are you all still working on the same projects or have you been bad like me and have jumped around?  No judging here!  Just link up and tell us your progress.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Morning Star Count 2

Good morning~
How's the stitching going?

I have a bit of progress to show.. 
My Rain pouch project now has 52 hexies and 8 half hexies, and you can see I've got the rest laid out and ready to sew.
The bottom 3 rows aren't attached yet, with two hexies left to baste.  Of course, as luck would have it, I ran out of paper templates with one hexagon to go.. I need to stitch the rows on and free one up to continue.
If you find yourself in a similar predicament, don't fret! has their 4th of July sale up already with free shipping on all US orders and free shipping on International orders over $70.  Never run out of templates again~

Browsing pictures of EPP online, I see a lot of people just baste and baste and baste.  Beautiful pictures of 100s of pretty hexagons in boxes, stacks, piles.  Are you that type of quilter?  Me, I prefer to reuse templates, and stitch them together as soon as possible.  On star quilts, I often make one star at a time.  BUT, I have found that having extra templates basted gives you much more freedom in "random-ish" design placement options.  Even in this Rain hexie piece.. having a bunch of the fabrics basted let me play around with arrangement a couple of times before settling on this not-quite-arbitrary layout.  How do you play as you're sewing?  Link up below and tell us.

Travel Quilt #6 and some public crafting

I have been working steadily on Travel Quilt #6 since last fall and it is growing.  I got a chance to piece a few units while I was in Manha...