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making an old project into something new

Vintage Hexies

The great thing about digging out the mess you've made over several years is that you find untold treasure.

That's what happened recently when I was trying to get rid of the excess that has accumulated. I pulled out a bag of crumpled fabric pieces. The fabric looked old, so I had a feeling it was good. And it was.

The bag was filled with pieces cut for making dresden plates. Some were even started, all stitched by hand. The pieces still have some visible markings from where a pencil traced the shapes.

Vintage Hexies
Vintage Hexies

My attention went immediately to the fabrics. In my opinion they are far superior to any reproduction fabrics meant to reflect the style of this era of fabric. At least, the prints are. The fabric itself is a lighter weight than modern quilting cotton, but still much better than cheap fabric. At any rate, I'm smitten.

I showed my mom and she's fairly sure that the project was started by my great grandmother, Mollie. Of course. I never knew her, but I'm named for her. And even though I'm adopted, I seem to have the family crafting genes.

Usually I look at something like this and feel obligated to keep the integrity of the original project. Like, because this work-in-progress came to me, I need to finish it as it was intended. Because not doing that would dishonor the maker.

This time, I decided that was silly. The women who came before me would have repurposed things to make what they wanted or needed to make. Who knows? These dresden pieces may have been other items before they were so lovingly cut.

Vintage Hexies

Since I'm an English paper piecing and hexagon gal, I hoped that I could cut some pieces from the fabric bits. And I was delighted to find that 1/2" hexies will fit...and if I'm careful I get two from each piece!

Vintage Hexies

Cutting these fabric hexagons was both challenging and refreshing. As I went to take the first cut I kept thinking, "What am I doing? You're crazy Mollie!" But with each cut I was more and more pleased with my decision.

And as I basted them, it got better and better.

Suddenly I felt like I was honoring my great grandmother in a whole new way. I'm sure she'd be pleased.

At this point I don't know what these hexagons will become. I'll probably wait to see how many I end up with, but I know that whatever it is, it will be treasured. And I'll enjoy this connection to my past in a crafty sort of way.

Vintage Hexies

16 comments:

  1. A beautiful treasure! :)

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  2. how wonderful! thanks for sharing your fabric find with us.

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  3. This is happiness. Don't we all hope what we treasured will be treasured by the generations which follow us?

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  4. This is beautiful, Mollie! and so inspiring. I love the little hexies and know that whatever they turn out to be they will be loved.

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  5. Deanna4:47 PM

    How neat! I inherited a sewing box filled to the brim with embroidery floss that belonged to my great great aunt. Not sure if I can actually use it, but I will at least display them in an antique mason jar. Then every time I see it I'll think of her and all her craftiness (crochet, embroidery, etc.).

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  6. Definitely honouring! Lovely thing to do with them.

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  7. Such lovely prints!

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  8. When my dad's mom died she left behind bags and bags of unfinished quilts. Some of the pieces ended up with me. First they were cushions; then when I no longer wanted them as cushions, I cut them up and made little daschund dogs for my kids and for all my nieces and nephews, and paired them with a homemade book about my grandma's life. I used buttons that my mom had collected from her grandma and mom for the eyes, so each dog represented both sides of the family. They were only little; but I liked being able to pass on something to her great-grandchildren, so that they could all have a piece of something she'd created.

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  9. I'm not into Hexes (cause I am too lazy, lol) so I would have tried to cut across the end to make mini tumblers. I love the vintage fabrics and think repurposing them was a great idea.

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  10. yes it's very cool idea to make new things by using waste items. Before you go to Hydravella sleep utilize a moisturizer with humectants on your own encounter each evening. Body temperature rises when you sleep. The sweating that effects may rob your skin layer of important moisture. A moisturizer with humectant might help skin that could otherwise get dry. Read Full Article ====>> http://loseweightgarcinianow.com/hydravella/

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  11. Great idea! Can't wait to see what you make...

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  12. This is a beautiful post, and I love that you shared your thought process about changing the project into your own, while honoring the women of the past. The photos are really awesome - I can almost touch the fabrics and paper.

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  13. I love this! A few years ago, my mother passed on five handsewn quilt tops that my grandmother & great grandmother, whom I was named after, had started but never got around to finishing. The fabrics are so unique & seem to have been from everything from sheets to children's clothes. my favorite part is there are scraps of newspaper sewn into the back of one. I can only assume it was used as a template for my grandmother, who was a child then. I got my crafty gene from these women and plan to honor them by finishing the quilts. I will probably have to replace the holey bits with new fabric but will try to stay as close to the original design as possible. Once finished, I will pass the quilts on to my siblings so we will each have a piece of our history to pass down too. My mother will get the one that her mother made at the age of 14 :)

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  14. I love this! A few years ago, my mother passed on five handsewn quilt tops that my grandmother & great grandmother, whom I was named after, had started but never got around to finishing. The fabrics are so unique & seem to have been from everything from sheets to children's clothes. my favorite part is there are scraps of newspaper sewn into the back of one. I can only assume it was used as a template for my grandmother, who was a child then. I got my crafty gene from these women and plan to honor them by finishing the quilts. I will probably have to replace the holey bits with new fabric but will try to stay as close to the original design as possible. Once finished, I will pass the quilts on to my siblings so we will each have a piece of our history to pass down too. My mother will get the one that her mother made at the age of 14 :)

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  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE the hexies and vintage fabrics

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