17 September 2020


Spending 14 days in the hospital with Lizard following his back surgery gave me some time to catch up on hand-sewing I hadn't touched since... well, probably at least 2015.

When I first started this project, using leftovers from two favorite dresses I made for work, I think I intended to make a quilted vest, or perhaps even a crochet bag to haul my snowflake projects on the bus each weekday, to coordinate with the two dresses.

My, my, my, how things change!

Both of the dresses are now in the scrap pile. I literally wore them out. The hexie batik dress was ripped down the back of the skirt when I went through one of the rotted stairs in our rotted but now removed patio. (Our house is a fixer-upper. The patio, which appeared to have never been maintained, came with it.) I patched the dress using some of the leftovers in the hexie project and continued wearing it for several more years until the fabric in high-contact areas (primarily the seat and under the arms) wore so thin, it was nearly transparent.

I don't have to ride the bus now for who knows how long, and I get to dress down every day because I'm working from home for the foreseeable future. So I don't really need fancy clothing, fancy bags or commute distractions. I must confess: I am very tired of T-shirts, shorts and jeans. I'm ready to dress up again. I dress up each Sunday for home church. But we aren't going anywhere else where fancy clothing would be in order.

Even though I am thoroughly enjoying this project, I have no idea what do do with it when I'm done. I don't even know how big to keep going. Sometimes I think I could just keep going and add in all my leftover batiks and hand-paints and one day have a full-sized quilt. But I also would like to finish this because it's been on my WIP challenge list for at least six years, and perhaps longer than that. (I just looked it up, and I made the dress in 2012. I don't know when I made the first little hexies from the leftovers, but I suspect around 2014.)

When I first decided to take along this project to work on while Lizard was in the hospital, I dug out another batik scrap I thought might make a great background for the hexie flowers. The turquoise gradient is leftover from another dress, this one barely getting any wear at all because it was a lot cooler in my head than it looked on me when finished. I'm not even sure I wore it once, longer than to see how tenty it looks on me. Ugh!!!

While working on the hexagons in the hospital, I ran out of the gradient leftovers. I briefly entertained the idea of cutting up the dress because I probably won't ever wear it, but then I decided the dress might be a nice gift for one of my granddaughters when they get older because they all like snowflakes. And they aren't pear-shaped like me, thank heavens! I think they'd like it because it's different and because it's handmade.

And while I was working on the hexagons in the hospital, I ran out of templates. I had started the first flower with paper templates. That really was no fun at all. I read somewhere that templates could be made from plastic milk or juice cartons, and I read somewhere else that punching a hole in the middle of the plastic templates gives you something to grab onto when it's time to removed them from the project.

I made seven plastic templates from a used but clean milk bottle, and I guess I never imagined needing more than that. I replaced the paper templates, and the project got buried away for too many years.

After learning our three- to five-day stay in the hospital would actually be 14 days (the therapists wanted 21 days, but we were able to talk them down!), I picked up a few groceries from a store within walking distance (back when the sky was nearly black with smoke), and I recycled the hot chocolate and popcorn boxes into more hexagon templates! When I ran out of the gradient fabric, I decided to cut and pin as many hexagons as I could with the scraps I had with me to keep the project alive until I can decide what to do next.

I have tons of batik scraps in all kinds of colors, so I'm thinking it might be fun to work the background motifs into a rainbow gradient of leftovers and just keep going until I'm bored with the project. Then make it into something that would be suitable in that size. I'm thinking of using the checkerboard blocks for the backing, and I could make that sort of gradient in scheme, too, because I have plenty of 2.5 strips left over from all kinds of projects over the years.

No plan yet and sometimes frustrated by the absense of direction, but perhaps inspiration will hit me as I sew one snowy night, after all the heat and forest fire smoke are gone and Lizard is getting around more independently. (He's making really good progress, tiny little improvements each day!)

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. That sounds like a great take along project. and i think it is cool that you wore your dresses so much - but now they are getting a second life. and right? I finally bought some pretty sweats - just to make me feel dressier haha!

    1. Thank you, Alycia! I wear all my clothing way too long. Some of the T-shirts get worn so long, they aren't even suitable for T-shirt quilts anymore!!! Sweats to feel dressier... I'd be temped to dress them up! Maybe applique some snowflakes, or maybe even some hexies... ha ha ha!

  2. Pretty hexies. Sending healing wishes to Lizard.

  3. That is great that you found a way to stay occupied while there. Great he is doing better little by little too. 14 days beats 21 as well. Long haul in there.

  4. No matter where these hexes take you, they are gorgeous and they have a wonderful story. I’m glad lizard is doing better day by day! Small improvements are reasons to rejoice!

  5. That's quite a story! Too bad the dress wore out. The fabrics sure do make for nice hexies. My granddaughters want nothing to do with my clothes I've tried to pawn off on them so hope your granddaughter will appreciate your dress.

  6. It's kind of a picture of life right now - hanging on to the bits and pieces while we wonder what will happen next and how they will come together. May we all end up with something beautiful, as you surely will!


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