I am starting a revolution - at least I am trying!
I spend a lot of time commuting, lots of trains and tubes, the occasional bus, my work takes me all over London. One day's worth of meetings can result in anything up to 3-4 hours train or tube time, that's an awful lot of idle time. I am not good at being idle.
So I started to drag along some sewing, at first I tried embroidery, but changing thread colour and the need for precision proved a bit tricky for bumpy train rides, also you need to carry quite a lot of floss, unless you work in one colour. So instead, I got me some paper hexagons and started making a quilt.
This is the perfect craft for commuting, you can piece by hand with relative ease and it is so portable. I take along a needle, thread, scissors, the paper pieces, the fabric squares, and that's pretty much it, it tucks neatly into my bag and I can whip it out as soon as my butt hits he train seat.
I worked out that between tube stops I can sew one side of a hexagon (to another) so a full days worth of meetings in London can yield at least one double ring Hexagon flower, I need 40 of these, so far I have 11, all completed on the commute in the last few weeks.
I get a lot of strange looks from other travellers, and occasionally someone breaks the London rule (don't talk to fellow commuters) and asks me what I am doing. I think I have converted at least 3 people to my Sew on the Go idea, who knows?
It seems like such a great use of otherwise idle time. I have seen one person knitting, but never anyone sewing. Am I alone? Does anyone else Sew on the Go?
The craft industry is the fastest growing industry in the UK, with millions, yes MILLIONS, of women turning their attentions to creating for fun, especially quilting. Surely I am not alone in my crafty commuting endevours?
Will you join me?
Here is how I make the hexies...
First you need to get some paper pieces, you can cut these from scrap paper yourself. I couldn't face trying to precisely cut hundreds of paper hexies, so I bought mine on ebay, you can also buy them here.
You will need to cut fabric squares approx 1" larger than your paper pieces. I am working with 2" hexies and my fabric squares are 3", the fabric need not be cut precisely (only the paper pieces). I do not cut mine into hexagons, I just go right ahead and fold them around my template. This will mean bulkier seams, and I am not sure yet how this will impact the quilting part (being as I haven't got that far), but a whole lot of people seem to be doing it this way, so I am following suit.
Armed with your paper hexies and fabric squares, grab a needle and thread, and fold and baste the fabric to the paper pieces, like so....
Finger pressing thn gently around the edges of your hexagons is super easy, I fold a side then baste before folding the next side and continuing to baste.
Once you have basted them, they will look like this...
Once you have a pile of these, you can start stitching them together. You can stitch them randomly to make a charm quilt, or you can use a pattern like the (free) one I am using here.
To attach them to one another, hold them right sides together and whip stitch them at the edges, the stitches need to be small and close together, so as not to catch the paper (this part is easier than you think), but not necessarily super neat.
Think about what colour thread you use, as sometimes you can see the little stitches to the front (only a little).
It will look like this on the back...
Once you have stitched the hexies together, you can unpick the basting stitches and re-use the paper pieces if you need to, the tiny needle holes don't damage them a whole lot, my paper pieces are on their fourth round and still doing fine, though they will eventually be too tatty to use again.
Prepare to be super addicted, and if you decide to Sew on the Go, don't forget to post your photos to the Flickr Group I set up, you can post any crafty commuting endevours in this group, including knitting! I might get some Sew on the Go stickers printed up with which to adorn myself during said crafty commutes, so if you see a suited blonde woman, madly stitching and clad head to toe in stickers with this logo, then do say hello :)
If there is anything I have missed, or you have any questions or perhaps some nuggets of golden wisdom to add, please do leave a comment :)