So many things are better the second time around aren't they?
For example, I remember knitting when younger and how time consuming it seemed, how sloooowly the little completed portion grew. As someone who has a Grandmother who has knit constantly during the whole of my life, I have dabbled with knitting many times during my childhood and my enduring memory for years was the amount of work that it took.
Going back to it now, in later life, my perspective has changed and I have finally gained the patience I need to see such a project through to conclusion and this time, finally, knitting (and crochet) have 'stuck' with me.
I have very similar memories of patchwork. I remember staying at that same Grandmother's house one school holiday and she set me off on sewing together hexagons. I don't think the project survived more than a day or two as I can clearly remember my utter incredulity of first having the tack the material round the paper and then having to sew yet again to attach them to each other! The sheer levels of work and effort required blew my little, transient mind and I don't think I successfully completed much more than one hexagon flower.
And so, armed with this memory, I have been surfing around amongst the many wonderful quilting blogs out there in the ether, admiring blocks and fabrics and skill. Of course, I have noticed a beautiful hexagon quilt here, a hexagon tutorial there and marvelled at these people's dedication in taking on such a humongous task. Certainly, as lovely as these people's work was, it did not sway me to having a go at such labour intensive work!
As I mentioned before, when talking about my experience with the Japanese Flower Shawl somehow, these things permeate into your brain. You see something, you like it but you don't want it. The thing however is now in your head. For a while it just sits there quietly, biding it's time. But then, slowly at first, the idea starts to grow. Before you know it you find not only do you like this thing, but now, amazingly, you have a burning desire to own/make/try the thing in question. I get this all the time!
So, back to hexagons...
I still had no plans to try any patchwork at all when I stumbled across this, this and this rather brilliant set of tutorials by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet (most excellent site, if you haven't come across it before). I was looking for something else at the time, but I got reading and....
... Lori makes it all look and sound so easy, you see? I got tempted. I got sucked into thinking that maybe I could do it too.
So, off I set (without a special cutter) making a template hexagon for my fabric, paper hexagons to 'piece' with, finding suitable fabric to use and all in all, enjoying myself thoroughly!
I don't have anything finished to show you quite yet, but hopefully in the not too distant future there will be.
I'm having great fun with patchwork on this second time around though.