Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Hexies in the Almost-Ozarks


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Last week, my sister and I took my dad down to Warsaw, Missouri, where my dad’s sister lives and where his parents (our grandparents) used to live after my grandfather retired from working in Kansas City. I was suppose to write to you from there on Friday with this article, but alas, the WiFi was too sluggish.

I took my hexies with me, of course! I knew they’d enjoy a little rest, relaxation, and attention, too, after all. I also knew about a quilt shop there that carries the fabric line I’m using. And, well… you know how it is…

Hexies on the Road in the Ozarks

So we drove down to Warsaw – which is just over a three hours’ drive – where we stayed in a little rental house that had a perfect porch for early morning stitching sessions.

Even the vintage-style furniture (definitely 50’s throwback, but pretty cute stuff!) color coordinated well with my hexies.

Warsaw is right before the northwest edge of the Ozarks, nestled on the Truman Reservoir and the Osage River. It’s not a mountainous place by a long shot – it’s more akin to Kansas prairie towns – but it is just the beginning of a beautiful mountain range that occupies much of Missouri and Arkansas. There are some magnificent spots in the Ozarks (very similar to the Appalachian Mountains), but Warsaw doesn’t really share the same qualities. It reminds me more of a Midwest, edge-of-the-prairie sort of town, only it has a lot of water nearby. It’s a good place for boating and fishing.

Hexies on the Road in the Ozarks

While visiting, it was great to have handwork along, and once again, I made some progress with my hexies. I’ve begun sewing small sections of strips together, to create larger sections. It’s exciting to see the quilt top grow!

Perhaps more exciting, though, was that the quilt shop I had in mind was barely a block from the house we were staying in. At first, I thought this could be dangerous. I could envision repeated trips to pick up just a wee bit more fabric.

For better or for worse, though, I didn’t have a chance to visit the shop more than once.

Hexies on the Road in the Ozarks

During that visit, I discovered something exciting, but at the same time, a little disappointing.

I purchased my original fabric (Moda’s “Porcelain” by Three Sisters) in layer cake form, as explained in this article. In fact, there are more options in the line than there were in the layer cakes.

I found several more coordinating fabrics from the Porcelain line at the quilt shop, and while I would have loved to buy yardage of each of the unfamiliar prints, I decided on just three – the lower three fabrics in the stack above.

The other fabrics were in the layer cakes and are featured in the quilt so far. I bought those because I wanted to make sure I had enough fabric for edging, binding, and backing. I plan to do a pieced back (large pieces). I already have some yardage, but I wanted to round out my collection with a little more variety.

I love the lowest fabric in that photo above, and I regret that it wasn’t part of the original layer cakes. Still, I’m going to cut some squares and baste some hexies in those prints, to add to the rest of the quilt. I don’t think it will be noticeable at all, given the completely nature of the quilt top.

Hexies on the Road in the Ozarks

The quilt shop I visited is called City’s Edge Quilt Shop and Sewing Center. They offer and service Janome machines, I think, and they have a long-arm service there, too, in a separate building.

The quilt shop is situated in a pretty Midwest-style house with a lovely porch overlooking Main Street.

Hexies on the Road in the Ozarks

Inside, you’ll find a selection of good quality quilting fabrics, lots of quilting patterns and the like, and of course, plenty of accessories!

Hexies on the Road in the Ozarks

The gal who helped us was super friendly. The shop was neat as a pin, bright, colorful, airy, with hardwood floors and white trim and everything just as charming as can be.

You can find City’s Edge Quilt Shop online, too, where you can purchase fabric. If you’re looking for the Porcelain line, they still have some in stock! They also carry Cosmo floss, so if you’re in the vicinity looking for decent embroidery floss, it’s a good line.

So that was my adventure at the end of last week. Unless anything catastrophic happens, it’s clear sailing here in the studio for the next several months!

Lots to do, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!



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(17) Comments

  1. LOL! I’m not a quilter, so I’m not up to date on quilting terminology. What the heck is a “layer cake?” I got hungry when I saw the term, but I have a feeling that’s not what you’re talking about!

    I do enjoy reading about the hexies, though. It’s tempting to start doing it myself, but I’m 74, and with over 5,000 hexies in a quilt, I’m sure I won’t live long enough to finish one.

    1. Hi, Sally – I layer cake is a selection of fabrics from a fabric line, cut into 10″ squares. In the case of this particular quilt, there are 42 10″ squares of fabric from the “Porcelain” line in each layer cake. Most of the fabrics are repeated at least once if not more times within the layer cake. Moda names their pre-cut collections things like “layer cakes” and “jelly rolls.” They always make me hungry.

  2. Hello Mary –
    Every time you post about your EPP, I get curious bout how you plan to finish this project. Will you be quilting it (hand or machine) or doing ties? Or may still deciding? Inquiring minds what to know!

  3. Would Warsaw be a good couples get away place? Would you mind sharing where you stayed?

    I am so ready to go somewhere, anywhere with my husband to get away. We live about 4 or 5 hours from Osage Beach in northwest Arkansas.

    1. Hi, Jenny – When it comes to the Ozarks, it’s much prettier down by the actual Lake of the Ozarks, or south towards Springfield, or east towards Arkansas. Warsaw is just on the outer edge of the Ozarks. If you have an interest in water stuff (like boating and fishing) there are things to do there. If you don’t, there’s not a lot to do there, and the economy is what I would call “depressed” – much of which has to do with the current state of affairs. Many of the shops and restaurants are closed. It’s not a place I’d go to spend a lot of time, and most of what there is to see (unless you’re into boating and fishing) can be seen in a day. The reason we went was to visit my aunt and my cousin. If they didn’t live there, it wouldn’t be a choice destination. We found a place on VRBO / AirBnB.

  4. Looks great, Mary!! I’ve been working on mine too. I am going the freezer paper route so am using the English paper-piecing method. It just seems easier than having to mess with lining up all the hexes back to back, pinning, etc. I have a small basketful of basted hexies, but I think I’ll need more to inspire myself to start sewing them together. I love how yours looks. I’m using French General fabrics, so most of the same colors you’re using. I find them very serene to work with (even the reds). What a wonderful visit for you, and how great that you found some fabric in the same line. It’s lovely!

  5. Hi Mary, You may have answered these questions but I couldn’t find answers so….
    What thread are you using to baste and stitch your hexies together with?
    What needles do you recommend using?
    Last but not least, where did you find those tiny adorable scissors?
    Thank you for all you posts.

    1. Hi, Trudi – I was using just a regular all purpose sewing thread (Coats) but the last two spools I’ve gotten have been slubby and awful! So I’m switching, but I haven’t decided which thread to use – either Superior’s Masterpiece in parchment (color) or YLI’s 60 wt (I think the color is “natural”). I used Superior’s 60 wt, I think, to begin with, and while I liked sewing with it, I found it a little too fine – it didn’t seem quite sturdy enough. So I’m playing with a couple different threads to see which one I like better at this point, but I’m definitely ditching the all purpose Coats I was using, as I’ve had two bad spools in a row.

      For needles, I just use sharps or quilting needles or betweens – I think the one in my pincushion that I keep grabbing is a sharp.

      The scissors are tiny and adorable, aren’t they? They’re Bohin’s mini (extra small) soft touch scissors. They’re tiny, but they have decent sized finger holes. I love ’em!

  6. Moda has so many beautiful prints. I can easily see why you like that bottom print. Very reminiscent of crewel work patterns.

  7. Dear Mary

    I’m glad you had a break and managed to visit a fabric shop and bought some lovely material for your patch work blanket, it looked a lovely shop and I would loved to have been with you to browse the lovely material and accessories they seem to have. These kind of shops are hard to fine now a days and to find one is such a plus I love browsing in shops like these. The house you stayed in looked lovely as well and reminds me of all those American films on the prairie which I used to watch as a child and wish I was there. Your quilt as grown so much I can’t wait to see it when it is finished. Thank you for sharing your break with us and for the photos of the lovely shop and holiday home.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  8. Hi!

    I have wanted to do a quilt for a longtime & have put it off due to my awful design sense… I just need something I can do with my hands without much prep work. Hexies are PERFECT!! I grabbed a Moda 2.5 ” Jelly Roll & some 1″ card templates & a glue pen & am off to the races. Wahoo….
    BUT thread… I know I wanna use 100% cotton… BUT what weight? They seem to be inverse sized like needles (bigger number = smaller gauge) and I am doing this by hand so a glaced thread is best if I don’t wanna use beeswax or thread minder…
    I know this isn’t your area of expertise but I figured someone out there would know if you didn’t… AND it kinda fits with embroidery since we put together our projects by hand sewing the pieces, etc… BUT a quilt has to stand up to being washed so no silk or linen. Polyester is too tough on cotton fabrics & will rip the fabric before it breaks the stitch. Anybody out there? I don’t wanna spend years making this & have it fail ’cause I used crappy thread BUT at the same time the idea of spending $13 for a spool of thread… well, I have no problem paying for best quality, if it IS best quality & not just expensive… if ya see what I mean.

    Thank you for the brightness you bring!


    1. Well, following the advice of my sister who hand pieces her quilts, I went for an all-purpose sewing thread to begin with (by Coats). At first, it was ok. But the last two spools I’ve gotten have been slubby and inconsistent. So I’m switching threads before I go any further. I’m testing two different threads this weekend, and as soon as I have a better idea of which one I like best, I’ll probably write about it. If you drop me an email next week to remind me, I’ll be able to give you more specifics on the ones that work well for me.

  9. I have been wanting to give a paper piecing a try since I saw your first post about this quilt, and I think it might be time to start! You mentioned that you need 5,174 hexagons for your quilt – what is the finished size of the quilt going to be?

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