Hexi-Piecing with Etsy and the Beehive Craft Collective

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Ever wished you could find a stitch-and-bitch night for sewing instead of knitting? It’s been my holy grail for years – In Japan, I even travelled 90min on the train to a knit night just for the lure of communal crafting… only to find that the friend I came with and I made of 2/3 of the “group”! After that, we stayed home.

This past Wednesday, though, I found something close! Etsy Canada co-hosted a hexagon-piecing workshop along with a group of crafty ladies from Hamilton called the Beehive Craft Collective. They are planning an art installation which involve covering parts of downtown buildings with sections of English-paper pieced hexagons. Something like this: 

Image courtesy for the Beehive Craft Collective.

Image courtesy of the Beehive Craft Collective.  

Neat, eh? They need slave labour help to make all the hexiagons, so on Wednesday, over a hundred people people met up to sew, eat cupcakes, and meet new people! Some of the people were Etsy sellers, really looking to network… others were generally crafty or interested in community projects. 

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Here’s my table – a really lovely group of women! There’s my sister Anne, in the bottom left, who is a published knitting designer and past-president of the largest knitting guild in Canada… at the far end of the table is Glenna, who is taking time out of academia to launch a full range of beautiful knitwear designs and teach knitting across the province… on either side of me are two Etsy vendors: Erin sews beautiful aprons and totes as Dear Edna, and Genevieve makes the CUTEST sewn and needle-felted toys! (Rounding out the group were two crafty women who I won’t name, since they don’t have a business and might not appreciate it – but trust me, they were fun!) 

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Then, of course, there’s me: blogger and sometimes vendor! (I’m working on a new order for the local store where I sell, so I’ll have to update my Bright Threads website soon!) After our discussion about wearing handmade clothing to fabric stores, I decided to wear my Colette Truffle dress to see if any garment sewers would recognise the pattern. The answer: Nope!

The only other person that I saw wearing a recognisable pattern or fabric was one of the owners of the fabulous new sewing shop in downtown Hamilton called Needlework. She was wearing a lovely Wiksten tank in tunic-length. I cornered her so that I could inspect it up close… and decided that while it was very cute on her, I like a few darts myself! I scanned the room for other possibly homemade garments, and nothing jumped out at me – no Fabricland fabric, no distictive Indie patterns – but I’d like to believe that there are more garment sewers out there somewhere! 

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Overall, it was a really fun night of sewing! Hexagons were the perfect easy project to keep hands busy while leaving us free to chat and get to know each other. It was lovely to have Anne and Glenna along for the ride –  even though they are committed knitters, I think they enjoyed joining the sewing community for a night! I’ve even got plans to meet with Glenna next week to help her make a simple reversible tote bag. Hurray for spreading the sewing love!

Thanks very much to Etsy Canada and the Beehive for hosting the event – I’m already looking forward to going to a open sewing night at Needlework later in the month, and hoping that my doppleganger Sarah joins me!

All photos from the Etsy Canada Flickr group. Thanks to their professional photog for the lovely shots!


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