Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Needlework Tuesday: Hexed!

Image from "We All Sew"
Geometry was not my favorite subject, but when I saw this picture, I was immediately sucked into the "hexie" craze.   Doesn't  that make you want to sew hundreds of hexagons just for the fun of it?  Ok, maybe it's just me.  

If you are drawn in, this article from We All Sew includes links to several tutorials and project ideas.   I decided on 1" hexagons (meaning each side measures 1"), so I needed 2 1/2" squares of fabric.   

I won't go into the process of making hexies, since it's covered so well by others, but I will add a couple of my own discoveries.

1.  The best place I find for printing paper templates is at Love Patchwork and Quilting.  They offer free downloads of multiple sizes of hexagons.  I printed 10 sheets and spent a couple hours at my "ultra-busy" job cutting them out.  However, the paper hexagons can be reused multiple times, so I didn't need as many to get started as I thought.

2.  I wasted a ridiculous amount of time and brain power figuring the size of fabric scrap needed, and the fastest/easiest way to cut multiple hexagons.  Then a friend pointed out that the fabric doesn't have to be a perfect hexagon.  Cut 2 1/2" squares, pin on the 1" hexagon template, then snip off corners before you start stitching.  OR, my preference, is to just leave he corners on.  It actually makes it easier to fold around the paper piece and when the final product is pressed, does not add enough bulk to matter.

3.  Don't skip the pinning step.  Whether you use a straight pin, paper clip, glue stick, butcher paper or any of the other methods listed in the article, don't skip this step.  I thought I could just hold the paper in place well enough.  WRONG!  No matter how well I thought I was holding, the paper shifted and I had uneven hexagons.

Now that I have a small stash of hexies made up, I am assembling them into flowers - 1 hexie in the center, surrounded by 6 "petals"  There are dozens and dozens of project ideas on Pinterest, so everyone on my Christmas list can expect hexies in their stocking.  

A sampling of my hexagon flowers on my design board.
For starters, and practice, I'm making a table runner - white background with hexie flowers scattered down the center and machine appliqued.  I practiced on one flower, using a blanket-style stitch.  You can see that I experimented with the number of stitches/inch until I found what I liked. And, of course, on the final project I will use white thread.  I am going for a "scrappy" look, rather than color coordinating each flower (as you'll see in many projects) - the better to use that large plastic tote of scraps I have collected.

I also made progress on the baby quilt.  My great-nephew is due on the 19th, but the doctor says "any minute", so I'm trying to get it complete and ready to go for our first visit. The tying is done and the binding is sewn on.  All that's left is the hand sewing - my favorite part. 

 Someone asked for more details about the machine-tying method I used.  The corner of each block is tacked with a tight zig-zag stitch.  It makes a cleaner look than hand tying - no lose ends - but it was more difficult to keep from bunching up.  Even with pins every 4", the backing shifted a little.  I didn't bother to clip threads between corners, I pulled out enough thread to get to the next corner without pulling in between, and made the next stitches.  I clipped all threads after I was finished.  

Hopefully, there will be pictures of the finished quilt next week.  Maybe even one with the new arrival.

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather @ Books & Quilts.

1 comment:

  1. I've done a few hexie blocks but not had the urge to make a project. I do love the projects that others have done. There is softward for printing the lines right on the fabric. It's by a Canadian woman who doesn't live far from me Linda Franz at Inklingo http://lindafranz.com/index.php

    Thanks for linking up for Needlework Tuesday.