Thursday 19 November 2015

How to Baste English Paper Pieced Hexies

Last month I showed you my hexie flowers. They've multiplied at a reasonable rate since I first showed them to you. As Quiltpiecer said, A hexie here, a hexie there, they will all add up... Today I thought I'd show you how I make my hexagons - getting them ready to sew together.

How to Baste English Paper Pieced Hexagons... TUTORIAL ~ Threading My Way

Obviously you need scraps of fabric. The size of your fabric depends on how large your hexies will be. All my hexies are from my expanding stash of offcuts. I have bags and bags of offcuts from various sewing projects. Nothing gets thrown away!!!

Second thing you will need - hexagon templates. You can purchase these pre-cut, you can download template files or you can make your own. The ones you buy can generally be re-used. I print mine from a PDF file onto standard weight paper, which means they can't be re-used. If your printer will take card stock, you may be able to re-use them.

Cutting out the hexies is time consuming, but it's much cheaper than buying ready made. If I were starting from scratch again, I'd choose a template that cut down on cutting time. Placement of hexies is the key here. 

Hexies are measured by the length of their sides. Mine are a smidgeon under 1". The smaller the size, the longer the project will take. There are loads of free PDF templates online. Some of the following posts have thoughts on placement of hexies to cut down on cutting time.

Of course, if there's a specific size you are after, you could make up your own template.

Hexies can be glued or basted to the templates. I baste mine, using cheap thread, a needle and with a Clover Wonder clip. I have tried both gluing and basting, but always come back to basting. 

  • Cut fabric at least ¼" larger than the template. 
  • Fold one side over and hold with a clip.

  • Fold over the side opposite to the clip.
  • Knot thread and starting on the right side, push the needle through to the wrong side

  • Fold the next side down.
  • Stitch through the corner, from wrong side to right side.

  • Fold the next side down.
  • Stitch through the corner from right side to wrong side.

  • Continue till you reach the beginning.

  • Bring the thread to the right side.
  • Knot or double stitch to secure.
The beginning and ending knots need to be on the right side of the hexie, to make removal of the basting thread easier.

The photo above shows what it will look like from the wrong side...

... and from the right side.

Easy, isn't it. Basting hexies is a good project for when you are out and about, or while watching TV. You'll be surprised at how quickly the hexies will add up. 

How to Baste English Paper Pieced Hexagons... TUTORIAL ~ Threading My Way

There's only one problem, however, making hexies is addictive!!! I'm well and truly hooked. 

Next time I'll show you how to sew your hexies together. I find hand sewing quite therapeutic, which makes sewing hexies a good project for me. I have a bag packed with all the bits and pieces I need for sewing a few hexies. Makes it easy to grab when I want to take sewing with me.

Do you find any specific aspect of sewing relaxing?

Edited to add: Now you've learnt how to Baste your hexies, it's time to sew them together.

... Pam

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I've been resisting the hexy craze because it's too much handwork for me, but I do love the look of stacks of pretty colourful little jewels of hexyness (hexiness?) :D

  3. So the bug got you! For the last few years, I've been picking up sample packets of paper piecing material from the Quilting Ladies at the state fair. It's been a big thing here in KY for a while. Just so happens 2 nights ago our Quilting Guild had a hands on lesson for paper piecing. The kit she gave us including squares of fabric which can be cut faster with rotary cutter. The backs don't look even neat like yours. I noticed you use paper. Is that easier to remove or do you bother taking it out? The verdict is out for me as I had a hard time making these because of my hands and poor eye sight.

  4. I wish I could motivate myself to finish my son's ship's quilt! I have to resist other quilting temptations. I'll be so glad when it's finished so I can do other new things!!

  5. This looks like a labour of love, I look forward to seeing them sewn together #CreativeMondays

  6. I need to get some more hexies on the go, you're right they're quite therapeutic. Although I do find that when you get to sewing them together progress feels a lot slower. So I'll be reading that post with interest in a minute!

  7. I also thread baste mine but put a small amount of glue stick glue on the center of the template to hold it in place and prevent it from slipping and it keeps the fabric centered in place.

    1. Great idea to add the dab of glue, Judy.

    2. Oddly enough, I find pressing/ironing fabric is relaxing. I have no idea why!

  8. I bought a Fiskars paper punch and punch mine out of cardstock. Punch a hole in the center with regular hole punch to facilitate removal of the paper. I use a tiny binder clip to clip one side of the fabric and paper together. I just whip stitch the corners on the wrong side. My thread does not show on the front side. Not necessary to remove stitches this way.

  9. My mother started a grandmother's flower garden swatch. I was trying to duplicate her method of a center and two outside layers of petals with smaller flowers of only one layer of petals but it confused me. While I like randomness, I also love balance, and it has been tricky for me to figure out how to have both with one piece at a time. Your instructions to get started were very clear and I am looking forward to reading and learning more from you as I progress. Much more helpful than the quilting books I was trying to use. Ruth H.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment, Ruth. Glad the instructions have helped!


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