Traveling hexagons

If you have followed my last couple of blog posts, you know that I’ve been traveling. I brought the ultimate traveling sewing project with me – English paper pieced hexagons!

A group of hexagons sewn together.

Before I left home, I grabbed this great set of fat quarters that my dear niece had given me.

Fun group of fat quarters

I had already purchased a package of 100 one-inch hexagon precut paper shapes.

Package of precut paper hexagons

I found these at a quilt shop in Illinois but you can also buy them online here. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. A 1″  hexagon means that each side of the hexagon measures one inch. These are made out of light card stock which is perfect. I also cut a couple hexagons out of some card stock I had that were 1/4 inch larger all the way around.  I used these as a rough template to cut my fabric with. I simply cut the fabrics into strips, stacked about 4 strips, and then used a rotary cutter to cut around the hexagon template.  Some of the fabrics had patterns on them that I felt would look better if they were not randomly cut.  In order to “fussy cut” these fabrics, I cut the 1 ” shape out of the middle of my template, placed it where I wanted on the fabric and cut each one out individually.

Using template to see what final hexagon will look like.

Using template to “fussy cut” hexagon

This gave me a wonderful collection of fabric hexagons which are the right size to use with my 1″ papers.

Fabric hexagons and paper pieces.

There are a lot of different instructions for english paper piecing. Some have you actually baste the fabric to the paper which I do not like to do. I hold the paper against the wrong side of the fabric, fold over one side, then another and baste the fold where they intersect. Keep doing this around the shape until all sides are basted down.

Back of basted hexagon.

After basting many of these, they can be whip-stitched together by putting right sides together and sewing one side at a time. It is an extremely accurate way of piecing geometric shapes together and is all done by hand.  This is what makes English paper piecing so great to travel with!  Small pieces, needle and thread.  So little to carry with you!

Front side

Reverse side.

Here is the little case I carry this project in which I bought at the Container Store.

Hexagon tool box

Everything I need!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my hexagons.  I’m thinking of making a tote bag or pillow. I guess it will depend on how many I get put together.


Filed under Tutorials, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Traveling hexagons

  1. Linda this is so timely for me. I just bought a gorgeous quilt kit that will have me making hexies for the first time. Your hand work is so perfect – I can only hope to get that close. But I’m extra jazzed after seeing your post!

  2. Linda, I’m so glad you stopped by my blog! I love seeing other hexagon quilts going on! There’s something very addicting about seeing them come together. I’ll have to check out the container store for the handy tool box.

  3. I put together a bag of epp hexagon supplies for my recent 2 week trip but sadly, I never even opened the bag! Yours look great so far!

    • That must have been a really great trip! I guess you have the hexagons all ready for another trip that isn’t as exciting, or your kid’s soccer/dance practice, a good movie on TV at home, etc!!!!

  4. Jamie Lee

    That is perfect that the template lets you see what you are fussy cutting. Is it pretty quick to baste it all down or does that take a long time? Also, when do you take the paper out? Do you leave it in while you are whipstitching it together?

    • You do leave the paper in while you do the whip stitch. You just catch a few threads on the edge of the hexagon so you do not sew the paper. You do not remove the paper until that hexagon has all six sides whip stitched to something else. At that point you just pop the paper out and you can reuse it. It doesn’t take long to sew this way. Remember that the really great thing about this type of hand sewing is that you can do it in the car (if you’re the passenger!) or waiting at the doctor’s office, or at home in front of the TV which makes it a great use of time when you wouldn’t normally be getting any sewing done. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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