We have been hit with a bunch of rain in the last few days, so the harvest will need to wait until the mud goes away. So I thought I would add a little how-to on the hexagons I am making for my hexagon quilt.
You can find tons of tutorials online as well. So I suggest you do what I did, and look at a bunch of them to get a grasp of the project from a few different perspectives. Go to Pinterest and search with things like “hexagon quilt” “English paper piecing” even “EPP”. You can even go for “hand quilting”. Just find some inspiration, this is a long project, and inspiration will probably be needed after a while.
You need to decide what size hexagons you are going to do. You can order paper or plastic ones online, but I just traced one from my computer screen… And I just cut more out of card stock as I need them. I made myself a template for the papers out of a heavy cardboard, and then when i need more papers, I just cut around the template. Mine are about 2.5 inches from point to point.
Once you have decided on your hexagon size, you will need to make a template to cut your fabric out with. It should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch larger on all sides than your finished hexagons will be (you’ll see why soon)
Cut your fabric out to the fabric template size. On the back of the fabric, place one of your hexagon papers. Fold the fabric over, and tack it together with a needle and thread. This is why you need the fabric larger than the finished hexagon size.
Continue all the way around until the hexagon is complete.
At this part, if you are careful to not poke all the way through the paper, and to just see this side of the fabric, you can leave all the thread in place. This is what I am doing. It seems to make more sense to me- and less work later on. Other instructions show you to tack all the way through to to “good” side of the hexagons. Which may very well work for you, so don’t write it off, just find something that works for you. The second way I mentioned just means you will be removing all the thread later on. While it may reduce bulk in the finished quilt, I personally don’t think it is worth all the extra work.
Once you have 7 hexagons (6 patterned and 1 white for the centre in my case), you can start stitching them together.
Put the “good sides” together and stitch one hexagon side together. I usually add everything around the centre hexagon, then stitch the sides together to form a complete “flower”.
To stitch them, I use a basic sewing stitch. I have no idea what it is actually called, but it is how my grandmas taught me to see when I was little, and it is what I am familiar and comfortable with.
Just take little “bites” out as you go along and sew however you feel comfortable.
Other sites show you other methods. Pick what works for you.
I hope that picture shows what I was trying to explain. I try to keep everything even and close together. Keep it all tight but not too tight, so the thread doesn’t break… Either while you are sewing, or during the life of the quilt. You also don’t want it too loose. I just try and follow whatever tiny sewing instinct I have.
Good luck with your own epic hand quilting project! I will keep updating about mine as I make progress.