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Monday, October 3, 2011

Hexagon Tutorial ~ Part Three

Sewing Hexagons Together

Are you addicted to hexagons yet? 

Once you've made a pile of hexies, you can begin to sew them together.  I highly recommend that you alternate between making the hexagons and sewing them together so as not to overly stress your hands. Believe me....I speak from experience here!

Ideally, you are striving to make a lot of tiny stitches
that will be unseen on the front of the quilt. 

To aid you with this, I recommend using the John James Gold 'N Glide needles (or other thin needle as explained in Part One) and silk thread.  Some thoughts about working with silk thread......

It is very thin (therefore more likely it won't be seen on the top) ....rather slippery....and thus slips out from the eye of the needle, all too often making it frustrating to work with.  It can have a tendency to twist and knot as well. 

But....there are hints to make these issues less of a problem.

* Use Thread Heaven on your silk thread!!!  It will give body to the thread and will all but stop it from twisting and knotting.

* There is a way to make a knot at the top of your needle that will stop your thread from coming off!  Yes...at the eye of the needle itself!  This knot will not catch or cause a problem!!  Oh no...it solves this problem beautifully!!  (My friend, Tara Darr of Sew Unique Creations , sent me this link - girlfriends are the best!!)  

Click here to watch a You Tube video on how to make this awesome knot.

Pin two hexagons right sides together.  Bring the needle under the seam allowance 
and out at the point on the right side. 

Ideally, you are taking your stitches in the fold of the fabric without stitching into the paper.

Pierce the points of the two hexagons to align the corners.
Take two stitches and add a loop knot to secure them.

Whip stitch many tiny stitches as you work your way to the left corner.  I add several loop knots as I work my way across.  With the knot at the top of the needle now securing the thread, the loop knots securing your stitches, and the pin keeping the two hex's together, you can put your stitching down anytime without it becoming un-done which is kinda nice!  (If you prefer to stitch from left to right, you certainly can.) 

Remember, your goal is to insert the needle in the fold of the fabric, not in the paper.  Inevitably, you will likely pierce the paper from time to time.  It won't hurt anything (but dulls your needle quicker) so long as it is close to the top of the paper and the fold.

When you reach the left corner, pierce the two hex points to align them, take two stitches and knot several times to secure.

Here's the results those tiny stitches will give you!

At this point you have several options.  If your stitching is complete you can clip your thread and be done.  If you have another hexagon to add, you can move your needle over....with basting stitches.....to the next corner.  That way, you don't have to cut the thread and knot the needle again....saving some time.

Pin the next hexagon and continue stitching as you did before, matching points, tying loop knots often as you work your way to the left point. 

Pierce the left point taking two stitches and knot.  Remove the pin.

Two seams sewn.....now for the third seam.

Bend the hexagon on your right side in half (on the left side as well if applicable, and any others that may be in your way).  This will help you keep the two hexagons you're sewing nice and straight.  (This is the big reason why I like the paper hexagons as opposed to reusable plastic!)  Pin them together once they are properly positioned and sew the seam.

Looking pretty good! 

Do not remove any papers until all six sides of the hexagon are sewn,
or until you're ready to finish your project.
In my next post, I'll cover the steps to finish your quilt.

I've received many email requests asking me to offer a basic hexagon sewing supply kit on my website.  I think this is a great idea!  I hope to have this item ready for you in a few days, and will include this information in my next post. 

Until next time.....Pam


  1. My post today was my slow attempt for making hexies. They are fun, and hopefully soon I won't feel all thumbs. I linked to your tutorial. Thank you. http://sugarlandquilts.com

  2. Thanks for the great tutorial and the tip for silk threads. I adore silk threads for applique!

  3. This is so clear and understandable. Thank you. Blessings, Janet

  4. I think the tip regarding a hole punched in the papers is brilliant. I will try the silk thread since reading this post. Hexies are addictive but I often have trouble with painful arm. Perhaps the pin in the centre will help.

  5. I found this tutorial very helpful and will pass it on to our Guild as we are just learning to do hexi"s.
    Thank You so much for the excellant demo....something I will be coming back to, I am sure.
    Hugs /