Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I have been Hexed!

I have received some questions regarding my English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexies.

I will share what I learned...  and where I am...  with hexies.  This is not intended to be a tutorial...  just a quick rundown on what I learned.

I started with the plastic templates but gave up on them very quickly.  They were too thick for me and I had trouble achieving the crisp edge I wanted.  Plus, they were expensive and I would need a billion of them.

I tried making my own templates from the poly school-type folders...  I was unhappy with those too.

Next, I tried a paper punch (bought at Joann's with a 50% off coupon) and paper....  no, didn't work.  
A punch and card stock...  mmm, not really much better.
A punch and those stiff postcards we get as advertising in the mail.  BINGO.

I then punched out about a million hexie templates.  I stored them in rubber bands...  I figured this out AFTER I spilled them and picked them up at least 10 times.

I then cut the hexie shape out of fabric scraps.  I held the cardboard hexie shape on the fabric and eye-balled it about 3/8" larger than the template and cut them out.

My background fabrics (whites and very light neutrals) were cut from 2 1/2" fabric strips.

I paired up 6 'petals' and 1 center, pinning them together in the middle of each set.

Some of the sets were matchy and some were not but I did try to have a contrast in all of them.

Using old thread to baste (it will be removed later), I folded the fabric around the templates and gave them a quick stitch in the corners to hold the fabric in place. 

As these were completed, I stored them in bundles held by rubber bands....  again, after I had spilled them several times.

In the rubber banded bundle, each set of color is a flower (petals and a center).  The blue set will be a double flower.

The basting step is great for car trips, plane trips, and sitting in waiting rooms!   Easily picked up and put down.

With a poly thread (I tried cotton but the thread broke too often), I began stitching the flowers together.

I tried many stitches, including whip stitch, ladder stitch, etc, but for me, they didn't give the results I wanted.

I ended up liking a blanket stitch.

It seemed to give me a flat flower and no show on the front.  I DID NOT fold the hexies back on each other when stitching them together.

I am providing close ups of the back and front of flowers as an FYI.

And here is my quilt top.  First, it was going to be a table topper... then a lap quilt...  then a twin...  at this point, I have decided to go to a queen. 

Notice the double flowers thrown in here and there for interest.  I though they added a bit of unexpected whimsy.  

Its actually bigger than it looks...  its sitting on a queen bed and is about 1/2 of what it needs to be.

Considering its humble beginnings, I am extremely pleased with it.

May all the hexes in your life be of the paper kind.

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