Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Hexagon Sewing Tutorial

Hello Everyone

I promised a hexagon sewing tutorial quite awhile ago.   This is just the way that I sew my hexagons; it's not the only way.   In a lot of cases I try to play mind games with myself when sewing.  An example is when I'm hand sewing binding.   I start close to a corner, so after I turn that first corner I feel like I'm a quarter of the way finished.   I know that's not true, but if you can trick yourself into thinking you are closer to the finish than you really are, you get more of a sense of accomplishment and don't feel discouraged at trying to complete the task you are working on. (or at least that's the way I feel).

Hexagons do take awile to sew together, but it's like anything else --- the more you do, the faster you get.  

There are several ways to baste hexagons:

(1) Take a whip stitch at the corners folding one corner over as you are stitching. (photo below).
(2) Whip stitching the corners sewing through the paper piece.  (I feel like this one is hard on my hands.)

(3) Glue basting using the Sew Line glue pen.  This has become very popular and is my choice for basting paper pieces right now.   You simply baste your hexagon shape over the paper piece using a light line of glue.  Be sure to put the glue on the paper and keep it away from the edge where the fabric is folded over.  That way you are not trying to stitch your hexagons together through the dried glue.  These glue pens and refills are sold at most quilt shops.  I buy mine at Back Door Quilts.  

The first thing I do is sew my hexagons into pairs.   That is pretty mindless sewing that you can do while talking or watching TV.  I just put two sides together and stitch.  The only time you have to watch the orientation of the hexagons is if you are sewing fussy cut hexagons.    You can read my Fussy Cutting Tutorial here.  The link can also be found under my blog header.

   Sewing hexagons into pairs is part of my mind game.   Once they are in pairs, the whole hexagon comes together pretty quickly.

Here are my pairs of hexagons.

To sew these hexagons together, I first put the two hexagons right sides together and take 2 or 3 stitches.

Then I sew using a flat ladder stitch (photo below) to finish sewing.  This helps to hide your stitches on the right side of the hexagon.

Next I sew the pairs into hexagon rings.   (I sew the six hexagons together leaving an opening to form a ring as shown below.)  The arrow shows the opening.

 I have always done it this way because that is the way my Grandmother sewed her hexagons.   Here is a photo of one of her hexagons below.  The difference is that she sewed the entire ring and then sewed the inside ring together.   You can see that her template was the Joker from a deck of cards.  Her hexagons were all hand pieced and cut with scissors.  (She lived from 1888-1980 so this fabric is pretty old.)

I have a box full of her hexagons that I need to put together.  You can see that she has cut enough hexagons for a block and held them together with a thread knotted at one end and then a stitch through the stack.

I sew my hexagons this way because I can thread the needle once and sew the center into the hexagon ring with this one thread.   Start sewing at the start arrow and go around the center ending by sewing the last two pieces together by sewing your way out of the hexagon ring.   

Here are some of the hexagons that I've fussy cut.   

The hexagons in the above photo were cut from the fabric shown below.    

I keep a container like the one below full of 1" bright hexagons that are basted.  I also have a container of 1" reproduction fabric hexagons and a third container of 3/4" reproduction fabric hexagons.   

Below are several photos of 3/4" hexagons that are fussy cut from reproduction fabrics.

When you have a few hexagons sewn into flowers, you can either join them together with a background fabric (a path), or you can hand or machine applique' them onto a background fabric.  I've done quilts both ways.   

If the repeat in a fabric is like the one below - kind of a tossed flower pattern - I will take one hexagon that I've fussy cut and place it on the same flower in the fabric and trace around it.   That way you are sure to always get the exact same shape in each hexagon.  

Happy Hexagon Sewing and English paper piecing.   If you haven't already tried English paper piecing, I hope you will give it a try.    If you have any questions, email me or leave a comment.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope you are finding some time to stitch today.   

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Double Hexagos and Dresdens

Hi Everyone

You are probably tired of coming to my blog and seeing hexagons.   Honestly, I'm running out of titles to use on my blog.  I never tire of looking at hexagon blocks or quilts with hexagons.   I seem to always have a hexagon project of some kind on the go all the tine.

These double hexagons below are part of a plan that I have for a quilt.  I think once I have enough hexagons (right now I'm not sure what that number is), I plan to add a plain border that is off white and then do some broderie perse.  Right now I'm planning to do the border applique' on opposite corners of the quilt.  

  Some of these hexagons are left over from my Road 66 quilt (pattern in Di Ford's Primarily Quilts first book).   I cut 6 hexagons at a time - usually fussy cut - and put them in a tote for later.  I have a good sized stash of basted hexagons.  

Here is my finished Road 66 quilt.  

I love doing these double hexagons.  Each one is a surprise.  

I think this is my favorite with the Di Ford and Jo Morton fabrics.

I also like using stripes.  

This is my 1797 Revisited quilt so far.  I posted about it in this post.    And, like I wrote in the post, I think I'll continue with this smaller size.  

I'm also chain stitching some Dresdens.   These are cut at 3 1/2".  More on those later.  

For those of you here in the US, this is a Public Service Announcement.  Have you renewed your driver's license lately?   In order to be cleared to fly or enter some federal agencies, you have to have a Real ID driver's license with a special symbol.  This goes into effect in October 2020 for all states so there's time.....Well maybe not.  You have to prove who you are.   The males have a pretty easy time of it. They have the name that they were born with (hopefully), so all they need is their birth certificate and social security card plus 2 documents that prove residency.  And those residency documents have to have a date that is 60 days or less.  A passport will cover some of this if you have one.

So that all sounds pretty simple, right?   Well, not really.  For females that are married, and/or divorced, you have to have your marriage license and/or a divorce decree.  The marriage license has to be one that has the embossed seal.  

Ask me how I know this...…..

I've been there 4 times, and today I finally had it all right and will have my new license mailed to me.  My first trip I had my birth certificate and social security card.  My birth certificate didn't match my married name.  I should have known that.   Trip #2 I had my marriage license, but it wasn't the embossed copy.  So I made the trek downtown to get that.  That was enough for that day.  Trip #3 I had my birth certificate, social security card, and embossed marriage license, but all of my documents (including my old license) have LuAnn all together as one word.  I guess technically Ann is my middle name, but everybody calls me LuAnn.  That time they just told me everything didn't match.   So today I went back to a different branch (with current documents that provide residency), and I made it.  I was beginning to panic because my birthday is at the end of this month, and my license would have expired.  

This is probably more than you wanted to know.  Some states have probably already gone through this.  But if you show up at the license branch and aren't aware of this, that is just the first trip.  And, you have to keep getting documents and going back until you get it right.  

OK.  Now back to stitching.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I hope that you are finding some time to stitch today.  

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