Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More about Hexagons

I talked about hexagons earlier this month and showed you my quilt top and a tool to cut hexagons. This time I want to show you some other ways to make hexagons.

First two are plastic hexagon shapes. Brandy's are Mylar® and Simple Shapes by June Tailor are thicker plastic. A nice feature of both is that they are reusable. The instructions for both types are the same. You cut a fabric hexagon, adding a 1/4" seam allowance all around. Then sew a gathering stitch around the shape by hand, draw up the gathers around the plastic shape and secure your line of gathering stitches. The main difference between the two products: you can iron the Simple Shapes. 

You cannot iron Brandy's; they will melt. I found it a bit difficult to get very sharp corners with both these products. For whip stitching (English paper piecing) they worked fairly well since you can to make the shape more accurate as you stitch them together. You leave both shapes in place, only removing them when they are surrounded by other hexagons. Both products have a hole in the middle of the shape and a stick to 'pop' the plastic template out after stitching. I wanted to make hexagons to appliqué so tried the Simple Shapes. I had to remove the shape before appliquéing to a background fabric. I wasn't happy with the precision of the shapes with this technique.


My friend Peggy used Paper Pieces to make her hexagon table runner. In this case she wanted to appliqué a row of hexagons to a background fabric. She tested several methods to turn the seam allowance to the back of the hexagons and found thread basting through the paper worked best for this project. She remembered to leave the knot of the basting on the right side of the shapes to make it easier to remove the basting.

My other friend Anne is also using Paper Pieces for a hexagon quilt using her collection of French fabrics. Anne is using English paper piecing and likes to allow a larger seam allowance around the shapes. She hand bastes the seam allowance, but not through the paper. She bastes carefully at each corner to make sharp, accurate corners. Anne leaves the papers in place all around the outside of her quilt, only removing them when one hexagon is joined to other hexagons on all sides. This is going to be a spectacular quilt.


Marilyn said...

I also use paper pieces.... I like a larger seem allowance, only really past the corners, and baste inside only so I can leave the basting stitches in when done. I reuse the paper pieces ones about 4 times each.
I'll be honest, I wanted the plastic ones, but couldn't find them in my area.
I am making a flower garden quilt, using scraps.

Angie in SoCal said...

So glad to see your reviews of the two templates and encouraging quilters to be hexie makers. I use a Fiskar squeeze punch to make mine. I invite you to link to Hexie weekend so others can see the options you provide. Thanks for sharing!