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I love them but can't imagine making them unless they involved foundation paper piecing. You're way more talented and patient than I am.
Cris in MT
they are a bit like foundation piecing actually. just no paper. cutting the pieces accurately is important. and being organized (Ami's idea of threading the pieces with a template of the piece attached has been a life saver.
That is coming along very nicely. Remind me how you prepped your hexies. Did you sew to the papers or glue? Also did you cut the papers yourself and how thick is the paper? I am starting to think about my next handwork project since the Christmas applique will be done soon.
MOST of the time, I use my Fiskar Hexagon hand punch to cut my own templates. Fiskars has them in 3 sizes: X-Large (1"), Large (3/4"), and Medium (1/2"). I did manage to find a much larger hexagonal hand punch (1.5") by Craft Lever (I got this one on Amazon). I'm pretty sure I got my Fiskars at Joann's, when I had coupons. I use stiffer paper/cardstock; mail flyers & magazine inserts are great. In a pinch (and I mean a last ditch effort, you can use printer paper, but these are really, really flimsy). After punching the hexagon, I take my one-hole circular hand punch (what you use for punching binder holes in paper) and punch a hole more or less in the center of the template.
If you need other sizes, do some internet searching, as I'm sure punches for those sizes exist. I'd do everything I could to avoid hand-cutting templates.
If I have a weird shape, I use my Scan n Cut to cut them out of 12x12 cardstock.
If you don't have any hand punches, you could print out a hexagonal grid onto copy paper and use that as a master copy. Print copies on stiffer paper or whatever will run through your copy machine. Then you'll need to hand cut or rotary cut the hexies out. This method is a *real* pain. Additionally, your hand cut templates won't be exactly the same size.
You can also buy templates. They typically come made of very stiff plastic. I don't like them. There is absolutely going to come a time when you have a Y seam to stitch. To do this, you will *have* to fold/bend the adjacent hexies in half. I just can't see how the stiff plastic templates will allow you to do this. Also, I'm too cheap to continually buy templates when it's so easy to punch my own. :-)
Let me say that I absolutely do not care what the back of my fabric covered templates look like. I simply do not care that my fabric is NOT wrapped 1/4" from the edges. There is no way I am going to take the time to cut hexagon fabric pieces. Not only is that a horrible waste of my time but it is also a horrible waste of fabric. Unless you're fussy cutting. While I may grump at the waste of fabric, the end results of fussy cutting is marvelous. :-) For my 1" hexies, I cut a 2.5" square of fabric .... jelly roll strips are perfect because they are already at 2.5". Charm squares are great, also because you can get (4) hexies from a 5" square. When I wrap the fabric square over the edges of the template, the back side of the template is going to look horrible and messy. I don't care. The right side is perfect. :-) Also, since I machine quilt, the excess fabric on the back is irrelevant. If you are hand-quilting, it might be a different story.
I center the template on the fabric, slip a pin in & out of the hole in the template ... that keeps the template and the fabric together.
I don't like the glue method. Initially it's quick but then I had problems getting the seam allowances unstuck. It's an extra step that I resent (the same resentment I feel when I was paper piecing and needed to tear the paper away!). What I do is (using junky thread), take a back-stitch at each corner where the fabric is folded over onto itself. I drag the thread to the next corner, do a back-stitch, repeat, repeat, repeat. I don't knot this basting thread. It's just there to hold the fabric onto the template until the hexies are stitched together. Oh, and don't go THRU the template! Take the back-stitch just through the folded corners of fabric. You need to be able to pop the template right out of the hexie once it's been surrounded (stitched) by other hexies.
Additionally, when the hexies are stitched together, I **leave** the basting thread in. It's an extra step to remove them. It doesn't bother the quilting if the basting thread is there, so I leave it.
Don't use your good sewing thread ... that stuff is too expensive to use this way! I happen to have a TON of junky thread (on wooden spools!) from the 1940/1950/1960s that I inherited from my mother in law. This thread is so old, I wouldn't trust it for construction, but for temporary basting? It's perfect.
Leave the templates in the fabric until a hexie has been completely surrounded by other hexies. You need the hexie inside to provide that crisp edge for stitching. But once a hexie has been stitched all around, you don't need the template any longer .. so just pop the template out (easy to do since you haven't stitched through the template) and reuse the template. You may find that you will have templates all around the perimeter of a piece while the interior is template-free.
Any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask! I'll answer to the best of my ability!
Thanks for taking the time for this refresher on hexi prep. This is on my to do this week list.....linked to digging into my scrap bins (yup I have graduated to multiple bins). I had totally forgotten the hole and pin in the middle.
thanks so much for the explanation. I was thinking of finding graph paper on line, that would be pretty quick as my hexies are not going to be that small. And I have lots of card stock. I had made a bunch of plastic ones years ago and didn't like using them for the reason you indicate. I haven't printed off the pattern yet but I'm pretty sure they are about 3" across, too big for a punch. Good point about the glue. Here is what I am planning. The pattern is Spinning Wheels from Piece O Cake. They usually do applique but this is paper pieced. But I'm going to "mix it up". I'm going to do freezer method paper piecing to piece the spokes, then prepared edge applique for the tiny hex in the middle, then EPP to piece the large hexis together.
I originally thought to do EPP on the entire thing but once I got the pattern and looked at it, I don't think I want to go to that level. And I don't like all those seams in the middle for the tiny hexigon the way she has it pieced. So by blending the methods I get a little bit of everything in the project. I'm going to try a couple as samples before I cut out a ton of fabric tho, to make sure it works as I think.
THAT is an incredibly ambitious pattern! But, I think you've figured out a better way to approach it. I'm eager to see your samples.
You said the hexie was 3"... WHICH measurement is 3"? Quilters always measure hexies along a side. If you measured 3" point to point, then that is really a 1.5" hexie. But if you did measure your pattern and one of the sides is 3", then you have an enormous hexie! And, yeah, I've never seen a punch that large. It would be easy enough for me to cut a whole bunch of large hexies like that with my Scan n Cut. Just let me know if you want me to start the machine going!
well here is one. Not sure exactly how I feel about it. thinking.
oooooo. that is very pretty ... but I can see it is also very fiddly. I think it might depend on how much you love the fabrics you're using, what the final effect is gonna be, and how much time you're willing to spend on it.
It *could* be a bona fide Forever Project ... work on one or two units in between working on other projects. It doesn't even need to be a full size quilt. You could make enough to create a table runner or accent piece.
That's what I did with the 5" practice hexies I did when I was deciding whether I even liked the EPP process. I made enough to create a table center piece. Unfortunately, I didn't think *enough* ahead as to fabric choices, so this practice center piece goes with absolutely NOTHING in my house. LOL! But, it was a very good learning experience. :-)
I actually kinda do like the combination of techniques that you used. Machine piecing the cream/rust was a brilliant idea and then covering the center with a separate, small hexie is the perfect solution.
I think it's amazing how you can look ahead and know that you didn't want all the seams and have an idea how to change it. If I were doing it I would struggle with the center hexie direction, do I center it in the middle of stripes or do I try to match the angle of the larger hexie. I try not to let these little thing bug me but I know if I were to do this pattern it would.