Hexies (or hexagons) are probably one of my favorite sewing projects to work on right now. I think they are fun to put together- but I mainly love making them because I do not have to be tied to my sewing machine and can work on them anywhere!
I first discovered them about 2 years ago when I came across one of my favorite blogs: nanaCompany. Aaaannddd... if you haven't been sucked into the hexie-ing world... you will soon be sucked in after checking out the darling little things that Amy makes with hexies. I stumbled across Tasha'sand Kerri's adorable blogs shortly after and they sealed the deal... I was set on learning how to do english paper piecing.
I learned how to make hexies by following this tutorial on Chasing Cottons and I was hooked from the get-go. I picked up some 1 1/2 hexagon papers from Paper Pieces and started using all of my favorite "cutesy" fabrics from my stash. I was determined to make a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt for my girls to share. I figured that to make the size quilt that I would like (full sized) I will need just over 1200 hexies! ha ha ha
It's pure madness- I know!
I plan to use solid white hexagons around the patterned "flowers" to break up the colors and really set each flower apart. And... since it will all be completely hand pieced it just wouldn't seem right to quilt it with a machine- that would be preposterous! ;) I will probably be using pearl cottons when I hand quilt it.
I started working on it last October. Since then I have taken my hexies on 2 road trips and just try to work on them here and there.
It is slow going, but I just love it and I am slowly building a stash of hexies to work with.
For a while, my hexies were kinda scattered and didn't have a specific place to be gathered, but a couple months ago, I came across a letterbox at Target and knew it would be perfect for my hexies.
So this is how I store them all now... It is handy when I am on the road too because everything I need can just sit right in my lap.
These are my favorite tools/items to make my hexies...
Paper pieces: I get mine already precut from PaperPieces.com
Acrylic template: I like to use fabric that is shaped like a hexagon so that I can center my fabric and the paper to make sure I have enough seam allowance on all sides. Plus it is see through so I can fussy cut hexagons if I want. (I got mine at paperpieces.com and it allows for a 3/8 inch seam allowance)
large paper clip: to hold the fabric to the paper template while basting
John James needles: I really love this brand of needles for everything.
50 wt Aurifil thread: I love Aurifil thread and the 50 wt is the perfect weight for piecing my hexies together. I am using tan for piecing the colored fabric and will probably switch to white when I work on the white hexies.
a spool of cheap contrasting colored thread: this is to use while making your hexies- you want a contrasting color so that you can see where to clip the threads once you have pieced your hexies together and need to remove your papers
I picked up this paper clip trick from Lori and it has saved my life! The trick for me is not to push the paper clip all the way down because the sharp ends of the paper clip really tugs at the fabric when you pull it off- which is why I like using a large paper clip- I can push it halfway down and it still really holds the fabric in place and then it slips off easy when it's time to remove it.
This is what the front and back of my hexies look like when I am done. I like to stitch through my papers (just a personal preference) and I can still reuse my papers because I find that when I use them a second or third time I almost always stick the needle into the same exact hole that I had made the first time...
I know this project will be an endless work in progress, but it's kinda nice to have something to work on when I am watching a movie, or sitting at the park, or riding in the car places....