Friday, 27 May 2011

Hexagon Patchwork Tutorial

Those who follow my Baby Blog will know that I've been hand making a rather ambitious and colourful hexagon quilt for the wee bairn, to pass the time before he arrives. When my friend Mrs Flint came to visit recently, she asked me how to hand piece over paper but I didn't get a chance to show her. So I thought I'd create a little tutorial (my first attempt at one) dedicated to her. Remember that you can create lovely rosettes to applique onto things with just seven hexagons, or small cushions - I created a dinky patchwork cushion with just 22 hexagons.

NB: I'm sure professional quilters out there will frown at some of my methods, but this is how I do it! You can also do hexagon patchwork by machine, but to be honest, having watched footage of how to do this on the internet, it looks almost as laborious and tricky, but without the satisfaction of sitting like the Bronte sisters and marvelling at what your own fair hands have created!

What you will need ...

  • A hexagon template on cardboard. Make sure all the sides are EXACTLY the same length
  • Pencil
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • Squares of scrap fabric bigger than your hexagon template
  • Thread

How to create a hexagon patchwork by hand ...

one. Make a pile of paper hexagons by drawing round your template and then cutting them out very exactly. Of course, if you create the hexagon on the computer, you could print out pages of the hexagons and then cut them out.

two. Cut out your fabric squares.

three. Place one paper hexagon in the centre of a fabric square.

four. Fold two sides of the fabric over one corner of the hexagon and bring your thread up through the layers.

five. Fold over another edge to create a second corner, and tack this in place.

six. Continue folding and tacking right round the hexagon, and secure the last stitch. Make lots of these until you have enough for the design and size you want.

seven. Once you have a pile of paper covered hexagons, lay them out to work out your preferred pattern. DO NOT remove the tacking stitches and paper yet. You can now begin joining them together.

eight. Place two hexagons right sides together. Over stitch through the very edge of the two hexagons. The idea is to catch the fabric of the hexagons but NOT the paper inside.

nine. Voila! You have joined two hexagons together.

ten. You don't need to cut your thread at this point. Just place another hexagon into place next to where you just finished, with right sides together again, and carry on stitching.

eleven. Keep on sewing hexagons together until you have done them ALL. Only once you have done them all and are happy with it, can you iron it all, and then snip all the tacking threads and remove them and the pieces of paper. This is very satisfying and you'll be left with one large piece made up of lots of small hexagons. Congratulations.

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