Switching Up My Hexagons

I’ve been struggling with sewing my hexagons together. It can be really hard to catch just a few threads without catching the paper inside. I think it’s because I’ve pulled that fabric really tight while glue basting and there’s no slack on the edges.

That tightness keeps everything nicely in place, but it’s making it hard to get a nice line of stitching and it’s a lot of work to grab the right amount of fabric in the right place while stitching.

I decided that I wanted to try thread basting my hexis. So after work tonight I hit my sewing room, dug out my scraps and started cutting fabric hexagons. And I discovered that I can easily cut several hexis at the same time. That saves a ton of time.

The last time I was cutting hexagons I was having trouble with the paper template slipping as I moved the fabric to cut the six sides. So I tried a quick shot of basting spray on one side to help the paper stick to the fabric and it works really well! It peels off easily and doesn’t seem to leave any residue behind.

It actually took me longer to pull the scraps for these hexagons than it did to get them all cut. And I ended up with quite a pile! There are about 150 hexagons in that pile.

Rico and I have a sheep herding seminar this weekend so I thought it would be a good idea to take some of these hexagons with me and I can hand baste them as I’m sitting around while others are working their dogs. I wanted to baste some of these tonight so I wouldn’t be trying to figure it out tomorrow where I won’t have access to the video tutorials I’ve looked at.

I’m a bit surprised by this but I think I actually prefer the thread basting to the glue basting. The test will be when I start sewing these new hexagons together. But look how cool this is!

I whipped up a stack of 30 in no time as I watched a little TV before bed.

I had a two-hour meeting this morning so made sure I had some of my glue basted hexagons at hand to keep my hands busy during the meeting. I finished one hexi flower…

That fabric in the center is Kaffe’s Plink in the white color way. I have never owned any of this fabric. I got this piece in a package of scraps sent to me by Wanda at the Exuberant Color blog. I just love this fabric. It’s been out of print for a number of years and the fact that I can’t get any for myself makes me very sad. I have dreams that some day I’ll find some of it in an out of the way store and I will buy the entire bolt!

And in that two hour meeting I nearly finished the second set of hexis.

If the meeting hadn’t ended 15 minutes early I would have finished this one too.

The weather was gorgeous today and will be about 80 for a high Saturday and Sunday. So perfect weather for being outside all weekend. Then the temps will start climbing.

It’s gonna be a hot week! I’m gonna have some stir-crazy dogs on my hands.

34 Replies to “Switching Up My Hexagons”

    1. Not sure what I’m going to do with them. Maybe a quilt using them as applique. maybe I’ll lose interest before then. Might just make a stack of these things!

      Anne

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  1. Love your hexies. I’ve seen tutorials where folks just fold the fabric at each corner and put in a stitch to secure then move over to the next corner.- that way you don’t sew through the paper, can easily take it out later and reuse it again. Any ideas what you will make with them all?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll probably try another thread method at some point. But I’m liking this one and I like the way it keeps the seam allowances nicely in place.

      No idea what I’m going to make. Depends on how long I stay interested. Could end at any moment!

      anne

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy working on the hexes and use the glue method. I have never tried the thread basting as it seemed tedious. After your experience I may give it a try. Love your colors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it would be tedious too but I found it sort of emjoyable and I could get a lot done pretty quickly. AND.,.. they are much easier for me to sew together than the glue basted ones. So I’m a convert!

      Anne

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  3. Love it all …. I took a class on doing a quilt with hexies, takes a lot of energy, but worth it …Not finished, it’s fun to keep adding to the pile and laying it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m having a hard time imagining what it’s like to sew these hexis into a much larger piece. Seems like it would be a real pain to manage all that bulk. I think I’ll stick with the smaller pieces and let someone who is stronger than I am do all that hard work!

      Anne

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  4. So here’s my take on thread basting hexies. I was basting them by hand but then sat down at the sewing machine with an ah ha moment. Set machine to the longest stitch length, took one stitch then lift foot, eased the hexie much further along, drop foot, take a stitch, lift foot, ease hexie further, etc. I found a could baste hexies in seconds rather than minutes this way. My machine basted hexies look exactly like hand basted just much quicker. I basted about 10 hexies in 5 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just wondering if you’re using a plastic template to cut out the the hexies. Sounds like you’re using a paper one. Even a very stiff cardboard will work. So much easier. Glad you’re having fun with them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m just using one of the papers and then using my 5.5 inch square ruler to add the seam allowance. It’s working really well. No real need for a template.

        Anne

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    2. But… I want handwork. Not machine work. So the thread basting by hand is actually working really well. I basted a BUNCH of them while I was at the sheep herding clinic this weekend. That’s the beauty of hand work!!

      Anne

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  5. I like to thread baste my hexies, as well. I don’t cut the fabric in a hexi shape first, though, just cut a square. The hexies I am using call for a two-inch square!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s too much money for too small a piece. I’d like to have yards of it. I’ll hold out that I”ll see it in a store some day. I know there has to be a few bolts out there somewhere. I just need to find them!

      Anne

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  6. Perhaps a bigger pool would be helpful for the stir-crazies in your family!
    Here in Maryland, we’re anticipating highs of 98 and over 100 degrees today and tomorrow. All our vertical blinds are closed completely until 2:30 ish. I feel like I’m living in a cave but at least the AC isn’t endlessly running.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I woke up early this morning so got up and took my boys for a walk before work. They’ve been sleeping all day but are getting a little stir crazy now that it’s the end of the day.

      Anne

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  7. Hi
    My sister in Coffs Harbour NSW hand basted over 900 hexagons for me with liberty lawn fabric I’ll find a photo and send it to u
    She said it was quite therapeutic I must get it out again
    Kerrie

    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Always an interesting post.. your Hexis are beautiful. Love how you can acquire a more efficient stitch for completion..and your multi tasking at meetings, well, my Team lead would not be happy…with me doing that…but maybe I’ll test it.. 😊hoping you come across that fabric you love..❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We did a database conversion a few years ago where we spent a LOT of hours in meetings in a conference room together talking and looking at screens. Our project manager had things like play dough, pipe cleaners, and adult coloring books on the tables to keep our hands busy while we worked our brains. She encouraged me to bring my knitting. It made it so much easier to sit in those long meetings.

      Plus, I find that i’m actually MORE engaged in meeetings because I”m not doing things like checking email and Slack!

      Anne

      Anne

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      1. It actually really helped! WE also took breaks to play bocci ball or corn hole. It kept us sane through the many months of intense work.
        Anne

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  9. Hey – I struggled with hexies at first too. I dove in and started with thread basting. I followed a method similar to this:
    https://beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com/2010/04/hexie-paper-piecing-tutorial.html

    I researched more and came across Tula Pinks 3 videos on English paper piecing. She coaches you on fabric and design, supplies and methods. Comparing my before and after flowers showed a great deal of improvement and they went together so much faster after using her methods and supplies. Here are the links
    Part 1 Design and fabric selection

    Part 2 Supplies

    Part 3 The Sewing

    Hope you learn and appreciate her tips as I do.
    I am a quilter, a bag maker, and have had the pleasure of having a border collie enriching my life. I love reading your posts and seeing your doggie pictures!!
    Susan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is fantastic! Thanks for the links! I’ve already started sewing my pieces together with the needle going away from me and it’s working so much better! But I disagree with her on the glue basting. But I have a few of the glue basted pieces left so will see if they go together more easily with her way of sewing.

      Anne

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      1. The thread basting method where you don’t go thru the paper and just keep the stitches on the back seam allowances can be easier to deal with down the road when you don’t have to remove both the thread and papers.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Your hexies are growing in number pretty quickly! I think you will find that it’s easier to stitch the hexies together if you’ve basted with thread rather than glued
    I once tried the glue method and hated it, good luck with the thread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! It’s so much easier to stitch the thread basted hexis!!! I won’t be going back. And it’s really quick to baste them as well. I don’t see a reason for the blue basting.
      Anne

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