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Tuesday
Sep022014

Piecing Hexagons

Disclaimer: If you've found yourself at this post because you are a bee member of Get Your Hex On, then I want you to know that I do not expect you to assemble my September block in the following process. In the first round of the bee, one of my mates asked how my hexies were sewn together because it was different than she had seen before, and this is a very belated 'tutorial' on my process. So, if you like learning new methods, then read on and enjoy!


On to the meat of it... how I baste and sew together my hexagons!  

1. You'll need fabric and hexagons (or any other EPP shape you'd like, this process works for them all).  I get mine from Paper Pieces (this is not an affiliate link, just a product I love!).
2. Hold together one hexie and one piece of fabric.
3. Use a Wonder Clip (this is not an affiliate link, either) to hold the first fold.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY WONDER CLIPS and this is yet another reason why they're awesome!
4. Fold the fabric over the next corner.
5. Hold folds together tight, but not stretched over the paper.
6. Run your needle/thread through just the fabric layers at the fold at a generous 1/8" in from the point.  I leave a 1" to 2" tail when pulling my thread through the first time to avoid having to tie a knot. 
7. Run your needle/thread through the fabric layers again very close to the first pass. 
8. Pull until you feel tension.  If the thread continues to pull through with ease, run a third stitch through the corner and that should lock it in.
9. Move the Wonder Clip into its 'permanent' position over the first sewn corner.

10. Fold over the second corner.  For a tighter fold, use your needle and roll the fabric over (this is my go-to folding method when my fabric pieces are on the small side).
11. Repeat steps 6 and 7.
12. On the last corner, ensure the fabric is tucked under completely, the needle-roll comes in handy on this step as well.
13. Run a stitch through the first corner to complete the circle.  I find that the hexie is more stable this way.
14. Start the next hexie with the same thread, leaving about 1" between.
15. Repeating steps 2-13, continue basting, creating a chain of hexies.  Cut apart the hexies when ready to assemble into a block or project.

16. Start with two hexies, right sides together, and aline the edges.  Use a Wonder Clip to hold the hexies together while sewing.
17. Knot your thread, and run your needle/thread under the seam allowance and out the ridge.
18. This is where my process differs from most... I use a blind hem stitch.  Pick up a single yarn from the ridge of each hexie.
19. Loop the tail thread over the needle.
20. Pull the loop tight to form a knot.
21. Repeat steps 18-20 closely to the first knot.
22. Continue to repeat steps 18-20 as often as you feel comfortable with, I usually stitch every 1/8" or so on my 1" hexies.
23. When you reach the end of the ridge, squeeze in two stitches to lock the edge together. 
24. Pull final stitch tight.

25. Back of joined hexies.
26. Front of joined hexies.  As you can see, you can barely see the dark brown stitching.  A similarly colored thread becomes invisible.
27. With right sides together, aline a third hexie with one of the two joined hexies.
28. Repeating steps 17-24, join the third hexie to the existing pair.
29. Remove the Wonder Clip.
30. Use a running stitch down the seam allowance of the third hexie along the joined seem to get your needle thread back to the center of the trio.
31. Aline the ridges of the two unjoined hexies and secure with a Wonder Clip.  Pull your needle/thread out the ridge as in step 17.
32. Repeat steps 18-24.
33. To protect the final stitch, secure the tail with a whip stitch within the seam allowance.

34. Here are your joined hexies, basting stitches in red, joining stitches in brown.
35. On the surface, those joining stitches are barely visible!  Ta-da! 

I usually wait to remove the paper until the project is completely assembled and sewn together.  I typically press with the papers in, and then again after I remove them.  However, what I love about this basting method is that the hexie will continue to hold it's shape if by chance the papers fall out from all the folding and squishing during assembly.  

And here you go... with the papers removed!  The only pressing this little trio saw was with my fingers as I was taking pictures of the assembly process and look at how nicely formed they are!  If the basting stitches are done with a thread of a similar color, you could very well just leave them in, no need to remove something that isn't getting in the way.

 

Wow!  That was a long post... so if you've made it to the end here, THANK YOU!!  Let me know if you have any questions on any of the steps, I'm happy to help!

Happy Sewing! 

 

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