Tutorial: Lazy English Paper Piecing Hexagons

I know a lot of you already know about stitching together hexies by hand. However I am surprised at the “conventional” way of doing it- so I’ve adapted it to work best for me (i.e. the laziest way possible). My way means you don’t stitch through the papers which makes them easy to remove- and reuse, and also it means you don’t need to have as many as you can remove paper as you go rather than all in one big time-consuming debarcle at the end.

Hopefully this will make quilts such as Grandmother’s Flower Garden a lot more accessible and you won’t get bored before you even start putting the pieces together!

So here we go.

Take your first paper hexagon (I print off my own and make maybe 20, but you might have shop bought ones or however you plan on doing it) and a square of fabric at least 1/4″ bigger on all sides. The fabric doesn’t need to be perfectly square or indeed perfectly hexagonal! Have a needle and thread ready.

Pin together with your fabric facing down and your paper on top. Or you could just grip it well like I have. Fold the fabric over the paper on one straight edge, then fold an adjacent edge over to wrap one of the corners. Stitch through the fabric that has been wrapped over at the corner (and the fabric only!). Whip over and stitch again so there’s two stitches. This is crucial to holding the fabric together in the correct shape.

Fold the next flat side down and stretch your thread over, making two stitches again in the same way. Continue all the way around. You might need to remove your pin halfway so you can work round the pin head but you’re sensible enough to figure that out 😉

So now you have your hexagon, you might want to make a few so we can join them. I tend to get bored after making about four or five.


(back)


(front)

Take two hexagons and decide what side you want them to join at. Place them faces together and with a teeny running stitch, sew them together as close to the fabric folds as possible. Pay extra special attention to the points where three hexagons meet- you may need a few extra stitches in there. Repeat with further hexagons. Make more of them if you like.

Once you get to the point where you have a hexagon completely surrounded by others and all six sides have another hexagon attached, you can slip out the paper of that hexagon and reuse it for another hexagon as you work outwards. No cutting, no tearing, no fuss!


(just pretend that the photo above has more hexagons round the edge)

My giveaway ends in just under 6 hours- if you happen to be reading this in time (which you probably aren’t given the length of time this tutorial will remain on the internet) then here’s that post if you want to try your luck!

4 Comments

  1. Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Great minds work alike! (Grin) That’s the way I do mine…..I print some out on cardstock and make sure to only catch a few threads of the fabric when joining! Works great!
    Love your fabrics in your hexie project. (I think I may have told you that already….having an Alzheimers moment here. Heehee!)

  2. Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Clearly I do it the hard way! But I do love ripping out those basting stitches! I have been a bit awol but I just entered your giveaway 🙂 x

  3. Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Great tutorial Kerry and brilliant pictures too, thank you.

  4. Posted June 13, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I can’t decide whether to applaud or faint with horror! 😉 Thanks for a lovely clear tutorial, I look forward to trying it.

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