Friday, July 4, 2014

Hand Sewing Hexagons without Paper

Hier gibts die deutsche Version dieses Tutorials.
When I posted about my hexagon project, I recently had a few comments from people who thought my hexies are english paper pieced, or machine pieced.
So I would like to show you how I actually do them.
I have to say that I don't like EPP. It makes me impatient and grumpy to work with the stiff and crackling paper.
So I simply sew the hexies together by hand with a running stitch. 
Here is what I do:
My father made me this window template out of very thin plywood. But they are also readily available out of template pastic. I mark the sewing AND the cutting line with a soft pencil.
 Once you have cutted your hexies, arrange them until you are happy with the result.
 All you need for hand sewing is your thimble, a pin, a needle, small scissors and good quality thread.
I prefer YLI Select and Roxanne #11 sharps.
Thread your needle and knot the thread.
 Take your first two hexies, right sides together, and pin the end of the seam. Do not sew into the seam allowances! Start at the beginning and take a few stitches at once, just up and down through both layers of fabric.
Please note: I am left handed, so this may look mirror-image to you if you are right handed. ;-)
 Approx. at the middle of the seam, take one back stitch for more stability, and sew to the end.
 Take the pin out, make another back stitch and finish the seam with your favorite technique.
(I prefer to knot the thread)
 Check the other side, too. The seam should be just where the pencil line is.
 Continue to sew the hexies together in rows.
 Rows are faster than adding each individual hexie to your growing flower, but that is a personal preference.
 Take the first tow rows, and pin only the first section of the seam.
Sew this section, avoiding the seam allowances.
 Take the pin out and pin the next section, then sew it.
 Continue to do so until your two rows are together.
 Soon you'll have a finished flower!
 Press it now, because it is absolutely boring and time-consuming to press ALL the flowers at once when you are finished sewing them all.
Here you can see the back side. Pressing this way makes the pieces lay flat and avoids bulk in the seam allowances.
That's it! A nice, portable hand sewing project for everybody who don't like EPP but loves hexagons and hand sewing.


Jessie Fincham @ Messy Jesse said...

Thank you for this tutorial Steffi, such a clever way to do it. I might just give it a go sometime soon ;-) p.s. that blue and yellow combo is just divine!

Joyce Carter said...

Thank you so much, Steffi. I wish I had known about this sooner. I have been working on a Hexagon EPP quilt for over a year now and it is very time consuming. I don't like all the papers either. I am now going to start using your method. Thanks again.

Fran said...

Great idea, a good tutorial!

Stina... said...

Aha....thankyou....this looks like what I have been looking not fancy EPP either... But hand sewing...that I love...:0)

GittaS said...

Danke fürs zeigen,SUPER!!!!

Dana Retherford said...

I inherited over 100 hexie flower blocks from my mother-in-law upon her passing. They're all hand pieced with original '30s fabric. I want to honor her original work by hand piecing the blocks together and then hand quilting. I had such a time trying to figure out how to add a white "garden path" so I could join the units into a quilt top until I saw your tutorial. I needed the visual to help me through the process. Thank you so much for sharing! You made my day... And since I love hand piecing so much, I think I will make one from scratch using your "row" method. So much better than the circular process.

Maddie B said...

I have used epp but prefer your method, which I originally saw on a Craftsy tutorial with Jenny Beyer. I am currently making the Passacaglia quilt by Willyne Hammerstein and have read that Willyne made this with the hand piecing (no papers) method. Maddie B.