Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hexie Paper Piecing Tutorial - Part 1

Okay peeps...this is a continuation of my last post where I showed you how I cut out my hexagons.
Now I'll show you how I stitch them around paper pieces.
I'm sure there are alot of ways to do english paper piecing but this is how I do mine and it has worked for me for lots of years...



I place the hexagon paper in the center on the wrong side of the fabric hexie and use a paper clip to hold down the seam allowance on one edge. The paper clip is a really handy helper. He helps to keep the paper centered by stopping the fabric from sliding around.

I like to assembly line my hexies....as you can see in the background of my photo!

I use a single thread about 18" long in my needle and tie a knot on the end.
I like to have a pincushion handy for my needle inbetween steps....this one my BFF Nanette gave me.
I love it.
Thanks Nanette. It's just perfect for this project.


I always begin with the corner on the left of my paper clip.
Fold it over as you see in the photo above.... I make sure the fold underneath is folded all the way under...kind of like when I am wrapping a gift and fold the paper on the ends of the package.



I take a small stitch across the fold like so...
THIS IS IMPORTANT....I DO NOT stitch into the paper EVER.
Only the fabric.
This means that I am simply sewing the fabric hexagon AROUND the paper hexagon and not sewing it TO the paper hexagon.




After the first stitch.... I do it again in basically the same spot to secure that fold in place...for a total of 2 stitches over each fold.




I then continue working counter clockwise around the hexagon....folding first and than making 2 stitches to secure.



When I get to the last fold....I pop up the seam allowance with my needle like the photo below...

...and then use my needle again to fold it under so that all of my folds are going the same direction....I'm just weird that way.



Then I stitch in the same way as previous folds with one exception....


I make two extra stitches and knot off my thread by putting my needle through the loop of thread before pulling it all the way through.



I then cut my thread and leave a small tail.



This is what it looks like from the back ....



...and this is what it looks like on the front.
I CAREFULLY remove my paper clip by sliding it off on a diagonal so that I don't pull my fabric off of the paper.
I like to use my trusty iron and PRESS my hexagon on the right side to make a crease on the edges. I DO NOT use steam....as this would shrink it somewhat.
At this point...I either leave my paper in if I am stitching my hexie into a flower....or I remove the paper now if I am going to applique the hexagon onto fabric.


This is how I remove my paper.
I fold the paper so that I can get my fingernail in under the edge of the paper and carefully take it out....



...one corner at a time...being careful not to distort the hexie or pull too hard.


And here is my hexie.
I know it has taken a long time to show you... but it really only takes a minute from start to finish to do one of them.



At this point...I do NOT throw away my paper. I just press it for a second on each side...



....and it's good as new and ready for another go.
"Waste not want not".


It's a fun process and totally portable. I seperate my hexies into sixes (you need 6 for the petals in a small flower)...and put them in snack size zip-lock baggies.
I put them all in a plastic container to stay organized.


Kassidy has been stitching them for me too...you know that she is my stunt double...lol.
For those of you who don't know... Kass is my 10 year old cutie pie daughter.
She uses this little red polka dot ring pincushion when she does handwork.


To give her incentive...I pay her a dime for each hexie.
It really adds up for her. One complete bag is worth 60 cents to her and worth a small flower for me!
Because we work from the same container...she puts a punched flower with her initial stamped on it inside each bag of 6 hexies that she has completed.
That way...I can keep track of which ones she has done and I will know how much to pay her.

For my next post I will show you how I sew the hexagons together to make a flower.
If you are following along....you better start cutting some hexies!

Click Here For Part III


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49 comments:

Tina said...

Great tut Lori! Love your method...makes me want to try it. I love that you pay your daughter to help you with your hexies!

SewCalGal said...

Excellent tutorial on English paper piecing. This definitely goes into my list of favorite tutorials. Thanks for sharing.

While I love EPP, and do it a bit differently, I really do like your tutorial. And I want to try your version this week (I'm currently working on an EPP project)

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Michele said...

Thank you for such a clear tutorial. Your technique is new to me and I can't wait to try it.

Nedra said...

Great tutorial Lori. When I made my GFG (and did about a million of those hexie's) I left the paper in until each hexigon was sewn on each side. I like your idea of ironing and then pulling the paper out.
You are always so organized. I've been spring cleaning the last few days and I'm anxious to get back to my machine.

Laurie said...

Lori,
I am SO glad you showed us up close pictures - it makes it so much more understandable. Plus, I always wondered if you sewed through the paper or not. Thanks for clearning that up for me!
PS - I'm a member also - I love your little button :)

Shelley said...

Great tutorial!I will link to this post when I teach a class on these hexagons!

Darlene said...

Great tutorial. I use a plastic coated paper clip to hold the fabric and paper together, as well. It's like my third hand. I think you have a fabulous stunt double. :-)

Cynthia said...

Hi Lori, Great tutorial, I didn't do them exactly like that for the paperdoll quilt, but almost.....I had nevr made them before. I have taken your challenge to make some but had to order the paper hexies first. I hope they come quickly! I also bought a ruler for dresden plates so I am set for those too. Too much fun making all these cute things. Thanks for all the inspiration! Kassidy is a lucky cute pie to have a sweety mom like you :)

Samantha said...

Wow! Thank you so much for that tutorial. I never thought about attempting a grandmother's flower garden...too complicated...but now maybe I CAN do it! Yay! Probably best to start with a pillow though. :)

Shannon said...

Thank you!

I think my 9-year old would love to do some of these...

Purple Quilter Queen said...

You method is soooo much easier than they way I've been doing it. Thanks for sharing such easy step by step pictures! Can't wait to see how you sew them together. And what a great way to get your daughter into sewing and for her to earn a little extra $ on the side. I might try that with my 9 year old too! Thanks!!Jenn

Micki said...

I love the tutorial..I have always enjoyed making the hexies.
Micki

Sandra Henderson said...

GREAT TUTORIAL!
I've updated my link to you so that it goes to your main page and includes this...
SO informative!

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

Excellent tutorial! I currently use freezer paper because of the slipping issues. Never thought of using a paper clip. Great idea! I also love that you pay your daughter to help make hexies. What a great way for her to earn some extra cash.

Rae Ann said...

I wish I was your neighbor and I would BUZZ on over there and cut some hexies. Then I would tune into the WONDERFUL tutorial here and go for it! Great Job Lori!!!

Rae Ann said...

BTW... Perfect fingernails!!!

Kim Walus said...

Yet, another AWESOME quilt I'm dying to make. Where did you get your acuquilt dies? I have the older sizzix with a narrower opening and would have to buy a new die cutter machine. I'll have to investigate. It would definitely make it easier to cut out the hexie's.

Valentina said...

What a wonderful tutorial and what a beautiful Blog, Lori!
sigh... my heart is full!
Valentina from Cyprus

Carrie P. said...

This is great Lori, I just pulled out a flower garden UFO and I was not stitching my fabric around the paper like that but I will now. Thanks for sharing.
What a great idea to get your daughter to help you and learn the technique.

Jan said...

Great tutorial Lori :) Tks so much and I think Kassidy has a great job!!!

Ingaredstoka said...

Thank you for this! It makes me think about try it out and I'm not so keen on sewing by hand.
Susanne

Darlene B said...

What great timing for this tutorial! I just started my first english paper piecing project last week, and am really enjoying it. However, I was following the directions and stitching through the paper. I like your method so much better! dsb448@att.net

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

What a great tutorial. I do mine slightly different, but I love to see how people do things because it helps me. Interesting. Good tutorial. Thanks BFF!

Judy said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial....you make it so clear...may have to start them very soon now...always wanted to but never really knew what to do. Anxious to see your next step of stitching them together to a flower. You Rock.

Judy

Elizabeth said...

Lori, you are one dangerous lady. I'm going to have to give up everything but doing your projects if I want to keep up! Lol! Love the tutorial. Looks super simple except I don't have a die cutter, so I'm going to have to improvise a bit! Thanks for sharing

*-*kelebek*-* said...

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Jackie said...

This is really helpful! I've been intrigued by hexagons but have not seen such a thorough tutorial. Thank you!

Sue said...

This was a most excellent tutorial! I am just starting the Wednesday Flower Garden. I have seen tutorials on it before, but this one excels them all :)
Thank you for sharing!

Judy said...

Ok.....I am TOTALLY HOOKED....I love making these Hexies and all kinds of ideas are happening in my head for them.....each one is cuter that the one before. Sooo fun and thanks again for showing us YOUR WAY.

You're the best.....
Judy

Tara said...

Thank you! Great tutorial :)

Cubby House Crafts said...

Thankyou so much for this tutorial...I have been wanting to try Hexies for a while now
Lisa

Corrie said...

Love love love this method! oh my goodness, so much neater than my way!

I'm going to share the link in my next blog post on it!

thanks for letting me know about it - too easy

corrie;)

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

OH!! I wish that I knew about this method! I have a hexie UFO that I had cut all the pieces out years a go...and only have some sewn together.

Thank you for this tutorial...

Blessings & Aloha!
I LOVE your quilts!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh! I meant to also say...Yay! for your Kassidy! How awesome :o)

Blessings & Aloha!
I'm following you now as #675 :o)

Cheryl said...

Love this method. I can imagine it would be quick. Can't wait to try it. Wonder if I can persuade my eight year old to do some paid sewing.

(Oh, found you via One Crafty Mumma.)

magirite said...

Oh, I love these hexies! I can't wait to get started on something with them. Thanks for sharing.
~M~

{autie} said...

love your voice when you write...and very good tut! Thanks for sharing...I want to make one...I love your fabric choices.
how cute are you!?

Céline said...

Great great great !! I'll try it !!

Bari Jo said...

Hi! I don't know if I ever commented on this tutorial but it is my go to for hexagons! I love it! Thanks for teaching me how to do hexagons... I have been having fun with them!!! Your tutorial has been great - love everything that I have learned on your blog!!! Thanks for the tip on ironing out the papers once they are removed - great idea - no waste! I also decided to punch a hole in the center of the papers so I could pop out the paper easy with the end of my needle or seam ripper/ hemostats, etc... pops out easy! Iron and I'm in business again like you said! Thanks for the fun! Just had to tell you thanks if I hadn't before! :O) Bari Jo

luggenlinda said...

Where can I purchase precut hexagon papers? I hate to think of cutting all of them out.

handmadebyclairebear.com said...

I like your method of stitching around the paper not to the paper.
I have always stitched to the paper, and then pulled out and reused the paper hexagons as I have sewn other hexes all the way around them, but I might have a go at doing it your way next time as it would save me pulling out threads which I hate!
Thanks for posting.
Claire from HandmadebyClaireBear

eileensideways said...

jumping up and down, up and down, i did it, i made one, it looks just like yours! it was easy and i am going to make more. thank you!

Nati said...

This is a FANTASTIC tutorial! thank you so much! I will stayed tuned to see more of your great work!

Vanessa Goertzen said...

Bless you, Lori Holt!!! I have been trying to find a good tutorial on how to do this and no one takes good pictures of how to actually fold/stitch them. So grateful for you taking the time to put this up. Just when I thought I couldn't be a bigger fan...

XO

Vanessa G.
Lella Boutique
http://lellaboutique.blogspot.com

Meags said...

Thank you so much for your tutorial. I've have looked and looked for a tutorial and yours is by far THE BEST. You now have me hexie obsessed and I have no paperclips to do my office work. :)

Lorna McMahon said...

I love this tutorial, Lori! It's been three years and your daughter is still making hexies.... Love it!

Chef Mama Lori said...

Lori, I'm so glad you posted a link to this tutorial! I just started English Paper Piecing with hexies and did it the "old fashioned" way. I'm so excited to see that I don't have to sew into paper AND don't have to rip out basting stitches! Woo-hoo! Thank you!

Lori

ncredbird said...

Just curious if you leave the basting stitching in the finished quilt or remove it? When my grandmother taught me to do this we basted all the way through the the layers of fabric/paper/fabric and it was necessary to remove it after whip stitching the edges together. Leaving it in would make it a lot less tedious.

Ann

Karen Salemi said...

What a great technique! I'm hooked. I bought a kit and the instructions were to sew through the paper. That's hard on my hands. Your method is so quick. Thanks for posting your tutorial!

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