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Thursday, June 13, 2013

English Paper Piecing - Hexagons

Seems like all the quilters are back to making English Paper Pieced hexagons. A fad from the 1800's is back with a vengeance.

As someone who has regarded "hand" as a four-letter word, I have avoided sewing hand work until the past year. I was finding that I was spending close to 20 hours a week waiting at various events - doctor's office, children's music lessons, watching TV, ....   So I picked up some hexagon cardboard templates from Actually, I got my first ones from one of my on-line fabric purchases, they had the 2", 1", and 3/4" hexagons available, around $3 a package.

So here is a photo of some of my hexagons from the past year. I started using 5" charm squares to make 2" hexagons. Just the right size for my large hands and first attempt and hand sewing, though I had recently learned to hand sew quilt bindings. My daughter wanted a quilt using sunset colors - reds, oranges, blues, purples, yellows, ...   So she went through a box of charm squares and picked out fabrics.

Using some binding scraps, the 2 1/2" strips I was able to piece the 1" hexagons, and I did enough to make a flower with the 7 I made.

This will be a long term project. I may have enough 2" hexagons for a bed quilt, I don't know yet. My plan is to applique down the flowers, I am not making a traditional Grandmother's Flower Quilt!

But, I broke down to try some smaller hexagons. After seeing that people make quilts using 1/4" hexagons, I got more templates : 3/8", 4/8", 5/8", 6/8", 7/8", 1", 1 1/8", 1 2/8", 1 3/8", 1 4/8" and 2". Might as well mix it up a bit.  I am having a really hard time with the smaller sizes, I need to leave an extra large seam allowance, and then trim after I have basted.

What size hexagons do you like to make?