The 12 Hexies (or less) Blog Hop

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Have you caught the English Paper Piecing bug yet?! πŸ™‚
I have!! (You can read my first post on my discovery of paper piecing here.)
And I’m more than happy to start off Diane’s , from Crafty Pod, “12 Hexies (or less) Blog Hop”.

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Diane is such a talented designer, writer and crafter, please check out her page and show her some love!

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The rules for this Blog Hop were simple: make a project using 12 hexies or less. SO, I made myself a nice, long bag with 30’s (reproduction) kitty cat hexies!

I used, my customized version of, Eleanor’s pattern, Grandmother’s Garden Purse, from her book “Egg Money Quilts“. It’s such a neat book to use your 30’s and repro fabric!

This post will be giving you a step by step tutorial on how to make the hexagon flower to embellish this purse.
It is not the purse tutorial but I would be more than willing to create a tutorial on how to make this purse if anyone is interested. πŸ™‚

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(I had initially planned to cross stitch “Ray’s Sew Crafty” on the front of my bag, but I ruined my Soluble canvas…I will try that next time.)
I am beginning to fall in love with 30’s prints and reproduction fabrics, I had fun picking out my fabrics for this bag!

I cut out my bag pieces, ironed on my fusible, did some quilting and then set that aside to get my hexies started.

Now for my hexagons, I am using 1″ Paper Pieces hexagons.
I like to glue baste them with Fons & Porter fabric glue pens. I am hooked on this stuff!
It expedites my paper piecing to the max.
I like to sew with John James needles #9, they’re the perfect size for sewing these little guys! Not too thick, not too short, JUST RIGHT!
And I use 50 weight DMC thread, matching the fabric that I’m using of course. It’s originally machine embroidery thread, but it works great for paper piecing.

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I “fussy cut” my little cats to be on the center of my hexagons. Some quilters don’t bother with fussy cutting because it wastes too much fabric, but for these cute kitties, it’s completely worth it! πŸ™‚

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Mini charms work perfect for 1″ hexagons. A mini charm is 2 and 1/2 inches squared, so I cut my hexagon fabric at that size.
I love using this “Cotton and Chocolate Quilt Company” method of glue basting hexagons! It’s so easy!
I bought this in a Beginners kit that they carry, check out their kits to get started with EPP!

You simply center your paper piece on your fabric and glue down your sides with a dab of glue! It’s that easy!
No sewing or fussing with thread on the basting. Save the sewing for when your sewing your hexies together! πŸ˜‰

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After all the hexagons are basted, I get them placed in the pattern I want them in.
In a hexagon flower like this, I like to sew the hexagons in horizontal rows, and then sew the rows together. I find it easier to do it that way; I have a theory that it saves thread by not sewing 2-3 sides binding two hexagons but binding a continuous row of 3-4 hexagons.

I grab my first two hexagons and place them right sides together, making sure that the edges line up. I usually start from the bottom right corner up. I thread my needle and knot one end, then start my stitches in one corner.I do a “whip stitch” on the corners just to make sure the knot doesn’t slip through. Then I whip stitch up the sides of the hexagons. Smaller stitches are better, in my opinion, they will keep your hexagons taut and uniform-looking! πŸ™‚

When I first sewed my first couple of hexagons, it took me a while to get the hang of sewing through both fabrics on the fold without catching the paper piece. It won’t be the end of the world if you stitch through some of the paper, you’ll just need to pull your papers out with a little more attention.

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It’s ok to fold the papers in your hexagons throughout your sewing, Paper Pieces uses flexible yet firm card stock for their products. I love Paper Pieces!
When I’m sewing my rows together, I fold the hexagons in half as firm as possible to make sure that my edges and corners are aligned.
DO NOT overlook folding your hexagons when you have to… The worst feeling comes when you think you’re almost done and realize that your pieces will not match up. :/

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And here we are, THE FUN PART: pulling out the paper pieces!!

Before I pull out my paper pieces, I steam the living daylights out of my hexagon piece! This keeps your hexagon’s edges straight and in place after you pull the paper pieces out.
I carefully tug the ends of fabric glued to the paper piece until the paper is “free” to be pulled out.
Again, if you happen to have sewed through the paper, pull out the paper piece carefully, you don’t want to pull a stitch and tear your fabric.

I like to starch and steam each hexagon after I pull the paper out, just to keep my hexagon looking crisp. πŸ™‚

Once all the papers are out, I steam my piece a tad more.

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I center my hexagon flower on the top of my front bag piece, pin it down and quilt it.
I have yet to practice free-motion quilting, so this is as pretty as my quilting is going to get. Straight lines are my friends! πŸ™‚

While Ray is being “crafty” on his cat bed, Jeanie pays me a visit. She thinks these kitty cat hexagons are “purrfect”! πŸ™‚

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It’s a lot of fun incorporating EPP into projects. I had a lot of fun making this bag! It came out to be about 14″ by 16″, I even have a couple pockets in there! It’s perfect for carrying my books and supplies to class! πŸ™‚

I hope that this “12 Hexies (or less) Blog Hop” inspires you to pick up some paper pieces! “Hop” on over to Maryline’s blog to see what she’s doing with her 12 hexies!

Happy hopping!
– Diana, Jeanie and Ray ❀

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2 responses to “The 12 Hexies (or less) Blog Hop

  1. This is really cute! I really love that kitty fabric! I really like the way the hexies add so much interest to the bag. I might need to whip one of these up for myself, I can never have enough project bags.

  2. Great looking bag! And I totally agree that fussy cutting was absolutely the best choice for the kitty fabric as it creates an adorable accent. Love seeing how just a few well chosen hexies can add so much interest and sparkle to an ordinary garment or accessory.

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