I have to share with you my new crafting project LOVE, hexies. Yes, I’ve made them before and have even hand pieced a hand quilted hexie flower garden quilt. (That was years ago). For some reason, the smaller one-inch version has caught my eye I love making them. We recently went on a road trip and I NEEDED some handwork to do while riding in the car. I figured while I was in the car I would show you how to sew hexies on-the-go.
One thing I get excited about going on vacation is not only time away, but some time to work on projects like these. Unless I need something to do while watching a movie, or I know I’ll be waiting somewhere for long periods, projects like these get put on the back burner. But WHY? Little sewing projects like these bring me joy, help me chill and relax, and are very rewarding. I guess I’ll have to go on more trips!
So I made sure I had some projects to take with me. (I had three small bins of things to DO: a little sewing, a little crochet, some beading, and my travel watercolor kit). I never get to them all, but at least I have them with me. Is anyone this crazy?
WHAT ARE HEXIES?
Fabric hexagons (which are affectionately referred to as hexies) are made using a process called English paper piecing. Each hexagon is made individually by wrapping the fabric around a paper shape, then securing it in place using either stitch basting or glue basting. (The paper will eventually be pulled out).
These hexagon shapes can be used alone or stitched together to form other fun shapes or patterns like flowers. There really are so many fun ways to put them together. You can applique them on pillows, quilts, or make a wall hanging. Of course, Pinterest has a few ideas.
This is a GREAT WAY TO USE UP YOUR TREASURED FABRIC SCRAPS!
I made a little HEXIE TRAVEL KIT. Let me show you what‘s in it.
Hexagons are measured by the length of their sides. The hexies I show in this tutorial were made using a 1-inch template and is a good size to start with.
HEXIE TRAVEL KIT CONTENTS
- Pre-cut fabric scraps (cut to 2 ½ inch – 63 mm squares). Use a variety of colors and prints.
- Pre-cut hexagon papers you can buy them already made in bulk, or you can make them yourselves. I like to make them using lightweight cardstock. Cutting them by hand can be a little time-consuming, so I made a template on my Silhouette and let the machine cut them out for me. It’s very important that they are cut out accurately and that they are uniform. I have the SVG file available HERE.
- You can also cut them out manually. I have a great PDF file that was designed so you can easily cut out a bunch at a time using a rotary cutter/ruler, paper cutter, or scissors. You can get the file here.
- I like to get a little tin or zip lock bag to put the papers in for easy access.
- Needle and Thread Some people use a glue stick, but I prefer the simple needle and thread method. Use a milliner type needle size 9-11. (However, any embroidery needle will work just fine). Throw in a spool of white or neutral color thread for basting.
- Scissors I take my fabric scissors because I like to trim the fabric before sewing. A smaller pair of embroidery scissors are nice if you have a pair.
- Upcycled Altoid tins to keep single already made hexies, and spare needles.
- Acrylic template (optional)
HOW TO MAKE A SINGLE HEXIE
Double thread a needle and knot the end. (Don’t get your thread too long, or it will get tangled, about 16 inches after doubled.
Place your hexagon paper on the wrong side of your fabric and centered on the square. Hold the paper in place while you trim the corners to make a 3/8 seam allowance.
Fold the fabric firmly over the paper on one side and then fold the adjacent side over to form a mitered corner. Take two small stitches over the mitered corner to tack in place. Stitch about ¼ inch from the edge.
Fold the next side over and hold in place while you tack that corner in place.
Repeat until all sides are folded over and sewn in place. Knot and cut the thread.
Store your made hexies in the tin until you are ready to sew them together. If you are home, it’s nice to press the hexies before sewing them together. However, if you are on-the-road, you can still sew them together and press later.
HOW TO SEW HEXIES TOGETHER
Decide how you want to sew them together. You can make hexie flowers for a Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt, (as shown above) or just start randomly sewing them together if you don’t want a specific pattern. I’ve done it both ways.
Double thread the needle and knot the end.
Place two hexies right sides together (RST). Using a WHIP STITCH, sew along one side from point to point. Sew small stitches that are about 1/8 inch apart. Catch the top folded edge of fabric only. DO NOT SEW THROUGH PAPER. Small, closely spaced stitches that are sewn straight across the fabric top are best.
When one edge is sewn, secure your stitching with a couple of stitches repeated in the same place, at the end of your hexagon side. This keeps the stitches tight and the seams (for each side of the hexagon) neatly intact. Next, fold the hexagons out flat and decide which hexie you want to add next.
When sewing more than one side together, you’ll have to flip the hexie as you sew. Sew the first side right up to the corner end. Align the next side by folding the other hexie next to it in half (without creasing). This allows you to line up the edges more easily. Sew that side and repeat the flip.
While on the road, you can just make up a bunch of single hexies, or if you’re like me, you won’t be able to wait and you’ll want to arrange a flower and sew one together right away.
Seriously, once you make a few hexies you’re going to be hooked!
I hope this inspires you to make a little travel kit and get sewing, EVEN ON-THE-GO!
Have fun sewing!