Hello quilting friends! I hope you all survived your holiday celebrations and have already found some time for 2016 sewing!
I’m feeling kind of “woo hoo, hotsy totsy” today. If you follow my blog, you’ll understand that it’s similar to the goofy cockiness I felt last summer when, after 20 years as a quilter, I finally sewed in my first zipper! (Conquering my fear of zippers) So what has put the spring in my step this time? I finally sewed my first hexagon applique project! Yes!
I bet a lot of you are like me. You have been quilting for years, maybe decades, but there are still many quilting or sewing techniques you haven’t tried. I’ve found a lot of excuses in the past for not trying new things and avoiding challenges, but mostly I think fear was holding me back. It’s so much easier to stick with what you know. But in 2015, I experienced a few life changing events that sort of kicked me in the backside as if to shout, “Taunja, what are you waiting for?”
I have wanted to sew some type of English Paper Piecing (EPP) / hexagon (hexie) project since this summer when I began noticing darling hexie quilts, bags and pouches on Instagram, but I kept pushing it to the back of my mental sewing list. (Yep, the fear of what I didn’t know was winning.) Then a few nights ago, probably in some type of subconscious New Year’s resolution mentality, I found myself in my sewing room determined to make something, anything, which included a hexie. I pulled several fabrics and found myself drawn to a collection of items from Lou Lou’s Fabric Shop: a charm pack of “Gooseberry” (Lella Boutique for Moda), a bit of graphite Moda Cross Weave yardage, and a sweet little sewing machine zipper charm. (Please check out Lou Lou’s Fabric Shop by clicking their banner ad in my left side bar!)
Lying nearby on my cutting table was my newly purchased “idea journal.” The colors on the journal looked lovely with the Gooseberry fabric and I knew what I would make . . . a Lori Holt Quilty Zip Pocket! I had made two during the Farm Girl Vintage Sew Along. This would be the perfect pouch to hold my idea journal.
Full of determination but lacking experience in making hexies, I did some Internet searching and found a great tutorial. In a nutshell, here’s what I did:
- I watched Ellison Lane’s video tutorial for the basics: Hexagon Tutorial: A Step-By-Step Video. The instructions provided by Jennifer Mathis are excellent and the video is only 5 minutes long. I’m sure there are many other wonderful tutorials available, this is just what I stumbled upon.
- I used my Cricut paper cutting machine to cut out several 1” hexie templates onto card stock. (Note: I learned that when speaking of hexie sizes, 1” refers to the length of one side of the hexie. Also, you can purchase hexie templates from several sources. Or, you can print them yourself if you have software which allows you to draw a hexie shape and a printer that prints card stock. If you have a Cricut like I do, you can make fast work of producing hexie templates.)
- Then I selected my favorite reds and pinks from the “Gooseberry” charm pack and made several fabric hexies as instructed by the Ellison Lane video. The first one was a bit tricky. The paper template kept slipping. After three attempts, I finally pinned the shape to the fabric and it was smooth sailing. Before I knew it, I had made 19 fabric hexies.
- I cut an 8 ½” square from the graphite Moda Cross Weave. After playing around with several designs, I finally settled on a simple flower. I removed the paper template from 7 of the hexies, pressed them flat, and pinned them in place onto the square of Moda Cross Weave. I then appliqued the shapes using matching thread and a blind stitch.
- Finally, I followed Lori Holt’s free tutorial for her Quilty Zip Pocket. I added fusible fleece to mine to give it a bit more weight. I added the darling zipper charm from Lou Lou’s Fabric Shop, a bit of measuring tape twill ribbon, and some fun text print from my stash for the lining.
My first hexie project turned out to be pretty easy! Really and truly, it was not hard. If you can bind a quilt by hand, you can applique. If you can use a needle and thread, you can baste. If you like to keep your hands busy while watching TV or riding in the car, you have a great new activity. You see where I’m going with this. 😉
It’s a new year and it’s a great time to throw fear aside and try something new. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today! I hope you will visit Lou Lou’s Fabric Shop and see all the loveliness they have available for you!