Hexi Heaven

Busy hands this week!  We’re all giddy about hexagons over here.  Cutting, basting, stitching…plump hexis are littering the house.

I started this project in a rush actually, seconds before we walked out the door for a 48 road trip across the country to visit family for Christmas.  I’d spent days, even weeks, planning…oh yes, road tripping with 4 young children is not for the faint of heart.  We’re talking pre-portioned snacks, books on tape, magnetic toys, lap trays, neck pillows, kid potties…so much planning actually, that I’d forgotten to plan a take-along for myself!  With the kids literally buckled in the car, and my husband hurriedly calling at me from the front door, I snatched a couple of Chicopee charm packs, threw some needles, thread, and scissors in a zip pouch, and sat down at my desktop for 30 seconds to copy, paste, and print some big fat hexagons onto card stock.  I ran out the door with no idea what this project would turn into, but it’s decided that it’s going to be a lap quilt with big, happy snowflake-flower-star-thingies.

Hexagons 2

My plan is to applique 5 or so of these to some natural Essex linen, and then stitch some pretty white Sashiko around the flower shapes.  But how to applique them??  Shall I blind-stitch them by hand, dragging this impromptu quilt out into infinity, or machine stitch them?  I hate to kill the purdy finished edges with zig-zags, but my machine doesn’t do a blind stitch or blanket stitch.  I think maybe the hand applique will be worth the time.  At least  I’ve got 2 more flowers before I have to decide! :)

And everybody’s getting involved.  Turns out my 4yo is a total rock star at cutting out the card stock templates.  Oh, which, by the way, I’m linking to HERE, just in case you wanna print and give them a whirl yourself (if you do, note that I cut at the outside the thick-ish line, to keep things uniform).

I’m using those 6″ FreeSpirit “charm packs” (I always think of a charm as 5″, but these are 6″, as are all Westminster’s, I believe), so these 2.5″-sided hexis fit perfectly.  The biggest ones I’ve been able to find in stores are 2″ sides, but it’s not tough to just print and cut them yourself…especially when you have a scissor-handed sidekick like I do.

Nora colored my sketch during our road trip, and is getting a kick out of telling me which colors we need next…”UM, Mom, no, we need purple next, puuuuurple.”

Well, I’m off to tackle this day…and hopefully a stack full of hexagons!

Comments

  1. Awesome Amy! I’d expect no less from the lady who turned her maternity room at the hospital into a quilting studio. :)

    Sometimes my husband wants me to accompany him out to the ranch (15 mins away from home) and I’ve got so much to do at the house but we’ve been apart all day since we both still work outside the home. So I’m known to toss a basket of skivvies into the back seat of the truck which I fold on the tailgate while he feeds calves. Your story reminded me of that…as I whisk out the door and he’s impatiently waiting in the truck he’s like, “What are you doing with those?” And of course the prompt response is, “Well they don’t fold themselves and the laundry fairy is at her mother’s.” It’s amazing how our minds multi-task.

    Can’t wait to see the end result!

  2. gosh don’t complain! it’s how I got started sewing didn’t you???

    • No complains here- I love this project! :)

      • this very pattern was in the newspaper way back when and my grandma made a quilt out of flour and sugar sack materials. My sister now has that quilt but I have the occasional snack hand painted table my mom painted on some of the patterns and fabrics that were used

  3. Amy, didn’t you show us a magazine article that had how to sew hexies by machine? What happened with that? Looks like a pretty project!

  4. This is going to be wonderful! I am inspired! I am just finishing up hand quilting your I’m a big girl disappearing 9-patch quilt. I’m making it for my daughter. I ended up tweaking the design on it a teeny, tiny bit because I had goofed on one of the blocks. It still looks pretty awesome. Thanks for the fresh inspiration today!

  5. How many charm packs are needed for this quilt? I’m already surfing the web looking for some. I found some I like.

  6. Looks awesome Amy! Don’t you just love it when the little ones helps with a project?! So precious. And her color placement is spot on – I say listen to the girl!

  7. Hi Amy, I love you involve the kids, there is nothing like learning as a child, it’s so much easier than learning late. Love the hexis they are gorgeous k x x

  8. I love this! I haven’t given hexagons a try yet, and now I want to get with it and give it a shot! I’m just a year into sewing and quilting and you know waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than me, but I thought of something you might like to try. I learned a neat little machine applique trick from a pattern from Wendi at shinyhappyworld.com; she uses a blind hem stitch around her applique pieces with matching thread. It worked great on my project!

    I’m sure whatever you decide to do, it will look fabulous. Thanks for such great inspiration :)

  9. Ahh, child labour, it’s the only way to do for mundane tasks ;)

  10. Jude Jones says:

    I would suggest sewing them on the linen with a blanket stitch, not zig zag….I would also suggest using invisible thread. The blind hem stitch works well too, as Carrie says, they both would look better than zig zag. Just a thought….Wouldn’t finish the project myself by hand either, the machine would be the only option for me! how is that featherweight treating you? =) ~Jude

  11. How fun to find a way to let Nara really, truly help. Those moments with sewing can be rare. I loved her coloring the page.

    And LOL about the previous comment on child labor!

  12. What about a straight stich 1/16 to 1/8 inch from the edge. Will keep the hexies in place and keep the “hexi” look.

  13. Those are some puuuurrrrttttyyyyy hexagons!!! I simply can’t wait to see the end result! It’s wonderful that you get the children involved,as well!!

  14. I need a project like that while watching TV in the evening with the hubby. Thanks Amy!

  15. Sobana Sundar says:

    Amy I thought you had a small hexi project already going. I am waiting for you to finish and quilt it so that I get some clues as to how I should proceed with mine.

  16. Oh Wow! I love to make Hexies and I love the size of this one, but I would have to print many many pages to get enough to use. That would use a lot of ink. I did save the template and may use it to make a pin cushion or something. Thanks!

  17. It’s a shame you don’t know about Inklingo – saves time and the stitches don’t show in the front. Here’s a link: http://www.inklingo.com/

    • Hi Judy! I have seen Inklingo, but am not sure how it would help in my specific project. I’m not using the templates to cut out hexagon shapes, but rather to fold my fabric around so I have finished edges to hand stitch together (ie traditional English paper piecing). Seems like Inklinkgo is just a means of printing a shape onto fabric, but not sure how this would aid me in getting those nice crisp finished folded edges. Fill me in if I’m missing something! :) Would love to try something new.

  18. Hahhaa a woman after my own heart! I’ve done the same thing many times (forgetting about oneself). And too boot – Hexis!!!! I’m on the go but with Hexi a travel. I have a box filled with smaller ones that I’m hand stitching together (your fault since the craftsy course lol!). I agree hand appliqué for this project would be best and not distract from the georgeous Hexis!!

  19. It is awesome to have a sewing sidekick! She is a really cute assistant. Lol, it is good to get your children started when they are young. I love hexes (grin), you know what I mean and look forward to seeing what you make of yours.

  20. Hexies are the best for on the road. I keep a kit in the car just for trips to the preschool pick up line. =)
    Lori Holt from Bee In My Bonnet has her daughter baste her hexies for her, I’m already scheming for when my daughters are big enough to help.
    Can’t wait to see the finished quilt!

  21. Ah, Inklingo…….my favorite way to make hexies! So simple, print on fabric from the printer attached to the computer, cut them out with lines to sew on too, a breeze to make. Love, Love Inklingo! http://www.Inklingo.com

  22. Such a timely post! Thank you for this nice fat hexie. I’ve been “wasting” a lot of time in front of the TV lately with the husband…we just got cable TV…and I thought I spent a lot of time in front of the computer!! So I had been thinking I should get together a bunch of hexie supplies so I can multi task. Nice big ones like this will be perfect. Who knows what it might turn in to :)

  23. I love your hexies. Thanks for the link to the template you use. My first try at hexies, I used the tiny ones and I became frustrated. This gives me a better handling on the project because of the size. Then I’ll move back to the small ones. Thank you!

  24. I love your idea and it’s killing me! I learned paper piecing in your BOM class this past year and was so in love with it I started work on a queen sized quilt of 2 inch hexies. I needed a hand project for a week at the beach and I needed to get rid of piles of scraps. I’ve made great progress, but unfortunately all of the hand stitching (I also hand stitched dozens of ornaments this Christmas) has messed up the tendon in my shoulder, elbow and wrist. So I’m in a brace and resting from hand sewing for a few months. Can’t wait to get back to my hexie project though and to see what yours looks like when it’s finished!

  25. Hi Amy, Sounds like one of my old time family vacations. Snacks in the car, fun things to do to keep us kids busy. Because of you, I learned so many new techniques (Craftsy BOM) and Hexies were one of my new favorites. I have this same fabric you are using, but I don’t think I have the charm pack. Now I have to go buy it!!! I want to make this large Hexies – they are so cute! But how do you do the edges? Just cut the Hexies in half? And add a border as usual?

  26. Hi Amy, love the hexies! I’m finishing off a hexy project myself…I’m using the Scattered Hex pattern in the book Block Party, and I machine sewed the groups of hexies onto blocks of Essex with just a straight stitch a hair or two in from each of the sides. Easy peasy and I think it looks just fine!

  27. Brenda Murphy says:

    Amy, you crack me up!!!!
    Just read your Hexi blog piece….”big, happy snowflake-flower-star-thingies.” LOL I needed that laugh since my Colorado furnace went out last and my sewing room is still below 40 degrees!!! Repair Tech just left after taking precious fabric money with him. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE!!!!?? I’ll just have to make that Hexi quilt ……

  28. Fun project! Using charm squares for this sort of thing makes it so portable and easy. I really like a bit of hand stitching, so I would probably applique them by hand, but really a machine stitch would also be nice (and sooo much quicker!). :) What about a straight stitch with monofilament thread?

  29. Excellent Amy. Such a cute Helper!

  30. Pam from CA says:

    Amy, you have a young quilter in the making! Love the larger hexies! Cannot wait to see your finished design! Thank you for the link!! Loving the line Chicopee. I am doing your Sugar Block and loved the fresh designs of your Craftsy BOM! Heading to Road to California Quilt Show this Month.

  31. Try attaching the snowflakes temporarily with spray adhesive and then stitch about 1/8 stitch line inside the edge. This should hold it securely. Or if u are more ambitious, use the same stitch inside all the hexagons, so they look like they are quilted. Always loved the way hexes look with traditional quilting. Judy Y

  32. Amy love the look of the hexies . Have to let you know I finished all my blocks from the Craftsy BOM :) finally . It is my first quilt ,Thanks for all you taught me . Karen

  33. Brenda Caplette says:

    You are going to make quilters out of those to lovely little ones yet. What wonderful memories they will have of you all making quilts together. Cherish these times. Happy quilting :)

  34. Wow, Beautiful project, I think I’m going to do something like that right now!!!! I’ve a 18 month old toddler and when he’s awake he doesn’t allow me any machine sewing or rotary cutting piecing….so I will stuck to handsewing….I will make him a blanket for the stroller…..for the way to applique it, I think that you can seww a straight stitch 1/16 from the border of the “flower-thingie”, maybe with invisible thread or matching thread..I think it’s less time consuming than hand stitch!!!!
    By the way, what is sashiko? Never heard of it!!!
    Happy quilting, Chiara from Italy

  35. I just made my hexi blocks from the craftsy BOM – so cute! I’ve been so inspired by your blog I’ve decided to start my own – thanks for sharing your quilting experiences!

  36. sweet as to have such a gorgeous side-kick :) imagine how good it will be when all four are old enough to help out !!

  37. I’m a copycat!! I loved the idea of this quilt so much I ordered myself a charm of Chicopee!! Thanks for all of your fun ideas!! This project will give me a chance to hang with the hubs instead of of hanging out with my sewing machine. ;-)

  38. Great idea for the hexies! Congratulations on your twins-we have identical twin sons who are adults now, but raising them was just a hoot. Life was never, ever boring ;-)

  39. Oh Amy, I just re-read your post…your machine doesn’t do a blind or blanket stitch? How do you function???? Do yourself the biggest favor in the world and purchase the Brother CS6000i from Amazon (free shipping). It has huge reviews – I left one – and this baby even does FMQ!!! It comes with all sorts of feet including a blind stitch, zipper, walking foot and FMQ (darning) foot. And here’s the best part, it’s less than $200. All of the short shank feet from Distinctive fit this machine too. I purchased the 1/4″ seam foot from Amazon for it – works perfectly. I’ve had this baby for 3-4 years now without a single problem. I love that is does auto-needle down, auto-needle threading, and auto-sewing. Yep, you can pull the foot pedal plug from the back, push a button and away she goes at whatever variable speed you set for it. Now why would you auto sew? FMQ is why. I set it at the slowest speed, drop the feed dogs, and stipple my heart out. Justify the purchase by following the tutes children’s clothing on danamadeit.com and expand your stitching to kids fashions. You’re gonna need it with those boys!

  40. Oh your hexies look so crisp and delicious!

  41. nancy van landingham says:

    My hexies are crisp and delicious too … LOL … so much fun .. I had NO idea … Now I am waiting for Amy to explain (or show) the white thread she is going to use around the edge and how she will do that … I am a copy cat and loving it … (I googled the thread … name?? and it is a Japanese created thread and design … Learning Learning !!