More on Hexagons !!

This is what I’ve worked on the past two afternoons, thought I should share with you.  No it didn’t take me all of two afternoons, was worked on in between other stuff.  Multi-tasking!

I started this project around a year ago, it was a take-a-long project with no deadline.  No deadline and no pressure equals fun for me.

I had a trip to NYC in January to work on fabric lines, this project went with me, I stitched on it in the evenings, I was at the point of sewing flowers together to create diagonal rows.  Had an unexpected delay in Chicago O’Hare, a 7 hour delay, lucky for me I had this in my carry on (I always have sewing in my carry on along with a book).  I had an extended opportunity to sew!  I found a quiet gate – the amazing thing was the gate stayed quiet all the time I was there – lucky me.  I stitched, watched some snow removal, had a Starbucks, wasn’t bad at all.  When I got home I almost had a top.

The project rested, then I decided it was time to finish adding hexagons to the edges where needed, mission accomplished, then was interrupted with other stuff and once again this rested.

Finally it was time to complete the top, had to study it for a while to figure out how to proceed.  I’ve never finished a hexi project, so I was flying by you know what.  Logic is a good thing to use when faced with things like this.  I knew I would have to remove the edge papers, so I gave the top a good pressing with steam first.  Then I removed stitches and edge papers very carefully so as to not stretch anything.

Next, trim away excess of the hexagons to have a nice edge.  Note the 1/4″ ruler lines down the center of the light hexagons.

trimming side 1

You will have two opposite borders to trim like this.  Notice that I have the 1/4″ ruler marks lined up, so that when I sew the border to the top, my sewing line will be in the correct position.  Yes it looks weird, but trust me.

trimming side 2

You will have 2 remaining sides like this, to trim away.  My hexagons are 5/8″, so I had to think about where I was cutting so that my seam allowance would be down the center of the hexagon.

portion of top, trimmed

This is a portion of my quilt top, cropped to show you what the two sides looked like trimmed.


Next step, is to press the edges outwards so I can sew the border to the top.

sewed border to top

I measured across my top at both ends, then cut two borders to this one length (mine were the same because I didn’t pull or stretch the top), I pinned about every 1 1/2″ to 2″, pinned closely so nothing would stretch.  I carefully pressed the seam allowance toward the border.  I measured across my top including the first borders at both ends, then cut two borders to this one length, Again I pinned about every 1 1/2″ to 2″, sewed, then carefully pressed the seam allowance toward the border.

In this picture I’ve sewn the border to the quilt top, now I will trim away the little tips that protrude.  See how easy this is!

press toward the border

I’ve pressed the seam allowance toward the border – looks nice doesn’t it.

You can do this too!

Voila!  quilt top

Here is my finished quilt top – I really love how this turned out.  It measures 35″ x 40″.

I ‘think’ I’m just going to add a backing, no batting, I’m not sure yet.  Or I ‘may’ hand quilt this and finish with binding.  No deadline, will figure it out one of these days.  In the meantime it will be draped over the drying rack at the studio – a quilt top in waiting.

Hopefully this will encourage you to proceed with your hexagon project!  Happy Stitching!






More on Hexagons !! — 50 Comments

  1. I love the border you have chosen for your hexi flowers. I am excited to start my project again. Sharing your time delay in the airport ( with Starbucks ) is a great reminder of time used wisely. Thanks for all the specific instructions. Maryellen

  2. Being an EPP fan, I really love it. Those fabrics are awesome, especially the border fabric which really displays the rosettes beautifully.

  3. Love this…fun to fussy cut blocks and see how different each flower turns out. Like it is not ginormous too. 🙂

  4. Oh, Jo! It’s a beauty!!! I have to start mine! I have a small 9 patch antique feed sack kit my dear friend Elinor gave me. She passed away a few years ago — it goes with me on plane trips. The blocks are 1″ and are organized in groups on a thread. There are muslin blocks, too. I’m almost done!

  5. I wondered what I was going to do with my box of hexis. I didn’t like them when I first started, I couldn’t get my fingers to fold them right. Since I mastered that I am making lots with no purpose in mind. Thanks so much. Happy 4th.

  6. Love it, Jo! It inspires me to keep going with my stars. I had started a couple and brought some with me to the spring retreat and have been making them ever since. Wasn’t sure what the finished piece would look like—a wall hanging is perfect. I was wondering about how to quilt EPP, do you usually see them hand quilted or maybe like you mentioned maybe no quilting?

    • Hi Sheryl. I’ve seen hexagons finished with hand quilting, also with just a backing (like a summer spread) or just a top. Since batting these days is stiffer, it doesn’t drape as nicely as old batting that was 100% cotton with a light scrim and it tore easily. Batting these days is made for long arm quilters or machine quilting, not so much for hand quilting, imho. One of these evening I plan to go through some of my quilt books featuring antique quilts, with magnifying glass in hand and see what I see to help me make up my mind. I have 3 more small hexi pieces to add borders to, so I have some thinking time. And I have some machine work resting at the studio. I’ll certainly blog about it once I figure it out.
      Did you see the setting that Jody is using for her EPP stars? She recently posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook. Jody’s stars are made with 1/2″ hexagons, 1/2″ jewels and 1″ diamonds, then a 2″ hexagon to sew 6 stars around – really love it, may have to make another star project, need to finish off the two I have that are candle mat size. Stay tuned – Have a Happy 4th! Jo

  7. The quilt is beautiful. I just started making hexagons and wondered how to finish the edges of my table runner. Thanks so much.

  8. I was wondering which background fabric you used? 3994-LN or 3994-LO ? I have been making fussy cut hexagons – so inspiring to see one ‘put together’!

  9. OMG! JO! It’s stunning. I think this is my all time favorite. Course I’ve said that before. It’s always seems like the next quilt is even more wonderful than the one before it. But I’m Hexed! I love the fussy cuts and the colors and tones in this one are to die for! thank s for more inspiration….

  10. thanks for the information. i also have a hexi quilt top that has been a work in progress for some years and didnt know how to finish off the edges. with a new grandbaby due soon this will be the perfect blanket for my new little angle. will post you a pic when finished.

  11. Lovely!

    I finished one by adding wadding & backing, quilting, sewing a border of hexies, (RST on the front ), trimming wadding to size & shape, then flipping the new hexies over and slip stitching to backing

  12. Thank you so much for this. I have been dreading to finish my hexie quilt because I had no idea what to do about the edges. I had “Fear of Finishing!” I will now forge ahead. Ha!!

    • I take my travelling hexie project when I go to Seattle on Amtrak a couple times a year. I have red,white,blue hexies done… using Rober Kaufman solids for a new hexie project. Love making them and no time schedule for these 2 different projects.

  13. I found that I need to “stay” stitch along the outside before trimming. After having to re-hand stitch the hexies, it just seemed easier to stitch by machine before trimming.

  14. To Jo from Jo 😉 I simply love your work. I wish I were as talented as you are. I guess that would start with doing more than I’ve done, which is only a few quilts. Keep up the inspiration, and thanks for it 😉

  15. I was wondering if you finished your quilt. If so how did you do it? I have taken on doing paper piecing and have created a double quilt top for my daughter. This is my second quilt ever made and I’m needing to pick a professional’s brain.

    • This is a sew-along, I’m on block 5 for Wednesday’s post, sewing along with you all, no idea how I’ll set mine, waiting for it to talk to me. Can you check at your local or fav quilt shop for expert advice?

  16. That is beautiful. I’ve been wanting to try the English paper piecing. After seeing how to finish it I’m ready to try. Thank you so much!

  17. Thankyou for sharing your beautiful hexagon quilt & how to finish the quilt. I have started making my first ever quilt with hexagons in a blue & white colour scheme, really enjoying the creativity of English paper piecing!

  18. I admit to not reading the whole article but I’m curious as to why you wouldn’t cut it so that only full hexagon patterns are shown rather than have some hang off the edges a bit. Was it because you wanted a particular finished size? I find the odd bits hanging off distracts me from looking at the “big picture,” so to speak. I LOVE this quilt, though. Gorgeous layout and colors.

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