Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Making QAYG Hexies
I was recently asked how I made my quilt-as-you-go hexies. Each hexagon is a complete mini-quilt, with a top, batting and mock-bound with the backing. Mine are roughly 4" across (finished), but they can be whatever size you want. I use a 4" hexagon for the top and the batting; the backing is a little less than 6". This allows for a skimpy 1/2" binding on the front of each hexagon. I had some leftover flannel when I started this project, so my batting is two layers of flannel. Now that I'm well into my project, I bet one layer of flannel would have worked great, too.
I layer each hexie: backing wrong-side up, then batting, then the top right-side up. The top and batting are centered in the middle of the backing. I made my own templates for these, which aren't perfect. I can see it in the layered photo. But that's okay - it evens out once I get the binding rolled over.
Each outer edge is folded over twice and pressed into place. I bring the outer edge of the backing to the raw edge of the inner hexagon and press. Then I fold it over the inner hexagon and press again. If the binding looks wider on one side than another, I adjust how much I fold over and re-press. My goal is for the edge to look even and the corners to line up.
All of the corners are folded in the same direction. This requires unrolling the right side of the first folded edge so that the last side gets rolled under. It's why I don't pin down the first side that I press with the double fold (see above photo). I pull out that corner, then fold it again so all six corners look the same.
Ta-da! All pinned and ready to sew. I simply machine stitch close to the inner edge to finish the block. I've seen some people hand sew the binding. My hexagons are small enough they don't really require quilting through the middle of it, but a bigger one would need something. I've seen a mixture of hand and machine quilted centers.
There's a ton of options for stitching the hexies together, too. I've joined mine with a simple whip stitch by hand. There's always the option to zig-zag by machine, or with some fancy embroidery. The neat thing is, once these hexies are joined together, it's a finished project. It's all quilted, backed and bound.
I'm still working on my stack of hexagons. Once I have enough of them and an idea of what I want to make with them, I'll start stitching them together. Maybe later this year?
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