I often find that I am working on several projects at once…usually projects that require the sewing machine. However, there are times when I need a portable project. At this time of the year, we spend a lot of time waiting…at the airport, in the car, while the holiday ham bakes, for holiday programs to start. Why not put all of that time spent waiting to good use?
Hexies are the perfect portable project. They take very few supplies to complete. Everything needed can be easily stored in a small container, ready to grab and go. Once you’ve learned the technique, each hexie can be completed in less than a minute. If you have a five-minute wait in the car, you can complete five hexies…more than half of the hexies needed for one of the projects I’ll show you later!
They are also the perfect starter project for someone who’s never sewn before. If you’re looking for a fun holiday gift for either a new or experienced quilter, create a hexie project box. My sister-in-law, who has no sewing experience, has found herself forced to take it easy for a while. She’s going a bit stir-crazy and contacted me, asking for a craft project that is easy and doesn’t require expensive tools. I immediately thought of hexies; the items shown above are for her new hexie project box.
Now, how exactly do you make a hexie? Gather the following items and you’re ready to start!
Fabric pieces, either scraps or small yardage cuts
A package of hexagon paper shapes (I use 1″ hexies)
Needle and Thread
A few notes about hexies:
Photo 1: Hexies come in many sizes. The paper pieces used in this tutorial are 1″. Hexies are measured along the side, not across the width of the entire piece.
Most precut hexie pieces come as shown in the second photo. I have found it very helpful to punch a hole in the center of each one with a paper punch. This will make them must easier to remove when you’ve completed the hexie.
The first step is to prepare your fabric. If you’re planning on using the hexies as a grab and go project, it’s important to have your fabric precut and ready to be used. If you’re using 1″ precut paper pieces, 2.75″ squares of fabric work best. As mentioned before, you can either use scraps left over from other projects or use yardage. If using yardage, cut a strip that is 2.75″ x width of fabric (WOF). Cut the strip into 2.75″ squares. If you have one of Quilt Expressions’ 2.5″ x 6.5″ rulers, this is a very simple process. Lay your fabric strip straight on your cutting mat. Place the ruler along the short end, as shown in photo 1. Because the ruler is 2.5″ wide, simply move the ruler over an additional 1/4,” creating a 2.75″ square.
For my sister-in-law’s hexie box, I chose five prints from one of our new collections, Walkabout by Beth Studley for Makower, UK. To get her started, I cut one 2.75″ x WOF strip from each of the five prints. I was able to cut 15 squares from each strip, resulting in 75 squares.
Step 1: Gather one fabric square, one hexie paper piece, and a threaded needle. Place the paper piece in the center of the wrong side of the fabric.
Step 2: Holding the paper in place, fold one side of the fabric over onto the paper piece.
Step 3: Fold over the adjoining side, creating your first corner.
Step 4: Secure the two folds with a Wonderclip.
Step 5: Tack the fold together with two slip stitches.
Step 6: Fold over the third side of the hexie, secure with the Wonderclip. Stitch. Repeat along sides four and five.
Step 6: When you get to the last side of the hexie (photo three above), carefully fold fabric toward the center as before. Be sure that both resulting corners are still tight against the edge of the paper piece. Hold in place with the Wonderclip.
Step 7: Stitch the last two folds in place.
Step 8: To secure the thread once all of the folds are complete, I find it easiest to wrap the thread around the end of my needle twice (photo 5) and pull the thread tight, resulting in a small knot.
Step 9: When the hexie is complete, it will look like the first photo above. To remove the paper piece, insert a pencil (or any pointy object) into the hole in the center of the paper piece. Very gently, pull the paper piece out of the fabric hexie. I find it easiest to pinch a corner of the fabric hexie and pull the paper piece out corner by corner.
Step 10: Once the paper is out, reshape the hexie if needed and then press. (The paper hexie can be reused over and over. When pressing the fabric hexie, I also press the folds out of the paper hexie and add it back to my bag of hexies paper pieces.)
Step 11: Repeat…repeat…repeat…
Once you’ve completed the hexies, what do you do with them? What I love about hexies is you can make 1000’s and make them into a quilt, or you can make 10-30 and add them to a small project as embellishment.
Della added just nine hexies to a pouch made using the “Perfect Pouches” pattern by Lazy Girl. They sure add a bit of personality to an otherwise plain pouch. The pattern is available at Quilt Expressions and also happens to be the perfect size to hold all of your hexie supplies!
I had a scrap of grey Dottie fabric left over from a project and added 24 hexies to create a small table topper. The tutorial for the topper can be found here.
If you’re looking for additional projects using hexies, simply search for “hexies” on Pinterest. There are many, many ideas using either a few hexies or 1000’s.
If you’re creating a hexie project box to be given as a gift, gather all of the supplies needed and put them in a container. If the recipient doesn’t have a rotary cutter or cutting mat, precut the fabric squares for them. Add the link to this blog post, and the recipient will have all they need to get started. Be sure that the container is large enough to hold the completed hexies. Snack size disposable bags are perfect for storing the completed hexies inside the container.