Just hanging around a corner of my sewing room, some hexagon hearts. The one on the right is now on it's way to a very nice person on another continent. The bird on the right Tristan made from his own drawing when he was seven. The little chicks are a couple from dozens I made years ago to hang on a branch for Easter and the little heart at the left is from mollychicken.
Nothing like a little hand stitching to clear away the cobwebs and put the mind on hold. Stitching up hexagons is so relaxing, I'm loving using up scraps, scraps I have no shortage of.
These are the beginnings of the heart above. I found out the hard way that the dark thread I used to tack with was polyester. My scalding little iron that I keep in my sewing room melted the thread leaving a number of dark lines melted into this patchwork piece of sunshine. Grrrr.
I embroidered over them to cover up the scars (click on the top photo to enlarge it and see.) There are so many good hexagon piecing (English paper piecing) tutorials there's no need for another, but here are a few tips you might not find elsewhere.
- Firstly my hard earned tip, use cotton thread to baste the hexagon around each paper
- Use a basting thread that's easy to see and therefore easier take out later.
- While basting each hexagon take a quick measurement of each side to make sure your shapes are uniform.
- Use a fine needle to piece the shapes together, it's easier to pick up smaller bits of the fabric for less noticeable stitches.
- Use neutral colour thread to stitch the hexagons together, not light and not dark - I usually use a tan colour (it looks lighter in this picture.)
And I don't use rotary cutters, just normal scissors on fabric pieces grabbed from a scrap bag. I place a paper hexagon in the centre of a scrap and clip around it about 1/4 inch larger than the paper shape. Quick and easy.
Here are a couple of hexagon or "English paper piecing" tutorials to check out, a hexagon pieced table mat from CraftStylish and a detailed paper-piecing "how-to" from Sunshine Creations. These are two different techniques but both very good and simple to master. And here's a lovely Flickr group full of hexagons too.