I’ve been wanting to play with English paper piecing for a long while. Specifically hexagons. I have dabbled with them in a pattern I wrote a while back, but I would love to make a whole quilt with them someday.
To satisfy my itch, AND create something useful, I made a little thread catcher.
**If you would like a kit scroll down to the bottom**
I’ve needed this little cutie forever. If you ever looked at my floor or table while I’m sewing you would see that I usually just toss the threads willy nilly all over the place. Now I have a little container to keep the place a little more tidy.
Would you like to play along?
First you will need to print off the 3/4 inch hexagon templates. I got mine here .
I used card stock. Print off a 1 inch template page too. You can use one of the 1 inch hexagons as a cutting template for the fabric.
There are lots of tutorials on making hexies online, so I won’t go into that here. My little tips are: use a baby rotary cutter to cut your fabric around your 1 inch template, and use a dab of sewline glue stick in the middle of your 3 /4 inch templates to keep the fabric steady while doing your tacking stitches.
You will need 10 Hexies for this project.
Lay them out in a pleasing manor and whip stitch them in a row like so:
You can take your papers out as you go, or at the end. It’s up to you. I took mine out when I was completely done connecting them.
Cutting The Fabric
5 1/2 x 12 1/2 main fabric
5 1/2 x 12 1/2 lining fabric
5 1/2 x 12 1/2 sturdy canvas or interfacing
2 1/4 x 22 binding
Let’s begin with the lining.
Fold your fabric in half and sew up the edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. (all seams are 1/4 inch for this project.)
Then sew the bottom with a 1/4 inch seam. **At this point if your fabric is directional like mine, pay attention to which side is the bottom.
Next you will box the bottom by fiddling with your fabric until you have a flat triangle in the bottom corner. Using your ruler measure in 1 1/4 inches from the tip of the triangle, mark a line with a water or heat soluble marking pen. I use Frixon pens, they rock. Just run an iron over them and it disappears!
Now sew on your line back stitching at the start and stop. Repeat on the other corner.
Trim seams to quarter inch and set the lining aside.
Now lets work on the outside.
Using your ruler measure down 1 1/2 inches from the top (long side) and mark with your marking pen (be sure it is water or heat soluble you don’t want a permanent mark on your thread catcher!) This is the guide for placing your hexies.
Next center your hexies , pin, and hand stitch.
I use YLI silk thread and applique needles to stitch on.
Now layer your outside fabric onto the canvas. You can spray baste, safety pin, etc I just used some straight pins to hold the 2 layers together.
Quilting time! Do whatever quilting you would like , I used 3 strands of DMC floss in pink to go around my hexies.
When you are done you can remove your marking line. In my case I just had to run a hot iron over it.
We are going to construct the outer unit just like we did the lining. Making triangles in the corner, marking a line at 1 1/4 inch, sewing on the line back stitching at the start and stop, trimming the corners off.
Now turn the thread catcher inside out!
Now grab your lining and stuff it down inside. Use your fingers to push it down into the corners, and pin the perimeter matching up the side seam. I hand basted a seam around the very top to make it easier to sew on the binding, so the fabrics wouldn’t shift.
Now sew the binding to the outside using a 1/4 inch seam. Turn it inside out to make hand stitch the binding easier.
Pick up all the stray threads you just made and throw ‘em in there! =)
Buy A Kit!!!
I have three little kits made up if you would like to purchase one.
They are $25.00 which includes shipping.