July 26, 2010

To work, with hexagons

This is how I get to work.

Sometimes, when I can tear myself away from all your blogs and swearing at how hard it is to comment with my iPhone, I might do some hand sewing. I took this picture admiring three flatty flat flat hexagons that I had just sewn together.

I then proceeded to document how I sew them together using a ladder stitch, which has always served me well with applique and other areas requiring an invisible stitch. I had to wait for the bus to stop to get clear pictures. Click on the pictures if you need to see them larger.


The first stitch. I erred just to the seam allowance side of the folded edges, and I did not experience any of the puckering that Christina described at the PMQG meeting using this stitch. I think that might have made the difference.


The second stitch goes in directly opposite where the first stitch came out. And so on.



When you get to the other edge, lay the hexagons flat. The stitches will be loose between them. Gently pull the thread until the stitches disappear.



One side done. But now to get over to stitch up the other side...


I just ran the needle along the seam allowance back to the starting corner. This is to save time and also use one continuous piece of thread instead of many knotted threads which could, as Christina pointed out, come undone.

Four little hexagons, snuggled up together!

29 comments:

Just-Do said...

You made me smile when you wrote that your picture was taken while you were admiring your three hexagons sewn together; it is something I always do, when making something; every step has to be admired. My family thinks I'm nuts, but it is so nice to see someone else does it too!

Jill said...

These look great! Thanks for the tip on the stitching, I always do get a little puckering with my ladder stitch, but I'll try this next time!

Lisabee said...

I switched to ladder stitch after Jill posted about it on her blog and I don't feel like I get much puckering... I'll have to give this variation a try to see if it makes a difference.

Kimberly said...

I wanted to stop by and say congrats on your win! The CIty Quilts book looks awesome. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Megs said...

Nice tip on waiting to pull the threads tight and close up the seam. I'm going to try it!

Janet said...

I'd knot the thread after afixing each hexi and then continue on to the next w/o cutting the thread. THat way if somehow the thread breaks in use the whole quilt doesn't come apart!!!

Caroline in NH said...

I thought I was the only one! I use ladder stitch (aka "invisible stitch") not only for applique, but also for hexagons, as you have so aptly demonstrated here. I can't help but feel that the ladder stitch, utilizing 3-4 threads from each side of the hexagon, has to be more secure than a whipstitch taking but one or two threads at a time from each side. And it looks neater. I've been a fan ever since reading the Ami Simms book on invisible applique, probably 15 years ago.

Now I have to find "Jill's blog", mentioned in the comment above!

liniecat said...

thats really interesting..I can see where I go wrong now! Its ladder stitch for me from now on! many thanks lol Lyn

Sue said...

That is a great tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing. I'd previously tried whip stitch, then couldn't find a tutorial I liked. Yours changed all that....the photos and written instructions are very clearly written and easy to follow.....I've just put down the first two hexies I joined. Again, thank you so much!

Eileen, Quiltist said...

That stitch is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. My mother made a hand stitched quilt while she was very ill and has since passed away. I don't use it because I worry about her stitches. Now I have a stitch to use to redo what she had so it won't be so fragile. Thanks for sharing. Great pics.

vj_mama said...

the comment regarding admiring each step made me laugh. I'm pretty sure my husband could make a quilt by now because i'm always showing off mini accomplishments. lol

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial - clear directions, step by step pics and very easy to follow and understand. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

I use this stitch but I go both directions on each seam. I start away from the corner working to the corner then back down the side, and I have not had any puckering problems.

Anonymous said...

So how do you get them all the same exact size and with such neat and even borders?

Jennifer Mathison said...

I have just started working with hexis and I love them. I have not had any problems sewing them together with whip stitches (I use invisible thread) but I will definitely try your method, as well. Of course, I too, will stop and admire my work at each step ... heeheehee!

sewfrench.com said...

So you don't knot at the corner of each? I'd be nervous about the thread getting pulled causing tighter and looser stitches along the row. Or if the thread gets popped, when using the quilt, a line line of stitches is now susceptible to coming undone.

Dee said...

Thanks for sharing this. I cut out my material and papers using a Bigshot and two dies. I use freezer paper which irons on in place when you are pressing the sides in. I then tack a load and keep them in a box ready to join together wherever I go

jen said...

Love how flatty flat flat they are! Trying this method immediately!

Jessica Wilson said...

I love your blog and EPP. Both are part of my daily routine. Unfortunately, I'm having some issues with my thread - wearing, breaking, fraying, etc. What do you use/recommend for piecing?

Thanks!

Christina said...

Hi Jessica, I've never had this problem. I usually use Aurifil 50 wt thread.

Mike Pearson said...

I thought I was the only one that gets Hexy on the public transport system!!! Haven't tried the ladder stitch yet, but I might sometime! Thanks for sharing!

Mike Pearson said...

I saw this post on the Google+ community page "I'm Hexy and I Know it!" Someone shared it :)

Allison said...

I just made my first hexagons yesterday and all the blogs I read said to use a whip stitch. I did as they said, but couldn't help thinking a ladder stitch would be so much better. Thanks for showing me it is ok to buck the trend and use ladder stitch!

Lore S said...

Great tutorial. Do you put batting inside each hexagon before you sew them together?

Amy said...

Thank you for the great tutorial! I'm just venturing into hand sewing hexagons, or as I call it...a lesson in patience.
Thank you for sharing pictures taken with your phone :-) my whole blog is filled with phone pics because I don't have a fancy camera!

Grandma Sue said...

To anon. who asked how to get such even stitches:

Practice, practice, practice! Don't be in a hurry, especially at first. You will speed up as you become more proficient.

Lifeknocks said...

Gonna try the ladder stitch but honestly I never had much puckering with my whip stitch, it just takes forever it seems. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

quiltfarmer said...

Admiring each step is actually very important, it tells you that you have accomplished something wonderful, it also tells you if you need to fix a problem, so admire away!

Donna said...

We are still learning from you, indeed very clever!

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