Saturday, 14 May 2011

1" Little Hexie Cushion Tutorial ~ Part 1 of 2

I have been asked a few times to do an Idiot's guide to making and connecting the little hexies I used in my Hexie Cushion; so here it is.

Here's a good way to use up your scraps of fabric that are just not quite big enough to do anything else with.

I have a little tin that I always have close to hand and it contains lots of little hexagon shaped papers, lots of little scraps of fabric, a needle, cotton and a pair of little scissors.

Here is a link to a site that you can use to print out your hexie templates.  Remember hexagons are measured in inches by the length of one side, a one inch hexie will be just under 2" square once made.
As always there is always more than one way to skin a cat; but this is my way, this is how I do it.

~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~  ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ 
Make The Hexies
Cut your fabric into little squares, you can cut them into hexie shapes, but I quite like the bulk of the extra fabric.  Make the squares large enough so that they cover the hexie with a little overlap, mine are around 7cm x 7cm (or 2 ¾” square).

Start folding the fabric over along one side and move on to the next edge.  This is where you start your tacking, these can be really rough stitches as they are either going to be removed or left on the reverse.  
I prefer to tack on the back only just picking up the fabric and not sewing through the paper, this way there is nothing to remove at the end and these little stitches help to keep the hexie's shape once completed.


Another method is to just sew through the lot, fabric and paper and right out the other side, I think most people do this, but it is extra work at the end and leaves little needle marks in the finished fabric.

Now comes the hard bit, make 143 more :)

Arrange The Hexies
One you have a good stash of them you can plan how you want to sew them together.  I would recommend that you make enough hexies to complete your project, rather than making the hexies and sewing as you go.  This way you will have scope to plan where you want to place them all and move them around before you finally get stuck in and sew them together.
Join The Hexies
 The most secure and easiest way to attach them together is to use a simple whip stitch.  Hold both hexies to be attached together, right sides facing, and whip stitch across the top.  Add an extra few stitches at each end to secure the joints, then just move on to the next.

For my first cushion I made hexie flowers (13) hen sewed the flowers together.  For this current one I sewed the hexies in straight lines (14) using hexie strips and then sewed the strips together.  You can pick whatever method suits you best.

My cushions are a standard 16" x 16", so I make the strips long enough to cover the 16" cushion with a little extra for the seams.  Overall looking at the hexie cushions I have made for a 16 x 16 insert, there are approx 12 hexies across and 12 hexies high, therefore 144 hexies in total (this includes the seams).

The sewing together does take a long time and your fingers will be sore!  I do mine in little chunks, they are nice to do as you can take them anywhere and you don't need any fancy equipment or a sewing machine and they quickly come together.  I would recommend using a fine needle and when stitching together use the smallest stitches you can manage (15), only picking up a few threads from each fabric side; this will ensure a neat finish on the other side.

If you have gaps at the edges of your work just cut some hexies in half to fill the gaps.  Remember that you can cut them two different ways (18), look at your gap shape first to decide which way to cut your hexie.

Finishing off the Hexies
Once you are happy with your hexie square, turn over and remove all the papers.  Just scrunch the fabric up a little to get in there and pluck them out.  The papers will get creased, but just flatten and stash them away to use again.

Now iron your work and to be sure that the hexies all stay together I like to add medium weight iron-on interfacing to the back.  It stiffens the fabric and kind of glues all the hexies together for extra stability.

~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~  ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ 

As I don’t have another 144 mini hexies ready stitched I will show you the remainder of the cushion using the larger hexie front I have just completed ~ same principal.

I will post this tomorrow in a seperate post as poor Blogger will be groaning with all my photos today.

I hope this tutorial made sense, if you have any questions please ask.

~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~  ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ 

If you are interested in getting a little head start I have popped some starter packs in my folsky shop which come with;

♥ Full colour instructions,

♥ A little hexie needle case,

♥ 6 completed hexies to give you an idea,

♥ Approx 36 fabric squares (7cm x 7cm) enough for one quarter of your cushion,

♥ 150 little paper hexies to make your own 1" hexie cushion (no cutting required).

A good chunk of the work done for you ~ click here!
~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~  ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ ♥ ~ 
n.b. when I started making little hexies I got a head start from the lovely Cate of 23rdSpiral (no blog) and I read Melanie's blog with great interest Texas Freckles, which is where I found the links for the hexies.  Pop over and have a look she is an amazing quilter!

p.s. thanks heavens blogger is back and working, I have really missed it ~ it's where my friends live x

~ ♥ Back Tomorrow with part 2 ♥ ~


Gilly Tee said...

I love the idea of a starter kit.

Sarah said...

Thats such a great idea x

Lucy in the Clouds said...

Brilliant tutorial Kandi - you've even got me thinking about starting them up - but they do look a lot of work! Stroke of genius putting the kits together - hope you sell loads.

Wish Cate would start a blog, she's inspired me loads! xxx

home made gorgeous said...

Lovely hexie cushion, I would love to have a go at one now, and I love the idea of a starter kit! Sarah x

Maria - A Playful Stitch said...

What a lovely kit you've made - what a great idea! I've been making a little buttony something for you today!!! Hope you'll like it!
Maria x

Between Me and You said...

Here, Missus, you should be on The Apprentice or Dragon`s Den - you could be building a little Kandi Empire in no time!!!What a fab tutorial and a brilliant idea to offer a kit for starting off. Years ago, folks would leave the papers or other fabric which they used to make the shape inside their hexagons - I have an antique hexie quilt and it still has some of the calico inside which I think is very quaint!Hope you`re having a good weekend. x

Bethany said...

Does your Folksy deliver to the US? Thanks for the tut: I have tons of scraps just begging to be used :)

Beki said...

Great tut hun, I can't wait to get started on my next one and a stroke of genius popping the packs in your Folksy shop, I'm sure they will sell like hot cakes!

B xxx

Unknown said...

Amazing tutorial! Thanks :) x

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tutorial Kandi. Its so detailed. I like the idea of stitching through the back only as not to mark the fabric.

Amanda Makes said...

Hi Chickadee! Great tutorial! Don't laugh, but when people referred to 1 inch hexies I thought they meant 1 inch across! I was SOOO impressed by all these people making tiny weeny hexies!!! NOW I know!! What a twit! I adore that cushion! Thanks for your message. I'm a bit up to my eyes this week which is why I haven't replied yet. The candle I loved was the pink translucent one. Is it still available? Sweetie, I haven't posted your cups yet. I think it will be Monday. I need a good strong box which I now have!I'm so excited about your Folksy shop. Wouldn't it be great if it takes off???!! I can just see you being whisked up by NOTHS and being to busy to breath next Christmas! You're so talented and hard working pet. You deserve great success. xxx

LaaLaa said...

Hi gorgeous. Great tute! I will be having a go so will be on to you for help and guidance! As always, I agree with our Amanda. Have a lovely weekend. xxx

♥ emma bear forever ♥ said...

Thanks very much for the great tut. It must of taken ages to write up and take those pics :) I will have a go at these sometime soon xx

Unknown said...

A Fantastic tute darling, I might even have a little go!

Catherine said...

It's a long time since I first did this! Feeling inspired to give it a go again! Cx

shirley2647 said...

Hi, Just discovered your blog - loved the tutorial and have just bought one of your starter kit. Sorry to be ignorant but could you please show us how to do the whip stitch. Cannot find it in my sewing books. Best wishes from shirley

Helga said...

Hexies look soooo pretty! I lack the patience at this stage in my life,however for patchwork! I'm saving it for when I'm older and calmer!
Wasn't it awful being without blogger?! Poor old addicts we are!!

Jacquie said...

Hi Kandi , thankyou so much for doing this tutorial . The starter kit is a fab idea .
It was worring when blogger went least it wasn't for too long and I got more craft done :0)
Glad to be back in touch now.
Jacquie x

salty pebble said...

what a delightful cushion ;0)x love it.
great idea for the starter kits x

Ali said...

Just getting caught up on blogs - thank you so much for this tutorial!! Another thing to add to my to-do list which is growing and growing xx

The Patchwork Heart said...

Thank you so much for the link to the free hexie graph paper. I have just joined the Hexie flower swap and it is just what I needed along with your excellent instructions. I used to make these as a child and am so looking forward to making them again!
Heather x