Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tutorial: Another fun hexagon block

Back by popular demand is another fun hexagon block using my foundation pieced English paper piecing (EPP)  technique. It is fast, fun and suited to all skill levels! Last time I showed you how to make this block.

Today I'll show you a variation of this block. To start you will need a foundation paper which you will find here. I'm using 1" hexagons; you can find a template here.  You will draft the block using the method I described on January 19, 2014.

Draw a horizontal line that is 1/2" above the base of the star. You will need six like this plus one for the center.

The sewing order is numbered on the template below. I start by applying a dab of my glue stick to my paper and then apply the paper to my fabric, the star point. I cut six orange scraps that measured 1 3/4" x  1". These are area 1.

I fold back the paper on the line between 1 and 2 an trim the fabric leaving somewhere between 1/8" to 1/4".

I cut twelve light blue background fabrics that each measured roughly  1 1/2" x 2". These will be areas 2 and 3. With right sides together I line up the edge of the star point with the long edge of the background fabric. I shorten my stitch length (I have a Janome and I set it at 1.8 or shorter) and I sewed on the line between 1 and 2. Stitch about half way into area 4.

I fold back the paper and trim the seam allowance down to about 1/8".

Open the fabrics and either finger press or give the patch a press with a hot dry iron.

I repeat these same steps with the background patch on the other side of the star point. This is what it will look like from the wrong side.

I trim the excess fabric on all sides except the bottom edge. I like to leave a generous seam allowance of at least 3/8". It makes the basting much easier.

I carefully lift the paper away from the fabric (the paper might tear a little but that isn't a problem) and fold on the sewing line. Trim the seam allowance down to somewhere between 1/8" and 1/4".

For the base of the star points I cut six red scraps that measured 1 14/" x 2 1/4". These will be area 4. With right sides together line up the hexagon patch with the fabric and stitch on the line. Trim the excess seam allowance if necessary.

Open and press with a hot dry iron. Trim the rest of the hexagon being sure to leave a generous seam allowance. This is what the hexagon will look like from the back.

Here is the hexagon from the front.

HELPFUL TIP: I chain piece my hexagons so they sew up in no time flat! I then set them aside for basting when I need some handwork.

 Baste the hexagon in the usual manner.

I basted a hexagon for the center and then arranged the patches before sewing. I am happy!

Normally I would use one thread that works with all of the fabric, perhaps a neutral taupe. In this instance I chose to use a blue thread for the background and a rusty red for the star base and center. Please refer to my post on January 20, 2014 for instructions on sewing the hexagons together. HELPFUL TIP: Sometimes because of the extra fabric the patches don't fit perfectly. What I do is take my first couple of stitches and then I make sure the opposite ends match up. Then I stitch easing in the extra bit. A good press with flatten everything. So as I like to say, voila - another one of my foundation pieced English paper pieced hexagons! I've got more fun blocks planned so stay tuned!

And now for the most recent Soupcon block on the Soupcon FLICKR Group! Silverrabbit6 is so clever! She came up with a wonderful idea that had never occurred to me! She used machine embroidery stitches to embellish her lovely block. She used a blanket stitch and some Omni stitches along with machine embroidery thread! It is so perfect!

That's it for today! Tomorrow's post won't go up until very late in the day. It will be my GROW YOUR BLOG post with the giveaway! Until then, happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. I love your blocks. Did you see mine from yeasterday?

    1. I did see your block and it is great! It just twinkles. Wasn't it easy to make?

  2. Very nice and the machine embroidery idea is something I can consider!!

    1. People are just so creative and inventive - all it takes is a little nudge!

    2. Yes, it was easy and fun to make.

  3. I nearly skipped this post as I'm not a fan of EPP, but looking at it, I think it's foundation pieced on the machine?

  4. Another great tut, Karen! One could spend all day making lovely hexies from your blog. I invite you to share it on Hexie Weekend. Thanks for the process.