Friday, February 7, 2014

Tutorial: Another hexagon star

If you are here for the GROW YOUR BLOG event please go to my January 24 post titled to enter the draw for a hardcover needle book. The winner will be announced on February 15, 2014! I reply to every entry so if you don't hear from me it means you are a no-reply blogger so I won't be able to enter you in the draw because I would have no way to contact you should you win! Good luck everyone!

Like many of you I love my hexies so let's make another foundation pieced English paper piecing hexagon star. I started off demonstrating a very simple star. The beauty of the first star is that none of the seams of the star base come out to the corners.

This made basting the hexagon is relatively easy. When  seams come out to a corner the basting is a little trickier (it takes a few seconds longer to baste) because there is bulk at the corner but a little bit of effort will pay off!

To begin you will need 1" hexagons. You will find a master template of 1" hexagons here. To draft your six hexagons locate the middle of the top of the hexagon and draw a line out to each corner. Make six for the star plus an extra hexagon for the center.

You will need six fabrics that are 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" for the star points. I used red. You will need 12 patches that are 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" for the background. I used light blue. The piecing is the same as for the narrow pointed star. You will find the sewing instructions on my January 19, 2014 post. Don't forget to shorten your stitch length when sewing.

Once you have stitched the star points the hexagon will look like this from the back

and like this from the front.

Trim the seam allowance down to 3/8". With the method of foundation piecing your hexagon for English paper piecing a generous seam allowance makes the piecing much easier. I trim with my scissors and just eye-ball it. Begin your basting by turning in the side as in the photograph below. Fold the top down and baste until you get to the base of the star point.

When you get to the base of the star fold the side in and the base of the star down. Before I fold it down I like to give the solid side a good pinch with my fingers making sure that the fabric is folded right against the paper right up to the corner. As I fold down the base of the star I slide my thumb nail under the fold to make sure that the fabrics are flat and smooth. This will ensure that there is a nice point on the corner. I check before I stitch it down and if it isn't a nice point I refold.

For the other side of the star base fold the side in and the top down. This is the one place where the fold is not going in the same direction as the other folds. It is important to fold the sides in and the base of the star point down. If you don't do this the corner will not be correct on the right side.

This is the star!

Play with your hexagons to see what happens! There is no reason why the background fabric has to be the same. I could have used a darker blue on one side of each star point to give a shaded effect.

There's also no reason why you have to use the same fabric for each star point. When I made Stars in the Loft I didn't have enough red to make all of the stars I needed for the border so when I started to run short I added a second fabric and just alternated the two fabrics. It was the solution to a problem but when you see the quilt the combination of fabrics make it look very complex and I'm sure people wondered "how did she manage to plan that element". Didn't I look smart? A fussy cut center finished the block off!

Hope you liked this star! There's still more to come so until I post again, happy sewing!

Karen H


  1. Thank you. This is what I do next.

  2. Karen
    Having trouble posting to flicker. I have an account on flicker, I've joined your group, but can't post pictures. I'll try again later I guess

  3. Fabulous star...
    Have a Nice weekend!

    1. Thank you Brigitte! Hope you have a nice weekend too and that you find time to take a few stitches!

  4. Another great tutorial. Love that star. When you base do you go through the paper I have been basting from wrong side and try just to catch the corners. Would love to know how everyone does this step.

    1. I baste through the paper to give me nice crisp folds and to hold the bulk of the seam allowances tight against the paper! I'll do a demo next week!

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  6. Another cute one! I made one this afternoon. I just need to stitch it then I will put it on Flickr.

  7. Very spanky!!! Way to go...keep on going...these are very fun. Soon you'll be publishing a book of amazing hexagons and other paper pieced designs...I just love em!


    1. Thanks Kelly! I'll keep on going because I have loads of ideas and designs to share!