Stars in the Loft by Karen H
Today I'll to share my simplified method to make the half and half hexagons rosette designs from my quilt. I call the hexagon half and half because one half is made with one fabric and the other a different fabric. This refined technique is faster and easier than my previous method and it is gentle on your hexagon papers.
TIP: You can purchase precut papers or if you are like me you can cut them out yourself. You will find templates with various sizes of hexagons under the tab English Paper Piecing Instructions & Hexagon Fun at the top of this page. If your printer doesn't print them the exact size you may need to enlarger or reduce the template. If you are gentle with the paper you will get many uses out of them. I use regular 20lb bond paper to print my hexagons and I cut them when I don't feel like sewing!
I start out by sewing two strips of fabric together using a 1/4" seam allowance. I shortened my stitch length because I will be cutting up the strip and I don't want the seams to come undone at the end. For a 1" hexagon I used two strips that measure 1 1/2" by 20". When the strip was sewn I pressed the seam allowance open.
I placed my hexagon on the strip being sure to line up the points of the hexagon on the seam. I used my children's washable glue stick to hold the paper template in place. Make sure that there is glue near the points of the hexagon that line up on the seam line.
I cut around the hexagon with my scissors leaving a generous seam allowance. I find that 3/8" works well. You don't have to fuss around with a ruler and rotary cutter - just use your scissors. The seam allowance doesn't have to be the same all the way around because you are going to baste the fabric to the paper and whip stitch your hexagons together unlike traditional patchwork where you must sew your patches together on the 1/4" seam allowance line.
I thread baste my hexagon from the back. To begin I start at one of the corners that is lined up with the seam. I fold over the seam allowance on the right side.
I fold over the seam allowance on the other side making sure I have a nice sharp point.
I turn over the hexagon to make sure that the point is lined up on the seam. If it isn't I lift the seam allowances to make sure the point is lined up and repeat the folds until it is correct.
I then start thread basting from the back and work around the hexagon until I get to the second point that lines up on the seam allowance. I repeat the process described above to line up the point on the seam allowance and continue basting.
This is what the hexagon will look like from the front and the back. Because I've basted from the back there are no holes in my paper and when it is removed it will be in great shape and ready to be used again and again. I use a washable children's glue stick to hold the fabric in place so the bond is very weak which means the paper comes out easily! When do I take the paper out? As soon as a hexagon is completely surrounded by other hexagons I remove the paper.
I fussy cut one hexagon for the centre of my rosette (or flower if you prefer) and then arrange the half and half hexagons around the centre. Following are four arrangements.
Another option that would be interesting would be to alternate three solid hexagons with three half and half hexagons! Play around and see what you can come up with!
For a little more fun here are some close-ups of the half and half hexagon rosettes in my Stars in the Loft hexagon quilt.
This is just one of countless designs that I have. It is fun, it is easy and it is a great way to use up strips of fabric. Although all of the examples above use only two fabrics for the half and half hexagons there is no reason why you couldn't use an variety of colours. Wouldn't it be fun to use the same light colour for all six hexagons but different jelly colours for the other half and then sew them into a pinwheel design like the block show above? It sure would be fun!
For those of you who are interested in the Brinton Hall quilt pattern in Quiltmania (pattern designed by Leigh Lattimore) I have found another quilt maker who is working on it. Kelly of Always Applique hasn't been blogging for several moths but on Monday she posted with oodles of pretty pictures of the projects she is working on including her Brinton Hall quilt which you can see here.
I hope you enjoy this little tutorial. Time for me to do some sewing so until I post again, happy sewing to you!