Thursday, May 7, 2015

Basting "made fabric" hexagons and more red fillers

I showed you the filler pieces that I am making for the red border of my hexagon quilt Birds in the Loft. Angie asked if I had any tips for turning the seams over and stitching because she thought they might be tricky. They aren't!

I thought I would share with you how I baste these pieces step, by step. You will find the piecing instructions here. I shortened the stitch length on my machine and sewed the pieces together with a 1/4" seam allowance. I pressed the stitches to embed them in the fabric before I pressed the red fabric away from the yellow. This helps reduce bulk.

The excess fabric was trimmed leaving a generous seam allowance. I find that 3/8" works well but you can leave it even larger. A seam allowance of 1/4" or less is more challenging so go big. If it is too big you can always trim it down!

I like to start at the left hand corner of the made fabric. The first step is to fold over the seam 1 and then fold over seam 2.

I take two stitches to hold the fold. I fold over seam 3 being sure to tuck it under seam 2. I take one stitch to hold the fold.

I fold over seam 4 again tucking it under the previous seam. If you sweep the seam allowance up under seam three you will feel that it lays nice and flat. Take a stitch to hold the fold.

Fold over seam five again tucking it under the previous seam and take one stitch to hold the fold.

Fold over seam 6 tucking it under the previous seam. Take a stitch to hold the fold and the take three stitches to hold the last fold which is part of seam 6. There's no need to knot the thread; three stitches will hold just fine!

Here you can see the basted made fabric hexagon from the back and the front. I started sewing at the green circle and stopped at the red. Notice that there is no basting thread between these two points. The stitched in the corners that hold the folds are sufficient. When I am ready to remove the paper I just run my fingernail on the right side and push up gently so that the paper pops up. I then can slide it out through that little spot where there is no basting thread!

I've also updated my design sheet for Birds in the Loft so that you can see where I am going with my border design.

I'm now creating more "made fabric" hexagons for the rest of the border. They are slightly different from those shown above in that the yellow stripe cuts the hexagon in half. The process is the same: I sew a red to either side of a yellow strip using a 1/4" seam allowance. I press the seam to embed the stitches and then press the red away from the yellow.

I use my Elmers Washable Glue Stick to adhere the paper to the made fabric, trim the corners and then baste the hexagon.

I'm using all of the red scraps so some of the hexagons will be made with two reds. It will all work in the end!

For now I've got lots of sewing and basting to do. Once the hexagons are ready I will sew them into units that I will share will you when I reach that point!

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. Excellent tutorial, thanks for sharing!

  2. So clear, Karen. Thanks for the photos and the how-to steps. Hope you don't mind all the questions I ask. Love those red stripe hexies.

  3. always so interesting tutorials....thanks to you Karen....

  4. You have almost made me jump on the hexie wagon. Your quilt is just stunning. Been watching the progress and love seeing how it is all fitting together.

  5. Dear Karen!
    That will look so great with the "selfmade"fabric in the border at the end! Thank you for the helpfull instructions.

  6. Wow - this border is wonderful!! Happy stitching.

  7. Wow Karen, I love the border....and how you explain everthing so beautifully.

  8. This red and yellow border is going to look gorgeous!! A perfect frame for all the beauty in the center. I have a couple of questions. What is the finished width of the narrow yellow strip in your made fabric? Secondly, in a previous post you mentioned that this quilt is getting quite large and that maybe you should have used 3/4" hexies. If you had used smaller hexies, would it still have worked to make the pieced stars, and also this made fabric border? At what point would a hexie be too small for the bulk of making "made fabric"? Thanks Karen.

    1. I should have provided the information in my post. The yellow strips are 3/4" wide so the yellow stripe finishes at 1/4" more or less!

      As far as the stars go I've made them as small as 1/2". If you search "Boney Fingers" on my blog OR go to the English Paper Piecing tab you will find a little tutorial called Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

      I'll do a post on both in the near future!

  9. I'm doing the happy dance for this little quilt that I'm seeing for the first time. I can only imagine what you have in upuf UFO bin. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement.

  10. Great tutorial. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.