Whipstitched Hexie Rows

This is another quick tutorial on how I sew my hexies together. After a layout, and sewing all the rows together as in my last post, I’m ready to start sewing the rows together!

All rows sewn together in layout. One row flipped to show work on backside.

I start from the left side – I have the first smaller rows stitched together already and now I’m adding the fourth row.

Planning where to start stitching.

I’m going to start at the bottom here – with the yellow green print and the sage green solid half-hexies. I grab the hexies where I’m going to start sewing…

Picking up where you plan to start.

… and flip them over. I use a bolster pillow to rest them on while I get the stitch started.

Resting on a bolster pillow (or stuffed animal in this case) hold the two hexie sides to be sewn together.

From here, start your stitch in the middle of the two hexie sides you’re going to sew together.

Start your stitch in the middle.

From here, use a whipstitch and skim the papers to grab the edges of the hexie without pulling the fabric from the top of the hexie piece, and work your way down to the bottom edge. Avoid the seam allowance.

Whipstitch down to the bottom edge.

When you get to the bottom, start working your way back up, going over the stitches you just did. This will reinforce all your edges.

After getting to bottom edge, work back up. Keep seam allowances out of the way when stitching these ends.
Keep whipstitching up the hexie row.

Knot at each corner and keep going.

Knot at corners and keep going.

When you get to the end of the row, go all the way to the edge and then work your way back in halfway on the first hexie before tying off your stitch. I don’t have this pictured, but it looks the same as how you start and reinforces the edges of the piece.

Up close.

For these stitches, I used Gutterman Polyester thread – it works well for whipstitching.

That is all for now… I’ll post when I get this little center piece done for the Heart Chakra Quilt. Then I’ll have to figure out what I’m going to do from there… I have a plan, but it’s very vague.

Happy Hexies!

Back To It: Hand Sewing Hexies – Tutorial

I’m sewing some hexies together for the center of the Heart Chakra quilt project I’m currently working on. I’ve sewn a few whole quilts with hexies and I’m going to share with you how I sew my hexies together without any stitching showing on the front.

To start, these are the notions I use:

  • Needle: John James #12 Sharp
  • Small Scissor
  • Superior Kimono Silk Thread #100
  • Thimble
  • Thread Heaven (thread conditioner)

I’m starting with basted hexies. If you would like to see how I baste my hexies, please go here , or here for a full hexie tutorial. Be ready for lots of photos!

I start by laying out my hexies exactly how I’m going to sew them together. This layout is small, so it’s easy to layout just about anywhere. Sometimes I use a card table with batting stretched on top and taped down to layout hexies – the batting keeps them in place a little better.

My hexie layout.

I then sew my hexies together in rows. I start by knotting my thread with a quilters knot and pulling it up through my first hexie in the center. I personally think that sewing them with WRONG sides together gives the best results. I use a ladder stitch and sew to one end:

Start from center – sew out to one end.

Then I flip the hexies in my hand and stitch back into the center:

Flip hexies in hand and sew from end to center.

Keep going… ladder stitch all the way to the other end.

Keep stitching to the end.

Flip the hexies in your hand again, and sew back to the centerpoint.

Flip hexies in hand, and sew from end back to the centerpoint.

Yes… this doubles the stitching. It may be overkill, but I like to use my quilts and I wash them as any other thing I own, so they have to be durable.
Open the hexies and push the needle through to the back. The trick here is to avoid catching any fabric on the pass-through. If you do, you may see the stitch on top.

Pass the needle through to the backside.

Then knot on the back side, close to where the needle came out. After knotting, slide the needle up to the next side to be sewn.

Knot and move onto the next seam.

Knot here – one more time – this ensures that if a thread is cut anywhere, it will not unravel all your stitching. Pass the needle up through the center of the hexie, right on the edge.

Knot again. Then pass the needle up through the center along the edge of the hexie.

Start your next hexie – just as before: ladder stitch to one end… and follow all steps again.

Start again. Sew all the way to one side.

You can see that when you open your hexies after sewing this way, you don’t see any stitches on the outside of your work!

No stitches showing.

The running threads from one hexie to the next can be snipped when removing the hexie papers, or they can stay in place and you can pull the papers out around them.

Once I have all my rows sewn up, I sew them together using a whip stitch. I’ll do another tutorial on that as soon as I get there with this project.

Happy Hexies!

A Fresh Start

I’m very excited to tackle the next quilt in my Chakra quilt series.
I finally have a layout I’m going to use as my base:

Heart Chakra Quilt – Initial Design

The Anahata Chakra is based near the heart and connects our physical with our spiritual presence. The two triangles in the center depict the physical / spiritual connection within the hexagon they create. Twelve aspects of the heart are normally symbolized with a 12-petaled lotus flower, but I plan to use triangles for this part.

Each lotus petal contains a Sanskrit syllable in this Chakra – representing 12 vrittis. These are: lust, fraud, indecision, repentance, hope, anxiety, longing, impartiality, arrogance, competence, discrimination and defiance. “They are called ‘vrittis’ which can be best explained as waves of the mind. If we achieve to silent the vrittis that wave our mind, we will be able to see beyond. To see the bottom of our hearts.” – Anahata Yoga

So… next step is to pick fabrics. Here are all the greens I have:

Fabric pull: greens
Fabric pull: maybe greens

Some neutrals will be added to all this too – this is the hardest, but most fun part of making a quilt for me: working with what I have! It makes me re-think things in ways I would have never considered if I purchased new fabric based on my pattern idea.

Since the center created a hexagon shape, I decided to make some hexies for that area! They’re going to be 3/4″ hexies… and there are not that many needed, so it will be a fun addition – if I can get them to look good… so much is still up in the air on this one. I’m just happy to have chosen one to start and can focus my energy and start to get some sewing done!