Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tutorial-Piecing Grandmother's Flower Garden with Mylar Templates!!


Just in case you missed it....
I know we have a lot of new readers out there,
so I thought I'd re-post my popular tutorial on how to use mylar templates
for piecing hexagons together!

Hexagon Tutorial with PLASTIC TEMPLATES

Finally....my 'Hexagon' tutorial
everyone has been asking for...


 So here goes...
 I do a lot of my sewing in the car while traveling...
so I rough cut my pieces out while in the car as well.
I cut the templates 3/8" larger all the way around the template.
Most people tell you to cut them 1/4" larger...
but with the plastic templates...
if they are cut out like that and are not dead on center...
the templates will start to pop out.
They tell you to cut 1/4" larger because
they are figuring on most people hand quilting this project when it is completed...
and any bigger than that leaves an extra layer of fabric to quilt through.
My solution....go in and trim up any excess.
Also...if you cut it at a 1/4" larger and don't have it completely centered...
you will have weak points in your quilt...
where it isn't quite a 1/4" seam.
Place a pin through the middle of the hole and back through
to hold the piece while you work.
Fold over the first corner until you have a crisp edge
and tack two tacking stitches.
(Just a basic whip stitch)
Now with the same needle and thread
travel over to the next point...
fold it over crisply...
and take two stitches at that corner...
Continue around until you come to the last point
before the edge where you started.
At this point take out the pin...
I then kind of pull it tightly
so as to pull out the indentation
from the pin holding the fabric and template together.
Go to the place you started...
take one more stitch
and knot off.


Now butt two templates up side by side
and whip together about 1/8" apart
starting at the very points of each hexagon...

DO NOT HOLD THEM LIKE THIS!!!
NO! NO! NO!

Now I know I may offend other bloggers and hexagon hand piecers out there...
but this is my 'humble' opinion.
I travel across the country doing shows
30-36 weekends a year...
and I see all kinds of quilts.
99% of Hexagon Quilts....
have 'stitches' showing through to the front.
To me...
if one is going to go to all of this handwork...
the last thing you want...
is for your stitches to show through!

This is why I LOVE the plastic templates.
If you place them side by side and stitch them
instead of like the previous picture...
your stitches will NOT show through!


Add another petal to flower center and starting at the top like shown in the picture below...
whip stitch all the way down that template
as well as the previous petal you attached.
The striped piece is the Flower Center
Continue until all flower petals are added.


When you get to the last one...
it is a little  bit funky to hold it...
but this is what I do....


I stitch the petal side to the center of flower
and continuously through the 
adjoining petal.


Then I go back and stitch the sides of the first and last petal together...
finishing the flower.


Wa la....
Your flower is finished...
and you can start adding the pieces all the way
around it to make a path...
The templates pictured here are 1" Hexagons

Now to take out the templates so you can reuse them...
You must always keep the templates on the outside
edge of the piece you are working on at all times... 


Once you have completely enclosed a template
all the way around with templates
whipped stitched on each edge..
you then can pull out that middle template.


I go to each one of my basting threads
that I originally secured the plastic template with...
and clip them.
This will release the template so you 
can gently take it out...
Now on this piece...
I can go take out all of the templates
except for the raspberry colored hexagons
on the outer edge...



And then you have your final unit
all completed...




These little templates are addicting.
I love them because 
they travel so easy.


Also...with the PLASTIC templates...
once you invest in them...
you never have to purchase them again...
or keep remaking them like the paper ones.


If you  would like to order some to try out...
CLICK HERE!!!

Hope this helps ladies!

Until Next Time....

12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for that tutorial. You make it sound very easy.

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  2. Thanks so much for the tutorial, John'aLee, and yes, it does help. I bought some of those mylar templates a few years ago, but have never used them. Now, with your tutorial, I've no excuse not to start making the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt I promised myself I'd make.

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  3. Love your hexie's. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I am going to have to try the mylar templates.
    Hugs
    donna

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  4. Thank you for the tutorial, I needed the lesson on how to keep my stitching from showing. Now I need to go practice.

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  5. I just stumbled across your blog. I have always wanted to make a quilt with hexagons. Can you tell me how to cut my fabric?

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  6. Soooo I read this tutorial last week....I had never had an interest in doing hexagons before but something about this peaked my interest. I researched on the internet about English paper piecing....read blogs....cut out some paper hexagons and took some practice ones to my bee group this week. All of a sudden I am interested and I think I would like the mylar templates better than paper! So thank you for sharing this tutorial.

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  7. Your fabrics make this such an appealing project. I have to confess I chose a thread that would show because I liked the look of the tiny little whip stitches showing around each hexie on mine. =) However, I can see the beauty of your piece here, too. I really love the fabric line. It makes this block so romantic looking.

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  8. I've never made hexies, but your tutorial sure makes me want to! I love the fabrics you used.

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  9. Your explanation is so easy to follow. I thought one left the template inside! I thought, wouldn't that make the object awfully stiff? You are the only site I have found that talks about removing the template. Thanks so much. Sunny

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  10. Very beautiful and love the unique shape you sewed them. I am searching how to finish it and keep the outer hexi shapes. I don't want to sew my hexi flower on a piece of fabric. I'm having no luck but I came across this site and love your piece.

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  11. I am planning on having a zig zag type of border on mine. I have some of my flowers sewn with a green pathway between. I am hoping to get a bunch more flowers done soon, I have been busy sewing my petals together in twos to make it easier to put together.

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