Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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...


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...

Hope this helps ladies!

Until Next Time....


  1. Great tutorial! That fabric you are using is so beautiful..makes it very tempting :-)

  2. Thank you for this tutorial! I purchased the plastic templates from you in Knoxville but have yet to use them because I forgot how. Thank you!

  3. Oh wow, I had never thought about that, the stitches showing through! Great tutorial, I'm getting mine back out AGAIN! Thank you, Elaine

  4. I love making hexies! I bought a set for my 10 year old friend, Esther. She and I are going to have a hexie party very soon!

  5. OHHHH! Fabulous, John'aLee! I was just thinking to myself how I could keep those stitches from showing! LOL
    Thank you. I will try if I can manage with my paper templates, since I have hundreds of them basted.
    KISSES for you!

  6. Thanks for the useful hexie advise. I'm afraid I'm one of the people who holds the pieces flat back to back when sewing. Plastic templates must make your method easier to do - I use paper ones but I do cut the fabric bigger for ease of basting on.
    Teresa x

  7. Thanks for dropping by earlier. I have had a lovely 20 mins reading your last two posts and wondering how you get the plastic templates out when you have sewn them in? I am glad you are not homeless any more too!

  8. Your blog is fantastic. I've got to get back to my hexagons.

  9. Okay THANKYOU! Love the hexi tutorial and I gotta save the link...cuz I really want to try some of these out but I thinhk I have to wait until all the Christmas gifts are done! Love your cute blog! Thanks for linking up, we'll see you next week!

  10. Thanks for showing me how to get them out ...it is much clearer now.

  11. This is amazing! I so want to give it a try. Do you have a tutorial on how to finish up the back?

  12. Amazingly helpful... I never think of this trick and as you tell the joining of two hexagon... its so experienced trick.. normally we join as you said NO... thanks a lot lot for this tutorial... do I tell you if I made one like this... it really helps me ..
    Wish you a very Happy Christmas …
    I would love if you come to visit me at

  13. This is so wonderful, and such great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

    -The creative muslimah

  14. From the comments above, nobody else seems to have a problem understanding how you are sewing the two hexagons together. I understand how to do them "wrong" (even though I haven't sewn a ny hexies yet), but don't know how you can hold them like you do and sew them together. If you do a future tutorial, can you show how you sew them? I'd greatly appreciate it. I love your color choices. They are always so beautiful.

    1. This also has me stumped. Maybe someone else has the answer and can reply....

  15. This is the best hexagon making tutorial that I've seen! It might even be good enough to make me want to try it, and that's a big deal to me lol! Your fabrics are so pretty too!

  16. I have made a zillion hexies and I find that instead of rough cutting them out by eye and getting wonky pieces, I make a cardboard template of how big I want it to be and use that to cut out the pieces. I just hold the cardboard up against the fabric...sometimes holding 2 or 3 fabrics together and rough cut it that way. You can do a bunch real fast. Also...if you are careful, you can just hold up a piece of the rough cut fabric up against what you want to cut and use that as a template. I do the same with making yo yo's.

  17. This is wonderful! I have a bag of these plastic hexies and had forgotten how to use them! Bless you for posting this - was looking for a project for an upcoming plane trip! :-)


  18. Thanks for posting this! I flubbed my way through a little hexie project, and this would have helped me SO much! :O) I'm saving this one.

  19. Your tute was GREAT...pics...GREAT!! I use these plastic templates (by another company). I have had them since the late '80s... I LUV them! much better than anything else! I have started using washable glue stick for helping the template not to slice. I find it slides on me around the first and second sides...


  20. Looks so hard, but you make it so easy. Thanks for your great instructions.

  21. I, too, travel with hexies. Look forward to trying the plastic instead of the tiresome paper templates. What a light bulb moment seeing how you sew them together to avoid seeing the stitches! Great tute!!

    Lynda in Spokane

  22. Thanks for making the tutorial, found it at Stash Manicure. I need to get some of these before starting the hexi quilt I was considring. Thanks for the tips on keeping the stitches from showing. P.S. Following your blog now.

  23. I was going to ask where I could get those plastic hexagons and voila, right at the end, you answered my question. Thanks. I've added your blog to my list.

  24. I have to try this! I'm also a follower on your blog

  25. Just ordered 4 sets....this looks like it might be fun....I travel a lot, and don't have my machine along...so these mitt be the perfect stress busters at the end of a hectic travel day.

  26. I love your tutorial. I am currently in the process of making 3 different quilts. One is the Grandmother's Flower Garden. I had started cutting out my own paper hexes, and found my cutting was not very accurate when I went to put the pieces together. I ordered the paper hexes a while back. When they start to wear out I plan to order yours to finish my quilt. This quilt will take a little while as I don't have a lot of fabric to work from. Eventually it will get finished.

  27. Thank you for your quick response regarding my problem with the link. Must have been something goofy with my laptop. Can't wait to start stitching these up!

  28. I will willingly admit that I stack two hexagons when I stitch them together. However, I use a ladder stitch, also known as an invisible stitch, so the stitches don't show.

  29. Αppreciаtіon to my father who informed me conсегning this wеblog,
    this weblog is genuinеly aωesomе.
    Have a look at my blog - Swtor Guides

  30. Thx for the preview love this fabric. Too

  31. This is one of the most well done tutorials I've seen, and may be the one that gets me to try making these! Have always admired them but couldn't see myself doing it until now. Thanks for sharing!

  32. this is great so where can you buy the templates in a 2 inch

  33. Thanks for the tutorial! I recently got these off your Etsy shop and was wondering 2 things - can I iron over them (will I need to iron over the pieces so that they retain their shape after the templates are pulled out? And how do you complete the edges so that you can take the pieces out and reuse them?

  34. I learned recently to use the ladder stitch, no stitches show at all and you don't have to stitch so close together, goes much faster. Wonder if you could use paper templates on the outside edge. Would they be slightly smaller since the plastic ones probably take up more fabric? I'm asking because it takes me years before I finish a project!

  35. What to do with hundreds of hexies?

  36. I was wondering if you have a tutorial on how to finish a quilt like this once you get it to the size you desire. How to you make the edges straight?

  37. Do you have to leave the plastic pieces in the outer hexagons forever? Or do you take them out at some point?

  38. My piece has gotten large and I've run out of hexies...any suggestions besides buy another set?