Saturday, January 18, 2020

Hexie Obsessed

Now that my hexi quilt top is finished, I thought I would share more of my process and adventures in English Paper Piecing.

Using my first Instagram post on the subject as a guide, I began this journey in April of 2018.

As I shared on the blog, part of the reason I began the project was to find a use for the smaller scraps leftover from my rag rug project.

And this turned about to be an excellent way to go about it.

The process appeals to me on many levels, one of the most obvious being my love of hand sewing.

I also like a long term project that I keep coming back to between the fast ones.

One added bonus with hexies is that the smaller chunks are totally portable.  And while I didn't spend a whole lot of time working on this out of the house, it was a welcome distraction on the occasions that I did.

And the more the quilt top grew, the more intent I was on finishing it!

Of course, that meant a whole lot of hand sewing, and more than a few pricked fingers.

When will I learn to properly use a thimble?  I am beginning to doubt that I ever will.

A project like this also allowed me to switch back and forth between cutting paper hexagons out, stitching single flower pieces together, and finally, stitching big chunks of the quilt together.

And I will say that working on smaller sections feels a lot different than wrangling a mostly finished quilt on your lap while rotating multiple parts so that the stitching faces in the right direction and the paper pieces don't pop out before those edges are stitched together!

It also turns out that I needed to supplement my fabric scraps along the way.  And it should also be noted that fat quarters from JoAnns are not to be trusted when it comes to grainline, just like the way their fabric bolts are cut.  Frustrating, but true.

I also did a deep dive through my stashed cottons and came up with a few more print options along the way.

All the while, the quilt kept growing.

In fact, after a year or so, it had taken over most of my coffee table when it wasn't laid out on the floor to figure out the placement of the next chunk of hexagons.

But eventually, all things must come to an end.

The final pieces were stitched together on January 2, 2020.

Which means I now have two quilt tops to actually quilt!

And now I need to figure out how to do that.

The batting has been purchased, now I just need to find a quilt backing that I like and jump right in!  I also have a few more paper pieces to pull out, although I believe I will keep them in for the moment since the quilt top feels a lot more stable with some of them in, especially around the edges.  I am thrilled with the finished top, but I am also having a little bit of hexi withdrawal, and may have even started another project, although on a much smaller scale!


  1. This is so beautiful, and seems to me so you. The colors, the labor of love. Are you thinking hand quilting too? I’m in love with machine quilting, it gives me the zen thing. Congratulations on your beautiful piece.

  2. just perfect. so beautiful. I guess I have to start another too.

  3. Amazing! Such hand sewing talent, never you mind that eye for color and pattern.

    How does grain affect a quilt? Isn't everything sort of akimbo, askew, off-kilter when you are sewing hexagons together? Not that I'm defending/excusing JoAnn's offerings - just wondering.

    1. I like to line up the grain on two sides of the hexagon. It's probably not necessary with the paper piecing, but I figure it gives everything a little more stability. But I am no quilt expert!

  4. That is so awesome! You have left me with hope that I may finish mine!

  5. I too love hand stitching/piecing and hex's!!! This piece turned out wonderful!!! Looks like a lilac garden!

  6. Oh my goodness, I love it. I did a baby quilt with pieced big hexagons--they are so satisfying to work with, for some reason. I may have to do a big one. Thank you for sharing, Laura Mae!

    1. This is the pattern I've been using, and it seems so you that it'd be a shame not to share. :)

    2. Well, you've got me going. Starting my own paper piecing project now. As always, thank you for the inspiration! I love what you've done using as much from your stash as possible. I'll try to stash bust on this one. When it gets down to the wire, nothing is safe--I've been known to raid the closet and cut up beloved articles of clothing to get the right color/texture. ;)

  7. I truly appreciate your description and explanation of this process and its results. I usually find that some endeavor that I don't get usually has some delightful details and challenging rewards. Paper piecing and Hexi love has baffled me, and now I understand. And that top is beautiful harmonious chaos. Thank you so much.