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Thread: Hexagons

  1. #1
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    When creating hexagons, I know how to use the paper insert method and make the basic hexagon. I have read various articles, viewed various web sites, but I am still not sure how to join the hexagons with the "whipped stitch" so that the front hexagons do not look "sloppy stitched." When I do "yo yos," and join these, I can see the sewing connections slightly even if I sew with the same colored thread and stitch small. Am I suppose to only "stitch" the back and not do any stitching somehow for the front. All the hexagons I see in books, magazines, and on web sites, look so professional. I don't see stitching on the front.

  2. #2
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Hi, and welcome to the world of hexies. When I "whip" stitch the hexies together, I take very small stitches on the very edge of the fold. Not catching the paper. (Well, sometimes I catch the paper. :oops: ) I give the thread a slight tug, and it just sort of melts into the fabric. Also, using thread that matches the fab. helps, but that isn't always possable if you have a light being sewn to a dark. I generally use white or off white cotton thread. Sunshine's creations has a good tute. Good luck and enjoy!

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    When my DMIL did hers, she stitched them together with what I've seen called 'ladder stitch' among other names. It is done very much like other hand piecing where you do a small running stitch. Since your hexagons are already folded over, you take a small stitch in the fold on one side then directly across from the exit spot you enter the fold of the adjoining hexagon. It is also very similar to hand stitching the binding of a quilt.
    Hope this is slightly more clear than mud!

  4. #4
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I EPP and the way I work is put the hex's right sides together and whipstitch across the top with neat even stitches. I feel stitching "in the back" would be counterproductive and not hold well, also you could get some distortion. It is not uncommon to be able to see stitching from the front.

    If you really hate the look of the stitching from the front, you can ladder stitch instead of whipstitching. Also if you work at a table and place the hex's face down and butted together then stitch, that prevents stitches showing from the front, but is a very slow way to proceed. Using similar colour thread to the particular fabric you are using also disguises stitching.

    For my current project I am using the same thread colour throughout, but that is purely a personal thing and pertinent to the theme and design of the quilt.

    You will never get a machine look from a handpieced item, that would be rather defeating the purpose. Even, neat stitches are the aim, and I am not advocating "sloppiness". If you can, take a close (zoom) in look at some pics. and you may be surprised at what you see.

    Well, that's my take on it...and as a lone quilter am always keen to see what other quilters think.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I don't use the paper piecing method for hexagons because I don't like the way my whip stitches look. I ended up getting a metal non-slip hexagon template with the center cut out. This worked well to cut hexagons (I cut into strips of the correct width first) with a rotary cutter. At first I penciled in the hand sewing line on the hexagons before sewing them together with a running stitch, but after awhile I didn't need that and just eyeballed the seam allowance. For me, this is actually less work than paper piecing and there are no whip stitches to show.

  6. #6
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Here's the link to Sunshine's Creations tutorial: http://sunshinescreations.vintagethr...r-piecing.html

    I think the key is sewing tiny stitches where you only pick up a few threads on each piece.

  7. #7
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    I use the whipstitch --- I feel that is the most secure stitch to use for English Paper Piecing. Small and even stitches are the goal. Besides - if I am going to take the time to hand piece a quilt --- I want people to know it! :lol:

  8. #8
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I'm making yo-yos with a Clover Template and I use HAND QUILTING THREAD.

    When putting hexagons together, would you use HAND quilting thread or REGULAR sewing thread?

    The HAND is thicker than REGULAR. Wouldn't it 'stick out and be seen' more.

  9. #9
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I'm making yo-yos with a Clover Template and I use HAND QUILTING THREAD.

    When putting hexagons together, would you use HAND quilting thread or REGULAR sewing thread?

    The HAND is thicker than REGULAR. Wouldn't it 'stick out and be seen' more.
    I use 100% cotton REGULAR sewing thread for hand sewing hexagons together. I also coat the thread with wax to help it glide thru the fabric. If you thread the needle --- how to describe this --- the spot where I cut the thread off the spool is the end I tie the knot. So the thread knots up less when I sew. I hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I'm making yo-yos with a Clover Template and I use HAND QUILTING THREAD.

    When putting hexagons together, would you use HAND quilting thread or REGULAR sewing thread?

    The HAND is thicker than REGULAR. Wouldn't it 'stick out and be seen' more.
    I use 100% cotton REGULAR sewing thread for hand sewing hexagons together. I also coat the thread with wax to help it glide thru the fabric. If you thread the needle --- how to describe this --- the spot where I cut the thread off the spool is the end I tie the knot. So the thread knots up less when I sew. I hope this helps.
    I do it exactly like Bottle Blond states. (Love your name by the way!)

  11. #11
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    Thanks humbird! and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the quilt in your avatar. I have drooled over it many times!

  12. #12
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    Yes, hand quilting thread is thicker because it is stronger to allow for all the repetitive pulling through as we stitch otherwise it would wear thin and break. A thread shade darker is usually the norm. Stitches will show through to right side slightly but these are usually covered up fairly well when stitching in ditch to actually quilt the top.

  13. #13
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    I will check out the Sunshine link. Thanks. I also need to look over the ladder stitch to see if I have used this one before.


    Have any of you tried machine stitching hexagons? I read one "very complicated" article on someone that was successful with this technique. It looked very clean but I wasn't sure I had the patience or skill for this technique.

  14. #14
    Super Member kwiltkrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    Thanks humbird! and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the quilt in your avatar. I have drooled over it many times!
    same here, could you show us a large picture of it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwiltkrazy
    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    Thanks humbird! and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the quilt in your avatar. I have drooled over it many times!
    same here, could you show us a large picture of it.
    Thank you both. I enjoyed making it. The colors are washed out in the photo. Much brighter in real life!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I'm making yo-yos with a Clover Template and I use HAND QUILTING THREAD.

    When putting hexagons together, would you use HAND quilting thread or REGULAR sewing thread?

    The HAND is thicker than REGULAR. Wouldn't it 'stick out and be seen' more.
    I use 100% cotton REGULAR sewing thread for hand sewing hexagons together. I also coat the thread with wax to help it glide thru the fabric. If you thread the needle --- how to describe this --- the spot where I cut the thread off the spool is the end I tie the knot. So the thread knots up less when I sew. I hope this helps.
    I use 100% cotton too and thread from the spool and cut, the spool end is the knot end (this really does stop tangling). Good idea to use handquilting thread on the yoyos, but I wouldn't sew my hex's with it.

    Humbird that quilt is stunning!

  17. #17
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    I use paper templates, hold the hexagons right sides together and whip stitch, the stitching does not show to the right side. I use whatever thread I have available in the various colors. I would suggest using hand quilting thread otherwise the thread does get weak as it goes in and out several times, but not necessary to purchase it special, just beware and switch the thread more often.

  18. #18
    Super Member ccthomas's Avatar
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    This hexagon quilt is so BEAUTIFUL! A real inspiration for me to practice that whipping stitch.

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