Hexalong 2014 – Preparation

This Hexalong starts on Monday, 3rd November 2014, but you can join in any time. For more information please read the Invitation or have a look at the Overview.

hand with hexie mirrorOn this page:
What you need for the templates
How I prepare cardboard templates
What fabric I use
List of the other materials and tools
for making and embellishing the Hexies
♣ Preview of Week 1
♣ Any questions?

What you need for the templates

  • if you haven’t done so yet, download the Template Set and print it out – make sure to check “Actual Size”
  • thin cardboard (cereal box type), a bit larger than the templates
  • craft scissors (please don’t use your sharp “textiles only” scissors)
  • a pen or pencil
  • a glue stick

Note: Cutting the cardboard with an x-acto or retractable knife, ruler and self-healing cutting mat will give nicer edges, but the scissors will do the job, too.

How I prepare cardboard templates

  • Roughly cut out the templates (a bit larger than necessary – see orange line).
  • Place them printed side up onto the shiny/printed side of the cardboard and trace around them with a pen, making sure they fit and don’t go across any folds in the cardboard.
  • Cover the cardboard with a layer of glue stick, all the way to the traced line.
  • Carefully place the paper template on the cardboard, and smoothen it down with gentle strokes from the center outwards to avoid bubbles and creases.
  • Then, with the side of my thumb, rub it gently onto the cardboard.
  • Let dry. Depending on the material, this may take up to an hour.
  • Cut the templates along the continuous black lines.

Note: For the first two weeks you only need the templates from the first page – you can make the rest later.

What fabric I use

The Doublefaced Hexies require a lot of finger pressing, therefore I prefer 100% medium weight cotton fabric which I usually starch lightly so it holds the creases better.

Many shirts and sheets are cotton/polyester mix that doesn’t require much ironing. These fabrics don’t hold creases well – I always starch them.

The equivalent of an old men’s shirt, pillowcase or 2 fat quarters is sufficient for the purpose of following the Hexalong (about 12 large Hexies) – but it’s very likely that you can’t resist making another one, and another one, and … 😉

When I recycle textiles, I remove all seams before starching and pressing the pieces.

Plain fabric – that is solid colour, hand-dyed or with only small patterns and little contrast – is best for showing off the embroidery. For the embellishments I use scraps of contrasting or patterned fabric.

List of the other materials and tools

  • a sewing needle, a few pins, perhaps a thimble
  • cotton sewing thread to go with the fabric (as light or as dark as the fabric; it does not have to be the same colour)
  • marking pencil or pen – I use simple coloured pencils for kids, in white, yellow, orange or light green, depending on the fabric
  • sharp scissors which I use for textiles only (you can also use your rotary cutter, cutting mat and a ruler)
  • a medium size embroidery needle with a sharp point, and, if possible, one with a ballpoint
  • embroidery thread – if you are just beginning with embroidery, start with cotton embroidery floss or coton perlé or thin crochet yarn; synthetic and metallic threads are a bit tricky to use
  • fabric ribbons or longish strips of contrasting fabric – use what you’ve got
  • buttons, beads, sequins – use what you’ve got
  • a piece of not-too-thin plastic packaging (lids from margarine tubs are perfect)
  • a stylus, push-pin or a thick embroidery/darning needle (= something that will poke small holes in the fabric)
  • polystyrene or corrugated cardboard (= something to poke holes on), a bit larger than the template
  • a glue stick – most glue sticks will wash out with warm water and a bit of detergent (if you don’t know, better test it first)

Preview of Week 1

On Monday = Day 1 we’re going to prepare the Hexies for the whole week. Of the materials and tools listed above, you’ll need

  • either the Large or the Small Hexie Template, whichever you’d like to start with
  • 3 or 4 scraps of the plain fabric (starched and pressed); the scraps should be a bit larger than the template(s) you are going to use
  • sewing needle, pins, perhaps a thimble
  • sewing thread
  • marking pencil or pen
  • sharp scissors

On Day 2 and 3 we’ll decorate the surface with some simple but effective embroidery. You’ll need

  • embroidery needle
  • embroidery thread

On Day 4 and 5 I’ll show you a couple of quick and easy embellishments which take your hexies to a new dimension. In addition to the previous tools and materials you’ll need fabric ribbon or strips of the contrasting fabric – you’ll find out on Day 2 how long and wide they have to be.

Any questions?

If you have questions regarding the materials or preparation, please post them as a comment below.


Tip: You can print this page by clicking the button below this post.


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