Blocks of the Month and Creative Limitations

Quilting Oneness Block of the Month

I love the variety of Blocks of the Month (BOM) available over the internet. They are great for learning techniques in manageable portions, with results that are beautiful and useful – something to show off, not test pieces to keep in a drawer… My approach to BOM’s is essentially the same – with a slight difference: I want to encourage you to create your own designs. Therefore I will center my posts around questions of design and techniques – from idea to final product:

  • how you can translate your inspiration into fabric
  • design techniques
  • workability and technical challenges
  • improvisation (or: what can you do when it goes wrong?)

On this page: Creative Limitations … why? Creative Limitations and step-by-step decisions What to do with all those blocks?? Theme and Block for December Grab a button for the Block of the Month Continue reading


Ways to join Double-faced Hexies

This is the last post of the Double-Faced Hexie Hexalong – for more please see the Overview.

For a start I’ll share with you 3 ways to join the hexies, but there are a few more ways of doing so. I will add them to this post as I happen to do them.

On this page:
A note on joining Double-faced Hexies
Joining with reversed Whip Stitch “Plus”
Joining with Ladder Stitch “Plus”

Click on images for larger view

For these examples I used contrasting thread and rather large stitches to emphasise the differences. What looks “sloppy” here will hardly show when you use matching thread and make smaller stitches.

I’ve sewn the hexies from the top, that is “wrong” sides together; you’ll get a slightly different result when you sew from the back – test what you prefer.

A note on joining Double-faced Hexies

The great advantage of Double-Faced Hexies is that you can grow your quilt piece by piece, and when it’s done it’s done – no batting, lining, border or additional quilting necessary (although of course you can add any of those).

The batting or lining or border, however, also adds stability to the quilt, especially to wearable quilts and throws.

The Double-faced Hexies are only held together by stitches, that means that when you make a quilt that will be worn, stretched, washed, serve as a play tent,… or items like bags which may need to hold some weight, it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to the seams.

The “Plus” is a small Backstitch I make every 3 or 4 or 5 stitches, depending on how strong the joint needs to be. Before making this Backstitch, pull the thread tight, but not so tight that the fabric scrunches up.

For sewing “heavy duty” items, use smooth and strong high quality threads. Apart from special quilting thread and thread for sewing jeans you can use … thin cotton crochet yarn (No. 80), the type you’d use for lace around handkerchiefs. It’s a bit thicker than normal thread but it comes in many colours, is a joy to stitch with and very sturdy.

And of course – if you like larger and very visible stitches – you can use embroidery thread like stranded or pearl cotton or smooth linen thread for lace-making.

Joining with reversed Whip Stitch “Plus”

One way of joining hexies which I won’t describe here in detail is the normal Whip Stitch which we used for securing the edge of the ribbons we made.

The way I learned to do EPP = English Paper Piecing was with Reversed Whip Stitch, that is the longer bit of the stitch is hidden in the fabric (my name for it – if you know a different expression please say so).

Joining with Ladder Stitch “Plus”

The Ladder Stitch is slightly looser than the Whip Stitch – be sure to pull the thread tight before you make Backstitches.


Well, I hope there won’t be much trouble, but there are two issues you might be confronted with.

The open side of a Plain or Half Hexie is a bit too short. Remedy: Roll/push the seam a bit inside, then the opening will become wider. Finger-press the new edge fold. – If you basted with glue stick, you might need to loosen the flaps first.

Adjust opening of Plain Hexie.
Adjust opening of Plain Hexie.

The corner of a hexie has “disappeared” or moved (happens when the crease was not sharp enough or the hexie has been handled a lot). Remedy: Move = roll the fabric in place and crease again.

In addition, especially with fabric that in general does not hold creases well, it can help to secure the corner point with a small horizontal stitch.

Adjust corner of Flower Hexie.
Adjust corner of Flower Hexie.
Pinch in place.
Pinch in place.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments.

I hope you enjoyed this Hexalong – have a good week 🙂


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. Continue reading

Invitation to join the first Quilting Oneness Doublefaced Hexie Hexalong

Quilting Oneness Hexalong 2014On this page:
A new approach to Quilting As You Go – One “Star” at a Time
What can you expect from this Hexalong/Workshop?
What tools and materials do you need?
What can you do for me?
Anything else?

A new approach to Quilting As You Go – One “Star” at a Time

Starting on Monday 3rd and all through November, I’ll show you in several posts per week what I do with hexagons/Hexies – very special Hexies, because they
• are doublefaced: once you’ve sewn them together, your quilt is finished – quilted already, no extra batting or backing or border needed (although you can add it, if you wish)
• are so easy that no previous sewing knowledge is necessary (learn as you go)
• require only few and easily available materials and simple tools (you’ll probably have all you need already – see further down)
• are so quick to make that you probably can’t resist to make another one, and another one (and use up all your scraps)
don’t require basting (with one exception) or paper templates as traditional English Paper Piecing does
add – literally – another dimension to all kinds of Hexie projects large and small
• are perfect for quilting on the go
• are ideal for whipping up small (or not-so-small) last-minute gifts or items for your Christmas Bazaar

Continue reading