Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hexagon Quilt Tutorial

First of all, I'd like to say that I didn't invent this technique - I was taught it by a friend in a group I belong to.  It is by no means original to me, and I'm sure there are other tutorials out there that describe this technique.  I have not read, nor in any way copied from anyone else's work in the following tutorial.  That said, here we go...

First you need templates.  Mine are 5 1/8" for the large hexagon and 3 1/2" for the smaller one.  You can draft these yourself if you want, but I can send you a .pdf file with the exact size templates.  Just email me at jafoquilt@gmail.com.  The templates will look like this
Paper templates

My husband was kind enough to cut me some templates from thick plastic, but even thin plastic templates or just the paper templates would work
My templates
Use the large template (5 1/8") to cut your backing fabric (remember, this will also be your binding fabric so it will show on the top as well). 
Use the small template to cut your focus fabric.  This can be anything.  I'm doing mine with fussy cut cats, but I've seen this done with Christmas fabrics (how timely), fall fabrics, florals and it is simply elegant done in Asian prints - pick your favorite or just whatever you have scraps of lying around - Scrappy works too!
You will also need to use the small template to cut a hexagon of batting.
Components of one hexagon block

Next you need to layer your components.  Start with the 5 1/8" hexagon, laying it right-side down.  Center the 3 1/2" hexagon of batting on the wrong side of the large backing hexagon.
Large hex and batting hex layered

Next, layer the 3 1/2" focus fabric on top of the batting.

At this point, I like to pin the three layers together by using a single pin in the center of the hexagons.  This keeps the small hexagons centered on the large one while you fold the binding edges over.  I start with a single fold bringing the edge of the large hexagon just to the edge of the small hexagon...
first fold
... followed by a second fold that comes up and over the small hexagon, overlapping it by about 3/8 of an inch or so - and a pin to secure the fold.
second fold
Then I just go around the hexagon in a circle, pinning each side.
three sides pinned
Eventually, all six sides will be pinned. 
All sides pinned, ready for hand stitching.
Once all six sides are pinned, I sew the binding with a blind stitch, just like I'd stitch any other binding.

Once the binding is sewn down all the way around, you can quilt as desired.  I know since it is, until now, all hand sewn, maybe it should be hand-quilted too.  But I'm a machine quilter.  I've tried hand-quilting and it's just not for me.  I have seen them done both ways and they look great no matter how you do them.  Whether by hand or machine, I would quilt about 1/4" inside the binding edge as show below:

Once they are quilted, you can whipstitch them together to make anything you'd like - They make great placemats, tablerunners, tabletoppers, lap quilts.  I'm working my way up to a king sized bed quilt.  Not sure if I'll ever get there... I may end up with a lapquilt myself.

30 hexes put together

What I really love about these is that they make a great take-along project - you can work on them anywhere.  They are small, easy to transport, and all you need to bring along is needle and thread, especially if you pin some in advance to bring along on a trip or anywhere you'd have to wait like the doctor's office.  Once they are done... they are quilted and bound!  When you have connected them, the quilt is done!  No sending out to a longarmer... no binding to do... it's DONE!  And they are fun to make!

Please don't hesitate to email me for the .pdf of the templates - jafoquilt@gmail.com  (I would just put a link here to download the .pdf, but I can't figure out how to do that).

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  If there are any mistakes, please let me know so I can fix it asap.  Thanks, and thanks for dropping by.

Merry merry holiday season to you all.


  1. That is really cool. Thanks for posting the tutorial! :)

  2. Thank you :) A definite keeper in my "Scrapbuster" file.

  3. I love that they are quilt as you go! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  4. Oh now, that is nifty! thanks for the Tute :)

  5. Thank you for the tutorial, I love it!
    Your quilt looks wonderful and fun!

  6. Excellent tutorial! Can't wait to get started!

  7. where do I get the pdf file for the hexi quilt patterns

  8. I made a quilt using this technique from a French site about 10 years ago, using a different 30's print for each center. It was just big enough for a baby blanket when a grandchild finally came.


A Mysterious start to the year

Well, I finished one of last year's mystery tops... The Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery.  I have to say I really like how this one came out.....