7 September 2012

Hexagon Crazy

I have finally weakened and joined the hexagon craze. I have to admit I've always been a bit biased against the poor English Paper Pieced hexagon. I could never for the life of my work out why this technique was used as a beginner quilter method! It's not hard, but it ain't easy either!! Or fast!

So I have been enjoying all the projects people have been making and was persuaded to join in when Sizzix released some hexagon dies. I didn't want to hand cut the papers or buy them. I also didn't want to be using paper clips etc to hold them together. So what I've done is basically use the method I use for doing applique.

The Sizzix dies allow you to cut a variety of materials, including fabric. There hexagon dies come in a series of graduating sizes. So you can cut the papers using one size and the fabric the next size up. What I did was use the largest size to cut the papers and then just strip and rotary cut the fabric.

However, I didn't use normal paper. I used my freebie freezer paper substitute. Waaay back in the olden days when I was last doing alot of quilting and before Internet shopping was all the rage, getting hold of American freezer paper was quite difficult and expensive. The frugal quilters of Australia worked out that the wrapper paper that Reflex photocopy paper came in was pretty much the same thing. I worked somewhere that went through that by the box load. So over a period of several months, I saved dozens of sheets of it. So this is what I use for applique and what I used for cutting out my hexagon templates.

Above, you can see the die, the cut out reflex paper (with holes punched in the middle to stick a needle in and lift the paper from fabric for easy removal once all sewn up) and the templates ironed onto the wrong side of a 2 1/2" strip of repro fabric. I then rotary cut (very quickly and without a ruler - too much time), between the template pieces.

Above are the cut out bits. The bottom of the photo shows an individual unit before sewing up and after. I haven't gone through the papers, but rather under and over the fabric. This should make the papers reuseable and allow me to keep the papers in during construction.

Finally, here is what a finished piece looks like.


Oh Michelle, just came across from the Scquilter's list. If only......Before retiring I worked in large org that had copy machines, printers on each floor and ordered Reflex paper by the truck load. I did recycle the actual boxes - great for storing mags etc. Some are still in use.