In my last post we were talking about English Paper Piecing’s love affair with Hexagons and how I had never got very excited about them. Then I received a message from someone telling me about her intriguing and very different design for a hexagon, so I asked her if she would be willing to tell us about it in a guest post. So, let me introduce Julie Caisey and her Hexagon Project:
“Hello, my name is Julie and I am a sixty-two year old grandmother of six. I used to cross-stitch, and once produced a quilt that combined cross-stitching with quilting, as in this nine patch quilt which is great to use in winter when it is very cold.
I enjoy all sorts of crafts from knitting and crochet to embroidery and quilt making. I like intarsia and fair-isle knitting and ever since I could hold needle and thread and operate scissors l have loved embroidery. The first stitch I ever learnt was the French Knot.
I have loved English Paper Piecing from a very early age. I was shown how to do it when I was about six. I started by drawing around square shapes to make templates and eventually, learned how to draw a hexagon with a pencil and compass. If I was lucky, I had paper with squares printed on it, which made it easier. At that time I had to use fabrics I had at home, so my very first quilt was made up of fabrics from the sixties like Crimpline, which resulted in a very odd quilt but it was a good way to learn!
In time I discovered that quilts are better made with 100% cotton fabric and I began hand tracing shapes from books I found in the library, carefully cutting them out on stiff paper templates. I found Radio Times covers were the best for this! Then, quite suddenly in the 1970’s, quilting became popular, templates, papers and fabric began to be more available and I was in my element! …………
I find English Paper Piecing very relaxing as it takes my mind off of things that I don’t want to think about. Three of my grandchildren have a “granny” quilt (and the younger three will get theirs eventually……..) However, these quilts were machined as I made their quilts to be used; for den making, sitting on and quietly reading or just snuggling under to watch a film. They needed to be robust!
More recently I created a EPP patchwork lesson for a friend’s home schooled children because they wanted to do some patchwork. I designed a hexagon project that they could fit in between other lessons, over a school year. They found it easy to follow so I am sure you will too.
You will see that, essentially, this is a pattern of graduating hexagons, using smaller and smaller hexagons and half hexagons to create an overall pattern of interconnected hexagons. The largest (centre) hexagon has a 3” edge and each subsequent hexagon graduates down from here. Going too small might be difficult but the whole project could be scaled up or down, if required. And of course you can make several blocks and join them together. The important thing to note with this pattern is that the centre line point-to-point of the smaller hexagon, fits exactly to the outer edge of the larger hexagon.
The centre hexagon can be fussy cut or embroidered. I am in the process of making a cushion cover using this pattern, with a pink and white floral embroidered centre.
HOW TO MAKE THE PATTERN
Right, here are the instructions Try it, have fun, and do ask questions if you get stuck!
First, here are the templates you will need for the project:
NB: this patchwork has been designed to have an optional embroidered centre. Place the large template between the marking behind the embroidery and pin it. This may be easier if you hold the embroidery up to the light and get help to pin it with two pins. Fold the fabric over the template and tack/baste it down. When tacked in place, trim the excess fabric. DO NOT TRIM BEFORE TACKING in place in case you cut off too much.
THE FIRST ROUND
Lay your half hexagons around the large hexagon….
and once you have them in position…
…..sew them into place.
THE SECOND ROUND
For this round you need 6x small hexagons and 24 x half hexagons and also 6 x 1 1/2″ hexagons:
Lay the hexagons all around the previous round …..
and sew into place.
THE THIRD ROUND
For this round you need 12 x 1 1/2″ hexagons and 6 x 1 1/2 half-hexagons. Join 2 hexagons together 6 times. Lay the hexagons and half-hexagons around the previous round.
and stitch into place.
THE FOURTH ROUND
For this round you need 6 x medium 1 1/2″ hexagons and 24 x medium 11/2″ half -hexagons to stitch around the medium hexagons.
You will also need 6 x large 3″ hexagons for the outer edge.
And there you have it!
The trick is that each subsequent round is based on the large hexagon. If you place the centre of all the different size hexagons over each other the centres fit along the sides of the hexagons.”
Thanks so much Julie, for this new idea and all these lovely photos and diagrams. If anyone makes her pattern, please send a photo. I’m sure Julie would love to see how it turned out for you.
Next time we have some more Scottish takes on old quilt blocks. Till then…..