Monday, August 29, 2011

Hexagon Tutorial - Supplies & Basting

Part 1 - Preparing the Shapes


Click to Enlarge
  • single-hole punch
  • tweezers
  • small scissors
  • millners needles
  • straight pins
  • strong cotton thread
  • thread conditioner
  • needle threader?
  • fridge magnet to hold pins and needles
  • cardstock hexagon templates - 1" sides
  • fabric pieces

  1. Punching a hole in the center of the cardstock provides a place to pin the fabric without pinning thru the cardstock and makes for easy removal with the tweezers when you are ready to  re-use the templates
  2. One or two straight pins is sufficient to keep handy
  3. A few pre-threaded needles is also handy
  4. A needle threader and a mini fridge magnet to keep your pins and needles in place, is optional equipment
  5. I prefer a strong, 100% cotton, quality thread. I use a fine, quilters knot for basting and for joining the pieces with an overcast stitch.
  6. I always use © Thread Heaven, or you could  run your threaded needle thru a new Bounce dryer sheet or  use beeswax. Conditioning the thread helps keep the unwanted knots under control.
  7. I prefer a longer, thin needle. I figure the smaller the needle, the smaller the hole it puts in the fabric. Unfortunately, the eye to be threaded is usually smaller too. You would use whatever needles you are comfortable with.

Pre-assembly: -  Basting the Hexagons

You will be basting on the backside of the fabric only - on top of the template. You will not be stitching through the cardstock template.

Baste a hexagon
You will not have to remove the basting thread. It will remain in the backside of the quilt top and serve to hold the seam allowances in place. So use a good quality thread that you want to remain in your heirloom quilt.

Begin with a single strand of thread with a fine quilter's knot on the end.  Working the needle between the fabric seam allowance and the cardstock template, enter the needle to the right of the mitre, come back up on the left side of the mitre....needle back down to the right side of the same mitre, so the thread holds the mitre in
place; bring needle back up to the middle of the next side and continue in same manner; all the while working around the hexagon counterclockwise.

I don"t  knot the thread again when I get back to the beginning. I weave the needle a few extra paces beyond the knot where I began,  through the seam allowance and snip the thread..


    1. A great tutorial. Can't wait for the second part. I'm still learning how to do this and wouldn't have thought about putting the hole in the template to make removing it easier.

    2. Thanks, Bonni. Part 2 tutorial will be even better! LOL Actually most of my methods have been adapted from others' tips gathered over time. These are my favorite methods which work for me. I'm happy to pass them along.

    3. Thank you, Billie. They are a challenge to put together! LOL

    4. Great tutorial, Kat! I can see you putting a tab next to mylinks to highlight your tutorials. You would use the urls to your posts to make it easier for us to find them. Do you have a mini project in mind for us to practice on - say a one flower mug rug?

    5. And I love the pin idea - not only does it make it easy to take the template out - the pin hold the two together without distorting the template. Cool!

    6. Great tutorial. Like the idea of the whole in the centre of the hexagon for the pin. I've started to use paperclips to hold down the edges as I basted the together as you show in your pictures. The pin the centre would nicely hold the fabric in place while I clipped all the edges down for sewing. May just have to try that. Thank you.

    7. Thanks. I use a small clamp to hold the fabric to the template. I buy them at the office supply store. Great tutorial.
      Nancy in central IN

    8. That's the best hexagon tute I've ever seen - thanks.

    9. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I'm new to quilting and thought a design like this would be way out of my league for a long time. Thanks to you, I feel like I can tackle this. I look forward to learning more from you!

    10. Thanks so much for everyones' comments! I am so grateful to be able to inspire stitchers.

    11. You can remove the template once the next row is added so the piece is supported by templates. Always have the outermost edges with the cardstock in tact. I leave my templates in for as long as possible, removing them when they're needed to be re-used or when your project is finished.

    12. Thank You for this very easy to follow tutorial...I have all my supplies and am ready to go...

    13. Hi, love the tutorial. I'm just starting with the hex. I've made card stock templates and wondering if I'm using a 1 inch hex what size my material should be. I purchased 2 1/2 inch squares as the quilt shop in my area did not have pre-cut hex shapes. Just wondering if this piece is large enough. I've made 1 hex and it's tight with the 2 1/2 inch square.

    14. Thanks for the great tips. Nice of you to help those of us who are not familiar with this kind of stitching.


    Thank you for commenting!