Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hexagon Quilt Tutorial

This tutorial is part two to the Hexagon Log Cabin tutorial





So now you have a stack of hexagon blocks (you do, right?) and need to know how to put them together. Hexagons are versatile and can be arranged in a number of ways. This tutorial will show how to add triangles to the hexagons to create this design.

This chart shows you how many blocks, half blocks and triangles you need, based on a hexagon center of 5" and "logs" cut 1.25" wide.  This is a jelly roll friendly quilt. Each jelly strip can be cut in half lengthwise, resulting in two 1.25" strips. Each block uses the equivalent of just one jelly roll strip: (18 blocks needs 18 strips, 32 blocks needs 32 strips, etc.) and a 6" scrap for the center.





To get a template for Triangles A and B, click here for the pdf. Due to variations in seam allowances, these templates may not be the right size for your blocks. No problem, you can make your own templates by measuring a side of your hexagon block and add 3/8". This will be the distance of the sides of Triangle A. Use a 60 degree triangle ruler or the 60 degree line on your rectangular ruler to draw the template. For Triangle B, use the same template and add 1/2" to one side.


To cut the triangles, cut a strip 4 7/8" x WOF (or the height of your triangle). Use the template and a ruler and a rotary cutter. Alternating the triangles up and down, you can cut 13 triangles out of one strip.


If you prefer, once you have cut the first triangle, you can cut the rest without the template. Just line up the 60 degree line with the edge of your strip and the edge of the ruler with the point of the triangle.



You will notice in the diagram that alternating rows have a half block on each end. You might be thinking, "can't I just make a block and cut it in half?" Nope. You need half a block plus a 1/4" seam allowance so that won't work.  You could make full blocks and trim off the extra but that seemed like a waste to me, so I made half blocks by cutting off one end of the hexagon center and adding strips to the remaining 4 sides.









Cut as shown. Be sure to have a left and a right for each row.







Add the strips as you did for the full blocks. Start at the top of the center hexagon and add strips in a clockwise direction.






Completed half blocks:

I recommend laying the blocks out before sewing together to get a feel for how the quilt will go together and to ensure that you are pleased with the design. You will also save yourself headaches later if you trim all the hexagons to the same size. Seam allowances can vary and a little trimmimg will not show in the finished quilt, whereas mismatched points will.

Now, let's add those triangles.

To each hexagon, sew a triangle A to the lower left and upper right sides. Press the seams towards the triangles. To the half blocks, sew a triangle to the upper right (left side) or lower left (right side) only.

TIP: Stitch with triangle on the bottom and 1/4" tip extending on each end.
This is the part where I would tell you to square up your block, but it's not a square, so..."triangle up" your block?? Just make sure the sides are straight. Again the 60 degree line on your ruler comes in really handy.






Then sew these units together to create the rows. I like to use lots of pins here, and begin by pinning in the middle where the triangle points come together. Then pin each end, leaving a 1/4" triangle tip extending on each end. Ease in the middle and stitch. Press these seams to one side, all in the same direction. Alternate the direction of the seams for each row.

TIP: Pin through the seam allowances where the seams join. Then place a pin on either side.
Pin the ends next, then in the middle. 


To complete the row, sew a Triangle B to the upper left and the lower right sides of the end blocks.



Triangle B is larger to add enough for a 1/4" seam allowance on the side of the row. Later, it will be trimmed down, don't worry about that just now.



Due to the bias edges of the triangles, your rows might be a little uneven. Straighten the edges and press carefully. Trim where needed.



Sew the rows together. This is the part where you hold your breath and hope the triangle points line up! Again, use lots of pins and begin by pinning through the triangle points.

...and exhale!!


When the rows are all stitched together, trim the sides of the quilt 1/4" from the points of the end hexagons.

TIP: measure across the quilt from point to point on each row. These measurements should be the same. If needed, you can trim a bit less to even it out.


Ta Da!! You did it!!




Layer the top with your backing fabric and batting. Then, quilt as you wish. I think I am going to do this one with a large all-over swirly design.

You can use the same method of adding triangles but do not off-set the blocks from one row to another to create this arrangement. The triangles make diamonds between the hexagons.



Or, you can just sew the hexagons together with no triangles, but that's a tutorial for another day!!


I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions, please ask me in the comments or e-mail me at TheSewingChick at gmail dot com. If you use this tutorial, I would love to see a picture!!

Happy Sewing,
~ Tessa Marie ~




5 comments:

  1. OMGosh!!!!!!!!!! I just had to skip down to the comments. This is absolutely gorgeous!! perfection in the presentation and technique. I had given up before even trying except for something I want to make for my friend. Stars of David using hexagons & triangles. I do however, feel that if you come over and show me, I'll get it much easier : ) I amtotally adding you to my blogroll THanks!!!!

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  2. I love this! I think this is just the pattern I need to use for my children at play which I have been hoarding!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your lovely quilt with everyone! I love it!! You have made a beautiful quilt!

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  4. Thank you sew very much for sharing your tutorial with everyone! You have made a beautiful quilt and I love your technique! Happy stitching!!

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  5. Muchas gracias por este precioso tutorial. Me ha gustado mucho. De hecho he encontrado una tela con bastantes escena del cuento de Caperucita Roja y en cuanto acabe lo que estoy haciendo, me pondré a hacerla. Te ha quedado muy, muy bonita. Felicidades. Un abrazo desde España.

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Thank you so much for leaving me a comment. I try to respond to all of them, but if time doesn't permit, please know that I read every one and appreciate the time you took to connect with me :)

xo
Tessa

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