I’ve been playing around with 1/2″ hexagons and I made this:
I used tiny (no bigger than 1.5″ square and many smaller) offcuts of the oranges I’d amassed for Sec’s pumpkin quilt and my planned ongoing scrap quilt projects. It’s curvy in the picture because it needs ironing.
Let me flesh out the background that led to this little orange hexagon diamond, since I’m pretty sure now that I’m serious about EPP:
I’ve been attending a scrap quilting class for the last few months at my local fabric store. Each class has two projects. The first class’s second project was English paper piecing (EPP) over two large (3″ on a side) hexagons to make whatever. The instructor just wanted to introduce us to the technique as it’s a great use for scraps. (I learned later that she’s totally into EPP, so there’s your “why”.)
I thought that it was a terrible idea. Who has time to hand sew anything? I was there for machine piecing! And hexagons make the Grandmother’s Flower Garden and I hate that pattern and have no interest in doing one. But I saw a tutorial for this pillow and, though I’d never make that particular pillow, I did admire how it went together.
I sat with the idea and it grew on me. Part of my problem with it was that those hexagons, both in the class and in the pillow, were just too big. Three inches on a side and six inches across for the class hexagon–why, I could machine piece those, if I had any interest in doing so.
I bought some 1″ hexagons but they were also way too big. It would have taken too many stitches to join those together, though that size is definitely too small for machine piecing with my meager skills. I settled on the 1/2″, mostly because that’s the next-smaller size that the store carried.
After working with them for a while, I think they’re perfect. They baste quickly, they’re super-portable, and the 1/2″ sides go together without too many whip stitches. They’re small enough so I can have a very scrappy effect, but not so small that a 1/4″ or 3/8″ seam allowance (I don’t know which I prefer yet) overlaps on the back and gets messy.
Speaking of the back:
Keep in mind that these are my VERY FIRST hexagons. They’re not neat at all. I cut the fabric with scissors (gasp!) and no template. I’m considering a template, especially if I’m going to fussy-cut a lot of them. I showed the diamond to Prim (my oldest son) and he said, “I like the tree,” so I think there’s a lot of fussy-cutting in my future.
What am I going to make with these diamonds, which I envision doing in various colors? No idea. But it’ll take me a while to make a bunch of them, so I don’t have to decide yet. I do think I’m going to do a minimum of six in each color, probably not all at once, so I can get different fabrics mixed in, so I have plenty of time to decide what it’s going to be.
Wall hanging? Pillow? Quilt? All maybes at this point. Part of what will guide my decision is how much I like cutting, basting, and sewing the hexagons. We’ll see, but I did order the big package of 1/2″ hexagons from Paper Pieces (I like supporting my local fabric store, but the markup on the small package of pieces was unreal), so it’s a good bet that I’ll end up at least at wall-hanging size.
See that cat fabric in the upper right-hand corner? It was a scrap gift from my only sewing relative. I don’t love it in bigger cuts, but just one cat face is cute. I don’t know if it’ll work for this diamond project, since it’s so stark, but I’m debating having a second, very scrappy, 1/2″ hexagon project going at the same time. I’ll probably just baste those hexes and throw them into a box and think about them later.
Future me, they’re your problem!