Firstly, thank you for all of the fantastic suggestions for new names for the Hexy MF. I thought choosing one would be easy but it’s proving to be far more difficult than I thought, so I’ve got the rest of the FQ team on the case and we’ll have a new name and a winner of the LillyBelle bundle very soon.
Above you will see a layout diagram for the whole quilt (feel free to click on it and download from flickr to keep as a reference). As you can see there are a lot of hexagons. If you’re a beginner – don’t worry, I’ll be talking you through the steps with plenty of pictures and tips on how to make the process as easy and pain free as possible. The only shapes you are sewing together are hexagons, so although they are a lot of them, it’s the same shape over and over again.
Shall we get started on cutting? We are going to concentrate on the large hexagons flowers first, for both the main body of the quilt and the borders. The smaller flowers and the single buds (shown as circles on the above diagram) can be considered later, and cut from the leftover scraps.
You will need a total of 68 full flowers for the main body of the quilt and an additional 6 full flowers for the borders.
That’s 444 hexagons from the prints to make up the flowers and 74 hexagons for the flower centres
Give your fabrics a good press and cut into 4″ squares.
If you have bought a template* set, draw around the large hexagon onto the squares and cut out. This gives you a hex with a perfect 1/4″ seam and makes the reverse of the quilt top before quilting nice and tidy, seams will lay flatter and everything will be nice and neat. You can layer up a few at a time and cut out together, to speed things up. Use either your scissors or a small rotary cutter with the acrylic templates – rotary cutting does make things very fast, but watch your fingers!
If you don’t have a template set* – never fear! Just pin a 1.5″ hexagon paper on the centre of the squares and cut around, leaving a seam of at least 1/4″ (as this method is less precise don’t cut too close to the paper’s edge)
On the picture below, the hexagon on the left has been cut out using the template and on the right it has been cut out without the template.
As you cut, stack your hexagons into 6 of the same print, and one centre so your flowers are already stacked to go when you baste and start to sew the hexagons together.
*there are more templates ordered and plenty listed in the shop. I had a small shop update and more are coming in the next week, so if you would like a set and haven’t got one yet, don’t worry. They’re not absolutely essential, I just like to use templates and personally think it makes for a nicer finished piece.
Don’t forget if you haven’t ordered your paper pieces yet or this is getting you itchy to try other shapes, use FAT25 for 25% at paperpieces.com until August 31st. I’ve ordered a heap of 2″ squares, triangles and hexagons to make more Spring Carnival pillows in preparation for my class at Sewing Summit.
The first blog post with fabric requirements can be found here
Please post any pics of your progress or fabric stacks in the Fat Quarterly flickr group! – let’s see what you’re making your Hexy MF with!!!!
Off you go – get cutting!!!!
Here at Fat Quarterly we really love a couple of things – Art Gallery Fabrics and English Paper Piecing. It only seemed right to combine the two when we heard that Bari J Ackerman was releasing her very first line with Art Gallery. It was absolutely set in stone that we wanted to do it when we saw how gorgeous LillyBelle was and now, as it becomes available to stores (it ships sometime this month) we thought it was only right to ask if you’d join us!
Both Bari and Pat Bravo (of Art Gallery fabrics) had Katy’s Hexy MF* quilt pinned on their pinterest boards, and as that quilt is a nice introduction into english paper piecing and perfect for both absolute beginners or anyone that has english paper pieced before, we thought it was a perfect fit.
Although maybe we should re-name the quilt especially for the quilt along? Most original answer wins a FQ bundle of Lillybelle in the cool sunrise collection, we’ll pick a winner in a week. Get your thinking caps on!
This is a hand pieced and hand appliqued project, so no-one is expected to finish fast – go at your own pace, take it slow, or take it fast, there’s no prize for the first to finish (ok, there may be – but don’t let that put you off!). There will be full and really in-depth instructions on each and every step, so if you’ve never english paper pieced before, don’t fret – you’ll be ok!
Katy has had some templates made up especially for help with cutting or fussy cutting the fabrics. You can find them for sale in her etsy shop and they are priced at $15 for the set of 3, which includes a large hexagon, a smaller hexagon and a leaf template for applique. (If they’re showing as out of stock, more are on the way and will be re-listed as soon as they are back in stock – within the week for sure!)
So – what will you need? It’s a big shopping list, for a quilt that finishes up at 72″ x 84″.
10 half yards of printed fabrics for the flowers (Katy is using the cool sunrise collection from LillyBelle by Bari J Ackerman for art gallery fabrics)
1 yard of fabric for the flower centres (or 2 half yards for variation, Katy is using art gallery fabricspure elements in white linen and light citron )
1 FQ of green fabric for leaves (Katy is going to wait until she has her flowers assembled to decide which green is best for this part)
4 yards of background fabric (Katy will be using art gallery fabrics pure elements in ash)
140″ length of bias binding for the appliqued stalks and vines.
You will also need a lot of paper pieces – but our friends at paper pieces have us sorted! Use FAT25 for 25% off your order until August 31st 2012.
You will need a bulk pack of 1.5″ hexagons (600 pieces – you will re-use some, but the quality is so great it makes it really easy to use them a few times) and a sampler pack of 1″ hexagons.. The pre-cut papers from paper pieces are fantastic, they are thick, yet pliable and an absolute joy to use.
What are you waiting for? Go buy those papers and start thinking about fabrics!
*if you’re wondering what the MF stands for it’s from the Prince song Sexy MF. This is why we need a more polite name, to better represent LillyBelle’s elegance and sophistication!