This post is part of the Hexy MF quilt along, you can jump in at any time or bookmark the pages for later when you have a free 1000 hours! Other blog posts can be found listed below.

Fabrics – June 9th
Cutting – June 17th
Basting with glue – June 21st

Today we are looking at basting with thread rather than glue. This is the age old traditional way, and it is the way I prefer when I have plenty of time and no deadline. There are a couple of ways you can thread baste – either by sewing through the papers themselves or just through the fabric at the corners of the shapes.

excellent EPP tools

I wholly recommend the following tools to make life easy. Clover black gold needles (applique/sharps sizes 9 through 12). These are the best needles out there, they’re thin, incredibly sharp and comfortable to use. The eye of them is pretty tiny, so a needle threader is always useful too! Clover wonder clips are also great for holding your fabric in place nice and tight. I only use one on the first corner, but you will use these clips for binding, so they’re well worth the money. I also wholly recommend beeswax for preventing thread tangles. I only use aurifil thread, which is very well behaved, but with hand sewing you tend to get the thread twisted a little and it can knot up or snag. Pulling your threaded needle through beeswax helps solve this. In the UK you can get all of these things from Ecletic maker

can't live without

Let’s get started on basting WITHOUT going through the paper.

First up, either swipe a regular glue stick to the centre of your paper to hold the fabric, or pin in the centre. It just stops things shifting around.

Take an edge and fold down, tight to the paper, and fold over the second edge to form a corner. Hold this corner with a clover wonder clip (or a paper clip, or even a pin)
Take your needle and thread and sew through the fabric at the next corner to the clip. Make sure you catch both edges of fabric, but not the paper. You are basting, so the stitch can be wide, it’s only holding the shape into place, and won’t ever be seen. Sew over this stitch a couple of times to hold it in place.

alternative thread baste1

Move to the next corner and repeat. There’s no need to cut your thread, just move to the next corner.

alternative thread baste 2

Carry on all the way round

alternative thread baste 3

The bonus of this method is when you have finished your quilt top, you can simply pop the papers out and leave the basting stitches in place. This method works really well for hexagons, but not so much for triangles (but that’s no concern for you with this quilt!!!)

The downside to this method is that the papers can fall out, so if you are carting your quilt top around with you and working on it every spare second, you may want a method that is more secure. That method is explained below.

thread baste 2

With this method you are stitching right through the papers, but don’t worry – you will still be able to re-use them later if you are careful when you remove them from your finished top.

Just as before, either swipe with a glue stick or pin the paper to the centre of the hexagon.

baste pin

Hold your first corner with a clip, and stitch next the corner in place by pushing your needle through both the fabric and the paper. Do a couple of stitches to keep it firm and ending with the thread on the right side of the hexagon (the front)

thread baste 1

Move to the next corner (the only real benefit of the thread on the right side is when it comes to removing your basting stitches – it makes it easy to see)

thread baste 2

Work all the way round in the same way

thread baste 3

This is how it’ll look from the front…

thread baste 4

So that’s thread basting. Try each method out, see which makes you happiest.

I’ll be back next week with how to sew a flower shape.

Happy hexing!