Have you been following the free classes on Facebook at the: 1914 Boehm House Vintage Linens Retreat group? We started January 1st with our first class and we’re now working on hexagons in Class 3.
This was the introduction to hexagons posted on the Facebook group on May 1st:
Let’s begin our Class 3 hexagons with a picture laden little tutorial all about how I mark and then sew pieces together that will form a hexagon. We are beginning today with three 60° diamonds. You will find instructions below each of the pictures.
But first let me tell you about a perk Marti Michell is offering. When you make any purchase, in the shipping information, in the line titled Company all you have to do is type in: Rhonda sent me and you will receive a free template! I’m listing her web site, her products are simply the BEST!!
With the larger of the two 60° diamond templates from the Marti Michell set H, I place the template on the fabric so the bird is generally centered. Once I am happy with the placement, using my rotary cutter I fussy cut my first piece.
I perform the same function on this different bird fabric.
The third diamond will be cut from this vintage dinner napkin. While I cannot get the entire design to fit within the template, I work with it until I am happy with the result.
Always be aware of the 1/4” seam allowance when positioning your template over a design.
This is what my three diamond pieces will look like when they are stitched together.
I use either a mechanical pencil or a Pilot Frixion pen to mark a dot with the holes as my guide. These holes are at the exact spot where the 1/4” seam allowances perfectly meet. *Edit: if you use a Frixion pen you will need to re-mark the dots after you press your finished hexagon.
Now I’ve marked the ivory diamond.
If you do not have the benefit of the Marti Michell templates I suggest you very lightly draw a pencil line or a Frixion pen line of the entire length of the seam line.
Mark the seam allowance on each of the four sides. You can mark the entire length of each side or just enough so as to have intersecting lines at each angle.
It is at the crossing of the lines (the intersection) that indicates where your stitching needs to begin and end.
I begin with these two pieces.
I lay them perfectly one on top of the other with the right sides together.
I send a straight pin down through the top dot making sure it goes through the bottom piece dot. Leave the pin straight down. Do the same thing with the dot at the other end of the side of the diamond.
With your two straight pins still straight down, take two more pins and position them as you normally would to hold fabric together.
So here is almost the most important thing I can tell you!!! To begin sewing put your needle down manually into the fabric exactly on the dot. This is where you will begin sewing. I advise you to take two stitches forward, one stitch in reverse and then sew to the next dot. DO NOT SEW A SINGLE STITCH BEYOND THE DOT! 🙂 When I reach the end dot I take two stitches in reverse and then 1 stitch forward. We don’t usually “back tack” in quilting, it’s usually reserved for garment construction but it is essential when constructing your hexagons.
Remember: no stitches before the starting dot and no stitches after the ending dot!!!
Congrats! Your first two pieces are sewn together! Do not press/iron yet.
From the right side with the seam allowance finger pressed to the right, take the tip of the right diamond and carefully fold it down.
Do you see what happens when you fold this diamond down? That seam allowance opens up automatically for you!
Straight pin the folded down diamond just as shown in this picture.make sure that little point stays just as the picture shows.
Position your third diamond (the one I marked with my ruler) into position and straight down as before. Once you are confident your new piece is in the correct position, with three more straight pins, pin as shown in the picture, the difference this time is you will position 2 pins at the bottom, one before and one right after the dot.
After you remove the straight down pins this is what it will look like. That second pin after the stopping dot serves to hold the other diamond out of the way.
Are you ready to sew your final seam?
Remember earlier when we folded a diamond in half top to bottom? We are going to do that once again with the ivory piece. The action of folding the ivory piece will automatically cause that little angle piece to move out of the way.
Again, at the two dots, pin straight down and then two more pins in normal fashion.
Your seams are finished!
So it’s decision time and this decision needs to remain consistent throughout the remainder of your quilt…do you press clockwise or counterclockwise? The choice is yours, just be consistent!
I press clockwise, but see what needs to happen in the center? If you place your fingertip at the center and slightly twist very carefully your seam allowances will position themselves perfectly!
Finished! It took a hundred times longer to type out directions than it will take you to sew a three diamond hexagon!