English Paper Piecing Instructions for Hexagons

hex 1 hex 2 hex 3

Place the paper shape on the wrong side of the fabric (pin the paper in place if needed). Cut the fabric patch at least ¼ inch (6-7 mm) larger than the paper using good scissors. It is important to have enough fabric excess to easily cover the paper shape all the way around, remember this is your seam allowance, do not make your life more difficult than necessary! Some quilters recommend to cut squares from our fabric when they are using Hexagons shapes, and although I have not tried this myself it seems like a good idea.

hex 4 hex 5

Fold over the seam allowance along the edge of the paper. Stitch through all the layers with big basting stitches (1/4 inch; 6-7 mm or bigger) along the folded edge.

At the corner fold over the next fabric edge (hold in place) and stitch over the fold (to hold it down, no back stitching needed).

hex 6 hex 7 hex 8

Continue in this fashion all the way around the paper shape. Most right handed quilters find is easy to work their way around anti-clock wise.

Finish off with an extra basting stitch (in the same direction) and snip off the thread.

hex 9 hex 10 hex 11 hex 12 hex 13

To sew two hexagons together place the shapes right sides together and overcast with small whip stitches just catching the edges of both pieces. About 6-10 stitches per inch (one stitch every 2 mm) will be fine.

The Hexagons in the pictures below were actually done using the faster NO-basting method. Check it out in the ‘How to’ list , it is really easy!

sew 1 - Copy - Copy sew 2 - Copy - Copy sew 3 - Copy - Copy sew 4 - Copy - Copy

At the end of the seam add another Hexagon and continue to sew, or (to finish off) do 2-3 backstitches, then secure the thread by weaving a few tiny stitches through the seam allowance. Now the thread end can be cut.

sew 6 - Copy - Copy sew 7 - Copy - Copy sew 9 - Copy sew 10 - Copy sew 11 - Copy sew 12

Once patches have been added all around a paper shape, the basting stitches can be removed: Simply snip the basting thread in two places, grab the thread ends and pull them out. The paper shape is removed by pincing it in the middle and gently pulling it out. The papers may look worse for wear, but (unless they get torn) they can be smoothed  and reused.