This week a quilting friend showed me a fun little hexagon table topper that she made using a quilt as you go technique. She used some specialty rulers to make hers and I was intrigued to see if I could make some of these little hexagons without the special templates. So yesterday I pulled out some scraps and made this little tabletopper/candlemat.
Because I was just experimenting with the idea I just grabbed some old fabric but I think I may have to try this again in other fabrics and sizes, the possibilities seem endless and the best thing is that it is a great way to use up scraps of batting as well as fabric and when you put it together it is quilted and bound! As I was making it I thought it might be fun to share the technique in a little tutorial. I am sure this is not a new technique but it was new to me and it is really simple once you get the hang of it.
For each hexagon you need to cut three pieces. One batting, one inner hexagon and one outer hexagon which is also the backing of that hexagon.
The hardest part for me was to determine the sizes of the hexagons as I did not have the special templates. I decided that if I made the outer hexagon 1" bigger all around the smaller hexagon this would be about right and would work with the Hexagon ruler I had. This is the Hexagon ruler by EZ but I believe there are several similar rulers available. I decided to make my inner hexagon using the 2 1/2" marking on the ruler as seen here. You will need a hexagon of batting and one of fabric at this size. These may be cut from scraps or 2 1/2" strips.
The larger hexagon is cut at the 4 1/2 marking. Do not cut squares first as they will not be large enough but a 5" charm square would work or you could cut a 4 1/2 strip of fabric and get several from the strip.
The three pieces need to be layered with the large hexagon wrong side up and the batting and small hexagon in the center. The small hexagon should be right side up and it is important that these be centered. I just eyeballed it but you can check to make sure it is 1" on all sides if you have difficulty keeping it accurate.
Starting on one side fold the outside edge in to meet the batting.
Then fold it over the edge like a binding and pin.
Go to the next side and do the same making sure to match the miter at the corner. Because I am left handed it seemed easiest to do this clock wise but when stitching I realized that it would have been better to do this counter clockwise so I will try that next time.
Go all the way around pinning each edge. Now it was impossible for me to photograph this little tricky bit so I am going to try to explain. If you look at the photo you will see that all of the miters go in the same direction. If you just go around the hexagon you will find that your last miter is folded in the opposite direction which I suppose is fine but it bugged me. To fix that when I was folding the last side I unpinned the firt side and unfolded it so that is could refold them correctly. Really this is much easier that it sounds and hopefully makes sense when you try it. Anyway here is how it should look at the end ready to stitch. It looks weird and distorted but that is just from the pinning.
Because I was trying this out using these rather shabby chic fabrics I thought it might be fun to use a decorative stitch to sew these but certainly a straight stitch would be fine. Lots of opportunity to be creative here.
Once I had made several I laid them out ready to stitch together.
I forgot to take a photo but I stitched them into vertical rows first and then stitched the vertical rows together using a zigzag stitch.
And here is the back.
Quick easy and fun!