Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Handsewn QAYG Hexes For Fall

My Fall Hexagon Table Topper is Done!

This is my version of the cover story on the fall issue of Quilts and More. I love this magazine. It always has a variety of projects and techniques.  I have seen a couple of these cute fall toppers and had been wanting to make one of my own. So when the lights went out during FrankenSandy's assault on the northeast, I decided it was the right project to sew by my candle and lantern light. When the lights came back on and I had to decide between projects, this one won out so I have been slowly doing all the hand work for the last week. Last night I finished the blanket stitching around the backing flannel while I was watching the election returns.

When I started this project I picked a bunch of extra charms from my Autumn Schnibble Quilt and added some 5" squares from a new "Phenomenal Fall" Charm Pack.   The first hex I made was by the method in the magazine.  I cut the 19 cardstock hexagon shapes and basted the carefully cut hexagon shape to the cardstock.  While I did this I was studying and mulling over the rest of the instructions, which called for hand sewing the basted hexes together, carefully removing the basting threads, then the cardstock shapes, then adding batting and backing and quilting.  Hand sewing is slow going for me and tires my eyes, so I decided there had to be an easier way.

I decided to try a hand "quilt as you go" method for these hexes.  I cut 19 of these larger hexagon shapes from Warm and Natural Batting scraps and left the charm whole. 

I folded the 5" square around the batting hex and pinned.  Then I used some orange pearl cotton and some fall colored embroidery thread and got to work. 

I used the orange pearl cotton to hand quilt the fabric to the batting and right through the fabric folded to the back. My stitches might not be the most even or the straightest, but I am happy with the results.

I trimmed the charm on the back after stitiching.

one a hex

I made a few more quilt as you go hexes ...

join with right sides together
two a hex

join hexes with a ladder stitch

three a hex
Then I used my King Tut quilting cotton in a variegated fall colors to sew the hexes together.  I used a ladder stitch to sew these together and they laid nice and flat without my stitching showing on the top.

Looked good to me, so I just kept quilting as I went.

I did free style embroidery of the pumpkin, leaf and acorn motifs right through the top and batting. Katniss was very interested in this process ... and the yummy cotton threads.   Since these motifs were so basic, I skipped the step to draw the motif onto the cream background fabric.

I sewed the 19 hand quilted hexes together as shown in the magazine. Above is a photo the back of the top before I added the backing.

When it came time to add the backing, I cut a piece of brown flannel a little oversize to the hexagon topper.

To add a little substance to the topper, I used a double sided fusible interfacing between the backing and the top. Then I pinned around the edges. I pressed only the middle of the backing to the top before I did the blanket stitched edging.

 I turned the edging under about a quarter of an inch as I hand stitched the backing to the top using a blanket stitch and carefully making sure my backing stitches did not show through on the front of the topper. Then I pressed the top and backing togther to finish the fusing process.  This has resulted in a nice firm table matt that holds its shape but is not too stiff.

Again, I am not the neatest blanket stitcher, but I am happy with the way this went together. 

I will definitely use this quilt as you go method for future projects with larger hexagons and other shapes ... maybe a tumbler pattern ... and for hand-embroidered quilt blocks.

Have a happy quilty day!



  1. This is a great tutorial, your topper looks wonderful. Have to say I'm always pleasantly surprised when I click on your blog and peaceful music greets my reading. Thanks!

  2. What a creative way of making your hexes.

  3. Thanks for the kind comments ... :) Pat

  4. Lovely runner Pat. I love the way you did your hexs!! Great job.

  5. That looks lovely :) I've never done hexagons (YET), but this makes it seem a little less scary. Thanks for sharing!


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