The other day, I talked a lot about my fabric selection process for the Balinese quilt. Today, I thought I would share a little about the process of making a half-hex quilt.
To be honest, I had been wanting a 10″ hex template, but the largest template my local quilt shop carried was this one. I decided to purchase it, however, because of its versatility. Using it, I can cut hexes or half hexes in 8″, 6″, 4″ and 2″ sizes, as well as varying sizes of triangles (to fit between hexagons), and tear drop shapes. I figured, if I could cut multiple shapes and sizes, I would be more likely to use this template again some time. I hope that turns out to be true!
To cut half hexes is very easy. I first cut a strip of fabric that was 4.5″ by WOF. Then, I positioned the template on the strip of fabric, lining up the top and top edges of the template with the edges of the fabric. Then I only had to cut along each side of the template using my rotary cutter. It was important to cut the little indents at the bottom of the template, because eliminating those “rabbit ears” right away helps you line up the half hexes for sewing. Cut one half-hex, then flip the template upside down – if you cut neatly, you should only have to cut down one side on the subsequent cuts.
Anyway, I cut all my hexes and lined them up on my design wall the way I wanted them. Once I was happy with the arrangement, I was able to start sewing the hexes in long columns.
You place the half-hex in the number one position, and position in face up. (I marked my “number 1” in the chain with a piece of masking tape, so I wouldn’t forget which end was the top.) Then, place the number two half-hex right side down, lining up the edges — and see how the snipped-off corners make them fit perfectly? Then sew along that edge and press the seam to the dark side.
See? Two halves sewed neatly together. Continue on down the column, to the end. Then start again with the next column! Once your columns are finished, you will join your hexes using straight seams — easy! No funky piecing, no inset seams.
Here are several of my columns on my design wall – see, all the tops are marked with masking tape. I think half-hexes are great for creating a complex-looking pattern, using very easy piecing. I was really pleased with how quickly the top came together. I mean, there were a lot of pieces to sew – about 338, including all the end pieces – but very straightforward and efficient.
Yes, I’m pretty happy with this quilt. I might have to make a similar one for myself, one of these days!