First - a lot of this information can be found in various places across the web if you look hard enough. However, I was new at EPP (english paper piecing) just a few short months ago and I have quickly come to learn everyone has their own style. Ive seen many different ways of thread basting just by viewing Instagram photos. So while you may find some of this on another blog, these are my own words and opinions on the matter from my personal experiences.
The #1 question I get asked regards the paper I use for hexies. A lot of people seem confused by why I would punch a hole in the middle and many ask how I remove the papers and where I buy them from. So, papers are first up...
- I punch my own hexies from 110 lb. sturdy cardstock using an XL Fiskars Hexagon Punch then I use a 1/4" Fishers Heart Punch to put a whole in the middle. (You can buy pre-punched hexies from my shop)
I always glue baste. If you're a long time thread baster and you've never considered glue basting you should try it just for fun. I think you'll be surprised at how much faster it is and how easy it is on your hands. I easily get double the amount of hexies done with glue basting compared to thread basting.
I use a Fons & Porter Fabric Glue Stick (water soluble, from Joann Fabrics) when basting. The glue is blue so you can see it on lots of different fabrics, dries quickly and isn't as sticky or messy as the generic fabric glue sticks. Plus it's a narrow stick and allows for more precise basting.
Here's how I glue baste...(photo below)
- Cut your fabric 1/4" to 1/2" wider (on each side) than the size of your hexie. Center the paper hexie in the middle and with a quick swipe of glue place the hexie down.
- Start with one side of the hexie first, place a bit of glue along one edge and fold the fabric over onto it.
- Continuing on with each edge going around the hexie paper, now you will place glue on the *fabric only* and continue folding the edges over until you reach the last fold.
- Quickly press with a hot iron on both sides to heat set the glue. You'll be left with a crisp, flat hexie.
Tip: I know mini charms are great for making hexies but if you take the extra time to cut the fabric in the hexie shape you have MUCH less bulk on the back of your hexie.
On rare occasion I will thread baste. When doing this I never baste through the paper. I simply baste the fabric folds together on the back of the hexie paper only (never bringing my needle through the paper itsself) and I use black thread so It can be seen easily for removal.
- If using a hexie with a hole in the middle, simply use a pin or seam ripper to loosen the first fabric fold that was glued to your paper.
- Put the pin or seam ripper tip in the hole and use it to pop the paper out from the hexie corners.
- Flatten paper back out with a hot iron so you can reuse it.
|DIY Fussy Cut Template found on my blog|
This is another thing I am always shocked to learn that many EPP lovers do not do often. Fussy cutting is simply cutting a very specific piece of a fabric print for use on a hexie, generally the preferred print is in the middle. It's my favorite way to make hexies!
If you're unsure how to get the perfect cut, I have a great tutorial on making your own fussy cutting template from cardboard or cardstock without having to pay a lot for acrylic templates!
My favorite way to stitch hexies down to a project is the "modern method". It's a bit hard to explain, but Modern Handcraft has a great tutorial for this. I also like to use coordinating threads and simply sew the hexies down using a very close seam along the entire outer hexie edge. (shown in photo above).
I rarely sew the actual hexies together to create shapes like flowers (shown below) only because I tend to enjoy the more modern shapes and random designs of hexies like I used on my Mini Sew Together Bag. I do understand this is the most common way they are used but it's just not my thing.
|Get creative! Leave empty space to create an interesting look on your hexie project.|
I hope this post was helpful to you. If there is anything I didn't cover or you have questions feel free to leave a comment :) Thanks for reading!