all buttoned up. is always one of our favorite blog visits. Melissa has crazy-good skills with knits, she’s great about sharing sewing tips and she offers wonderful glimpses of her beautifully busy life with her boys at home. Visit Melissa at all buttoned up., on Flickr, and in the latest issue of Stitch magazine!   Today she brings you her Hex jeans and an easier-than-you-thought hexagon paper piecing tutorial:

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From Melissa: Hexes are fantastic. I never get tired of them and they have timeless appeal. This is a quick tutorial for hand sewing hex “flowers” together. I’ve done paper piecing several different ways, but I’ve found this to be the most portable and flexible—it’s perfect for throwing into a pouch and taking off to the woods/beach/desert. When you get home, you’ll have a handy pile of patches ready to appliqué, quilt together, or salvage the other knee of your favourite jeans.

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You’ll need:

  • Hexagon Template (one inch per side works great) cut out of plastic. I used a yogurt lid.
  • Pile of Scraps (reasonably unwrinkled)
  • Thread
  • Hand sewing needle—I used a quilting sharp
  • Glue stick
  • Paper scissors
  • Fabric scissors—for traveling, I take small school type scissors and designate one for each purpose
  • Scrap paper/small notebook

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1. Trace and cut a small pile of paper hexagons using your template and scrap paper. You may also find and download/print a whole sheet of hexes, but I find that it’s easier to use old envelopes or junk mail for this purpose.

2. Glue one hexagon to the wrong side of one of your scraps. Cut the fabric around the paper, leaving yourself a small fabric allowance, about 1/8”. Repeat for all 7 hexagons.

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3. Finger press your fabric along the paper edges of two of your hexagons. With right sides together, match the corners of two of your hexagons. Knot the end of your thread and begin sewing small ladder stitches through each edge, picking up the tiniest bit of fabric each time. Tie off at the end of each row.

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4. When attempting large flowers, sew each together in rows and then the rows together– twisting each hex so that right sides are together and they lay flat when they are sewn together.

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5. Finally, finger press around the entire flower. As you tear out each piece of paper, it’s best to baste down the edges. Or, you can leave the papers in and deal with them when you’re closer to an iron. When you arrive home, press the whole thing and start planning how you’re going to utilize all your vacation handiwork. I’ve made bags and coasters, put them onto boxes, and I think they’d make a VERY pretty pillow.

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