Last October, I started a very special project. I would make one fabric hexagon to describe each day for an entire year. I had never English paper pieced before, so I jumped right in!
I started by buying the right materials. If you’re interested in what I used, here’s a list:
- 1″ hexagon paper pieces (I bought 400 total)
- Fabric glue pen (here’s a review of my faves)
- Needle puller (it only took one blister for me to invest in one of these)
- 2.5″-wide ruler (I used this ruler to cut fabric squares 2.5″ square before paper piecing them)
- Mini Wonder Clips (These clips are easier to use than pins to hold hexagons together while sewing.)
- A magnetic tray (This was SO handy to hold needles, pins, snips, and Wonder Clips in place while I took my hexagons on the go.)
For anyone who’s never done English paper piecing, I promise it’s not hard! I was nervous before starting, but there are so many great tutorials online. If you want to glue baste like I did, I have a little tutorial here. And if you want to try thread basting, check out this video from Modern Handcraft.
I organized all my hexagons in a small tin. I wrote each day’s date on the paper piece before glue basting, so that I could keep them in order as the months went on. I had no plan for these hexagons, so spent the first six months of this project on Pinterest trying to figure out what I would do with 350+ hexagons! I finally found the perfect project in Sheri McConnell’s Enduring Legacy quilt that was published in the June 2018 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. (You can buy the pattern here.)
Once I had this pattern, I started sewing my hexagons together in order in groups of seven (so one flower shape = one week in my life). It was so fun to finally see the quilt coming together. I also cut up low-volume prints from my stash for the background. I used almost all of my low-volume prints, so I’ll definitely have to buy more soon!
After all the hexagons were sewn in flower shapes, the quilt came together quickly. I appliquéd the hexagons to squares, then sewed the blocks together in rows. To make the quilt a throw size, I added rows of squares to the top and bottom.
I kept the quilting simple on this quilt, since there were so many fabrics. I used a neutral thread to quilt straight lines through each row of hexagons. For the backing, I used a fun text print. And I bound it with a pale yellow, which is a sweet touch.
I’m so happy to have this quilt finished. It’s a special memory of a year in the life, and I’m sure I’ll look back on it for years to come and remember what each fabric stands for. If you want to look back at my hexagon journey, you can read more here.
Thanks for joining me for “happy hour”,
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