Monday, May 14, 2012

April Blocks for Craftsy BOM

This last month, Amy showed us how to make hexagon blocks using the English paper-piecing technique.

The first block this month is a Hexagon Row Block:

To make each hexagon for this block, I used a 1 1/4" hexagon template provided by Craftsy.  (I actually traced the hexagons onto freezer paper because I thought that freezer paper would be easier to use than regular printer paper, because the freezer paper actually clings to the fabric.) 

After ironing the shinny side down on the wrong side of each fabric, I cut around the template with about a 1/4" seam (maybe a little more on some).

Then I just folded over the edges, pressed and basted each hexagon. 

I have to admit that when I realized that this month was almost entirely hand stitching, I did freak out a bit.  I have never really done a lot of hand stitching, and have always avoided it when ever possible.  Definitely something I have picked up from other quilters as a task not to be fond of.  However, I told myself the whole point of participating in this Craftsy BOM, other than having some fun, was to learn new things and expand my quilting knowledge and skill.  And, in the end the hand stitching really wasn't so bad.

After basting all of the hexagons for this block, I carefully stitched each one together, making sure not to stitch through the freezer paper.

 Then removed all of the basting stitches and freezer paper.

And finally hand stitched it to the background fabric. (This is where my inexperience with hand stitching really shows. I found it very hard to keep everything flat and smooth and did end up with a few puckers.) However, I finished the block, completely hand stitched which is a huge accomplishment for me.  Here is the finished Hexagon Row Block!

The second block for the month of April is the Sunny with a Chance of Hex Block.

Each hexagon is made using the same technique as the Hexagon Row Block, but this time I used a 2" template and a 3/4" template (super tiny). I hand basted and stitched the hexagons together, but then used a straight stitch on my machine to applique the shapes onto the background fabric.

By machine appliqueing the hexagons on this block, the block finished a lot smoother and flatter than the Hexagon Row Block, but I am sure with practice my hand stitching will get better. ( I do like that the stitches are more hidden with the hand stitching method vs the machine applique method).

Here are the two blocks together:

And all 8 blocks so far (January - April):

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