Monthly Archives: July 2014

Hexie Bookmark Tutorial

Hexie Bookmark 11

I’m here to share with you how I made my bookmark for the 12 Hexies (or Less) Blog Hop.

12 Hexie Blog Hop Button-200.jpg

I just love EPP (English Paper Piecing). It is a great way to keep my hands busy in the evenings when we watch a show. When I found this fabric, the little details like the bug jar and the footprints screamed to be fussy cut into hexies.

Hexie Bookmark 9

 

What you will need:

Cute scraps of fabric in an assortment of designs.

Felt one sheet, cut in half

Coordinating thread

Coordinating ribbon

Velcro (I like the sew in kind)

You can find great tutorials for basting your hexagons and even my little tutorial for stitching them together. I like to starch my fabric well, before I baste them onto my templates/paper pieces. It helps later with holding the shape after the paper comes out.

When you have this shape of three columns of 3, 4, 3 stitched together, press the combined shape well.  Carefully take out the templates/paper pieces. Press well again.

Hexie Bookmark 1

With an applique stitch, applique the shape onto one layer of felt. I tried to center my applique on the felt. You are going to trim it up, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Stitch a contrasting line of stitching about 1/4” all the way around the shape. I wanted this to look handmade, so I hand stitched this. You could certainly do this by machine. **You can wait to do the detail until you are stitching the two pieces of felt together. Since I wanted a thicker line and my thread was thin, I opted to do it twice. This is certainly not necessary.

Hexie bookmark 2

Take about 5” length of the soft side of the Velcro and sew it down the center of the second piece of felt by machine. With your ribbon, fold one edge under about 1/4”. Sew a piece of the stiff side of the Velcro to the ribbon, covering the folded edge. This is just so you have a nice finished edge of ribbon that won’t unravel. Measure the books you tend to read. Start at the top of the cover, around the book and meet back at the top of the cover. I found that 15” seemed to be a good size length for the books I read. On the other edge of the ribbon, stitch a scrap of felt about 1 1/2” X 1”. This is to help hold the ribbon inside your felt sandwich so it won’t slip out.

Hexie Bookmark 3

Hand stitch the felt piece to the first piece of felt that now has the hexagons appliqued to the front side. Make sure you are not going through the front of the applique (the hexagons). It doesn’t have to look pretty. But you do want to make sure the ribbon is centered on the top of the applique shape. Think about the stiff side of the Velcro on the opposite end of the ribbon before you stitch this down.

Hexie Bookmark 5 Hexie Bookmark 4

Sandwich the bottom felt piece with the length of soft Velcro facing down, and the top piece with the applique facing up. (Wrong sides together). You will need to think about this step a little. The stiff ribbon end needs to wrap around the book and ultimately stick to the underside of your bookmark to hold in place.  If you lay the stiff side of the Velcro UP when you are making your sandwich, this should be the right placement.

Hexie Bookmark 6

Stitch in the same holes as the initial detail stitching. Make sure the ribbon is sticking out of the top of the sandwich. Carefully trim around the completed shape through both layers of felt. Be careful when you are trimming the top edge with the ribbon sticking out. You don’t want to cut that ribbon off. I started trimming the shape on one side of the ribbon, cutting through both layers all the way to the other side of the ribbon. When I got to the ribbon edge, I simply cut the top layer first, flipped the shape over and cut the bottom layer second. Make sure not to cut through the ribbon.

Hexie Bookmark 7

To use it as a bookmark, lay the ribbon on the page you are holding. Stick the stiff Velcro end under the main shape.

Hexie Bookmark 8 Hexie Bookmark 12

Viola. You have a lovely hexie bookmark.

Hexie Bookmark 10

Check out the rest of the blog hoppers too and see what they are up to.

 

My favorite way to stitch EPP together

 

Diane Gilleland of Craftypod put together a “12 Hexies (or Less) Blog Hop” that will begin today and run for two weeks.  Don’t you love Diane? I know I’ve followed her in one form or another for years. When she said she was doing a blog hop with 12 or Less Hexies, I knew I was up for the challenge.

12 Hexie Blog Hop Button-200.jpg
When I sat down to actually mess with 12 or less, it was more of a challenge than I realized it would be.  Yikes. 12 Hexies is really limiting. But I was totally up for the challenge.

Anyway, before my post goes up on the 25th of July, I thought I’d share how I join my EPP (English Paper Pieced) projects together.

Do you remember my Hexi Window Table Runner?

Hexi Window Table Runner by Anjeanette

Those stitches on the seams were nearly invisible. Aren’t they yummy?

Hexi Window close up

There are great tutorials on EPP. This one from SewMamaSew that was written up by Julie Zaichuk-Ryan from Button-Button.  On her blog, Diane makes reference to TheZenofMaking and the lovely tutorial on EPP. I started off joining my EPP shapes by doing a whipstitch as well. But if you have been around my blog for any amount of time, you will know I’m a little specific about how I like to do things. I love the look of EPP. It is precise and detailed. I hate when I can see my stitches. There, I said it. I’m ducking now because I know books and other large objects are being thrown at me.

Are we alright now? I  love sitting down in the evenings with a stack of shapes to hand stitch together.  But when I’m done with all that handwork, I don’t want to see the stitches. My goal of course, would be not a single stitch. I’m going to be honest and say that isn’t realistic though. So less visible stitches is my end goal.

I do think it is a great idea to learn the right way to do something. Then you can figure out how you are going to break the rules to make it work for you.

I’m using a black thread here so you can see my stitches. I think it helps to emphasize my point when the black stitches are almost completely hidden when I open up my shapes. It is such a lovely feeling. Here are a few examples of front and back.

 

close up stitches

Here is the back.

Stitching close up Anjeanette

Here is another front from some Hexies I am currently working on.

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And the Back.

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Normally, you would do a whipstitch through both layers like this. Note, this is NOT what I use. I just took the picture so you can see the difference.

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I like to work on just one side at a time, instead of driving my needle exaclty perpendicular to my hexies, I like to take my needle in at an angle. I make sure my needle comes out on the fold and again, I’m just stitching through the hexie on the top.

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Then I stitch through the bottom hexie, again at an angle to the piece and again with my needle coming out the fold. It is almost like a zipper, or a double whipstitch.

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Back to the top hexie. I hope you can see both the angle of my needle and that it is coming out direclty on the fold line.

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That is my tip. That is how I do it. Top shape, bottom shape always at an angle and always coming out along the folded edge of the hexie. When you open your shape up, all the stitching is neatly hidden inside the seam in the fold. It makes me so happy.

Let me know if this helps you hide your stitches too?

Here are the awesome EPP-ers (some longtime, some new) who are joining me in this adventure:

Diana Ray, Ray’s Sew Crafty

Maryline Collioud Robert, Mary & Patch

Pam Harris, Gingerbread Snowflakes

Rebecca Greco, Hugs Are Fun

Haley Pierson-Cox, The Zen of Making

Melissa Peda, 100 Billion Stars

Abby Glassenberg, While She Naps

Jessica Alexandrakis, Life Under Quilts

And then me, Anjeanette Klinder