You can’t help but drool over all the eye candy that is happening in the New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt-Along. The Facebook group has more than 1600 people! Holy cows! And if you’ve been under a rock, head over to Katja Marek’s website, then meet the rest of us right back here. We’ll wait. http://www.katjasquiltshoppe.com
Ooh, here’s an idea…how to make this project happen without spending every waking moment hand stitching. Because, frankly, I’ve spent a good part of my life trying to avoid hand sewing. I know I’m not the only one out here that wants to do this project, but NOT by hand!
First, get all your pieces prepped. Just follow Katja’s directions in the book. She’s got this part on lock and load. Count how many you need of each shape, each fabric. Make them into little piles.
Now lay out the hexagons. This is block 12 from the book. Just stack up all the sets you need, in this case, 6 of block 12, laid out just like they need to be joined.
The next step is to determine your logical sewing sequence, which seams to join first to minimize the number of starts and stops. In this case, joining each green hexagon to the purple diamonds above and below it. Use blue painter’s tape to hold together the pieces to be joined. Comes off without a gooey mess.
The thread I am using is a smoke colored invisible thread, top and bobbin. I set the machine on zig-zag, 1.5mm width, .8mm length. Use a thin, sharp needle. I’m using a size 10 Microtex needle.
Use a foot that allows good visibility to the needle. Anchor the thread with a lockstitch at each end, catching each side with the zig-zag stitch.
Don’t trim the thread ends. Think about the thread like little whiskers…if you cut them short they feel all pokey. Leave them long and tuck them to the inside as you join more pieces together.
Two sides, ready for the middle. Tape both of the center diamonds in place, double-checking your directional prints. This part will be sewn in one big figure-8 shaped seam, pivoting at corners and ends. Pivot with the needle down in the fabric as shown in the second photo below. In this case, I am pivoting towards the navy fabric, so the needle is down in the navy fabric when I pivot.
The third photo shows the stitching continuing down to the second diamond, and then pivoting at the little pink point, the bottom of the figure-8, to return up the other side to finish. Make sure you lock the stitching at the beginning and end of the eight.
I tucked in all the little tails and the thread ends. Let me just tell you that the entire stack of 6 blocks took only a half hour to stitch together. One. Half. Hour. That’s it, just a half hour. It took that long for me to join the first two sections of the center. And did I mention that the entire second round of my rosette #1 was stitched by machine? Could you tell that when I posted the pictures the other day?
Part two of this tutorial will include another example of utilizing a sewing sequence. I’ll also show how the hexies are joined to the previous rounds. Stayed tuned for that big pile of fun.
A special thanks today to Brandi. And also a shout out to Doris, Marilyn, Maureen and Debbie.