I’ve written about the wonders of EPP (English Paper Piecing) before, but since we are now half-way through our lovely EPP Mini-Quilt Tea Party, I thought it would be a good time to give specific instructions for that project. So in this blog post, I’ll be sharing how I turned July’s Piece of Cake into a hexie for the mini-quilt. You’ll be able to refer to this tutorial to turn all your mini-embroideries into hexies.
If you’re new around here (hello! welcome!) and wondering what the mini-quilt project is all about, you can have a look at this post and subscribe to my newsletter. Each month, I send out a free mini-embroidery design to turn into hexies to make an EPP mini-quilt. So far, we’ve just been embroidering the designs each month, but now is a good time to start turning them into hexies.
If you already know how to do that, then you can skip this entire post and just enjoy the July pattern. You will find it along with the updated hexie template in today’s newsletter, and the one thing you really want to pay attention to is the orientation of the hexie. One of the corners should be facing up, as illustrated in the template.
If you’re new to EPP, then I’ll walk you through creating your own hexies in this post. You can also have a look at my previous posts on the subject for more info on EPP:
Note: Obviously, turning your embroideries into hexies and making the mini-quilt is totally optional. If you prefer to use the embroidery patterns for something else, please do so (as long as it’s for personal use, of course)!
From Embroidery to EPP Hexie Tutorial:
First, the embroidery. If you’re a newsletter subscriber, then you’ve been getting a small embroidery pattern in your inbox each month. If you haven’t gotten them for some reason or you’re a new subscriber, please get in touch and I’ll happily send them to you.
1. Each embroidery is designed to fit nicely around a 1 3/8″ hexagon, and fits inside a 3” hoop. I’ve been stitching each of mine on a 4” x 4” piece of cotton muslin, using a 3” hoop. Follow the instructions provided with your pattern to embroider the design.
2. When you’re done stitching, pop the embroidery out of the hoop, and give it a light press with the iron. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just flatten the big hoop mark to work comfortably.
3. Next, you’ll need to download and print the “Hexie Template” I’ve provided in today’s newsletter. If your printer allows, print directly on cardstock paper. If not, print on normal paper and then trace over on cardstock. Cut out your hexagons, making sure they are all the same size. The sides should be 1 3/8″ long, but feel free to make them bigger or smaller to fit around your embroideries as you prefer.
4. Punch a hole into each of them, to make it easier to remove them from the fabric later on.
5. Then, place your embroidery on the wrong side, and place the hexie shape on top. Make sure that it is oriented correctly, with one of the corners facing up. I like to use a small piece of tape or a pin to hold the hexie in place. I don’t recommend glue basting because of the embroidery!
6. Hold up the embroidery to the light to make sure it is nice and centered over the hexie.
7. When you’re satisfied with the position, turn the embroidery on the wrong side again, and mark a ¼” seam allowance all around the hexagon shape.
8. Cut along your seam allowance line, and you should end up with this!
9. Now, let’s baste the fabric around the shape. To do this, fold one side of the seam allowance down along one of the edges, holding it in place at the corner.
10. Fold the next side down, allowing the SA to fold over the previous one at the corner. Hold in place.
11. With a hand-sewing needle and matching thread (I’m using a contrasting thread for the photos), take a stitch through all the fabric layers, but not the cardstock. If you didn’t knot your thread, leave a little tail. Make 2 or 3 stitches, securing the fold down.
12. Moving to the next corner, fold the seam allowances the same way as before, and drag your thread over the side to reach the corner. Again, make 2-3 stitches to secure the fold down.
13. Repeat these steps to secure the remaining seam allowances, until your hexie looks like this:
Don’t pull the paper out yet, but you can remove the pin or piece of tape. If the tape is too hard to remove without messing up the hexie, just leave it in for now and it will be removed later.
14. Flip the hexie to the good side and admire your lovely work!
You can follow this tutorial to turn all your mini Tea Party embroideries into hexies, and by the end of the year you will have a total of 12.
That’s all there is to it for now, until we start sewing them together! I will have another tutorial post with instructions for that at a later time. I hope this one was helpful and that you have a fun time turning the embroideries into little hexies. It’s such a fun part of the process!
Thank you again so much for your participation in this project, and I can’t wait to see all your lovely hexies! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@northernbelle.atelier) and use the hashtag #northernbellesal to see everyone else’s too!
And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you can join the Tea Party and never miss an update. Happy stitching!