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Designing with Hexagons, Threads and the Blanket Stitch!

My final design

Although I liked all of the design versions that I came up with yesterday, when I placed the appliques in a line down the side of the pillow, I was most happy with the way it looked. Because the quilting lines were on an angle, it was hard to make sure that the hexagons were lined up evenly, so I used my long ruler and laid it along the left side of the pillow top so that the 4½” line was along the edge of the pillow top. Then I placed my hexagons down along the side of the ruler in one line. I then placed a second line of hexagons beside the first as shown below.

Final placement of the applique shapes
Final placement of the applique shapes

 

 

Iron them down

Once you’re happy with how you’ve arranged the hexagons, follow the manufacturer’s directions on your fusible web product and use a hot iron to fuse them in place. To prevent the adhesive from marking up your iron, you can use a Teflon pressing sheet in between your iron and pillow top.

Ironing down the hexagon appliques
Ironing down the hexagon appliques

 

 

Machine applique using a blanket stitch

Once all of the hexagons were in place, I used the blanket stitch setting on my machine to stitch along all of the raw edges. To do this on your pillow, follow these steps:

  1. Test your blanket stitch on a scrap fabric to adjust the length and width until you find the setting that you like best.
  2. Bring the bobbin thread up to the top and hold both top and bobbin thread in your left hand as you start to stitch – this will prevent the bobbin thread from bunching up on the back.
  3. Do a couple small straight stitches on the side of the hexagon to lock your stitches, then set your machine to blanket stitch and stitch along one side until you get to the corner.
  4. Use your “needle down setting” if you have it, or stop stitching when the needle is down on the background fabric (just beside the corner of the hexagon). Pivot and then keep stitching along the next side. Repeat until you’re all the way around.
  5. Do another couple straight stitches at the end to lock your stitches then clip your top and bottom threads.

Machine blanket stitching the applique shapes - Put the needle down at each corner and pivot.
Machine blanket stitching the applique shapes – Put the needle down at each corner and pivot.

 

 

Hand applique vs machine applique

If your sewing machine doesn’t have a nice blanket stitch or you’d just prefer to do a hand blanket stitch around each hexagon, check out the instructions on my blog post from last month.

Hand blanket stitch diagram
Hand blanket stitch diagram

 

 

The machine applique is all finished

I ended up using both the Fruitti and Spagetti threads to machine applique my hexagons and I was really pleased with how nicely the weight of the thread made the blanket stitches look. I’ve used that stitch on my machine before and never really liked the result, but the WonderFil thread makes them look ALMOST as nice as my hand blanket stitch!

The appliqued hexagons are all stitched!
The appliqued hexagons are all stitched!

 

 

Closeup of machine blanket stitch using Fruitti thread by WonderFil
Closeup of machine blanket stitch using Fruitti thread by WonderFil

 

 

Finishing steps…

Tomorrow I will show you how I finished my quilted pillow top into a “back porch pillow”, so tonight make sure that you get all of your machine applique finished and then we’ll both have our pillows ready for a little reading on the back porch this weekend!

Designing with hexagons, threads and the blanket stitch is so gratifying!

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

3 Comments

  1. Michele Timms

    I love hand stitching the blanket stitch, but sometimes using the sewing machine is a better alternative and it looks amazing too!!

  2. Love this post on hexies being done this way. what a hoot. thanks for sharing Christine.

    • I’m really loving sewing hexies and this is DEFINITELY the easiest way 🙂

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