I’d never bothered to try English Paper Piecing (known as EPP to quilting fiends worldwide and an odd sounding time-sucking activity to many of you other people trapped here reading this post) until a member of my local MQG (Modern Quilt Guild, for you non-sewing folk who are now desperately trying to find your way out of this blog prison; don’t leave me, you’re all I’ve got) handed out some mini hexie kits just for fun to whomever wanted to sew them up into something.
I figured, “Hey, it’s not like I have enough plates spinning in my world, so come on with ya bad selves!” I also realized I’d probably never be compelled to try EPP otherwise, so I grabbed (courteously, of course, I’m not a monster) the last kit. After getting a debriefing from an experienced hexie-making friend, who referred to the entire exercise as “quilting crack,” I figured I was ready to tackle it.
I came home from the meeting and once everyone was asleep I busted out the kit. For the most part, I liked all the fabrics chosen, but there were three in particular that just viscerally upset me. Because I’m also a stickler for following rules when rules are given, I decided that although I loathed those squares (what did they ever do to me?), I’d keep them in and brainstorm a presentation that might possibly make me hate them an ounce less. Or ignore them. I liked that challenge.
Here’s another thing about hexies: sure, some people like to fold and hand sew each hexie shape out of the original square scrap used, but as I barely have enough time to crowbar in luxury events like showering and eating into my daily life, I figured I’d shortcut this sucker and get my glue stick rockin’.
Did I just insult some diehards out there? Well, hold onto your seam rippers because it gets worse; you’ll safely be calling me a hexie hooligan in no time.
So anyway, next thing you know, it’s – BOOM – 1:00a.m., I’m bleary-eyed and have a stack of 35 teeny-weeny hexies to my name.
I pondered assembly options for a good solid 48 hours after that, in between illustration, sewing and writing projects, school pick-ups and drop-offs and whatever else.
I couldn’t shake the deep desire to involve neon. Is this my midlife crisis calling out to my 14-year old self? Don’t answer that. Either way, somehow it needed to be included to offset everything and crank up the volume. I wanted loud and loud is what I got, in the form of neon pink sewing thread.
And here, my fine people, is where I threw rules out the window and went off-roading. Yes, I know you’re supposed to sit there and hand-sew each one together and hope you can see what you’re doing. But who cares, call the Quilting Police!!!, cuz something illegal just might be (gleefully) going on ‘round here!
I took all my hexies, carefully popped out all their cardboard inserts so the glued allowances stayed in place and ironed each one flat, just to make sure everything stayed in place.
Then I sewed each of my three planned rows together with a juicy neon pink satin stitch. I even went over it twice because I wanted to raised texture to be a component of the finished piece. If you want to try machine sewing some honeycomb hexies together for yourself, use a fuse and tear stabilizer (Pellon’s is my fave) to make sure everything comes together nice and flat.
Once all three rows were sewn together, I tore away all the stabilizer like a crazed Chip & Dale’s dancer who thinks his tearaway pants are ablaze.
Behold the backside of my assembled honeycomb hexies!
(*Bwhahaha. I said Chip & Dale’s AND backside in a mere two-sentence span. I’m crack-ing myself up over here.)
I chose some super scrumptious dark taupe ultra suede I had in my supplies and a nice black/silver industrial style zipper to add to the textural experience of the entire thing. Again, if you want to try this madness yourself, you might also want to add in a sandwiched layer of quilt batting during the final appliqué step, giving it extra squishy body and making it fun to hold and poke at.
So what, that’s what I do when I’m holding it. No judgy-judgy here, if you please.
Anyway, that’s how the Honeycomb Hexie Clutch Purse was born!
I’m not gonna to say I won’t be making any hexies again, but for some reason they don’t rush to my heart the way same way squares and circles do. I dunno why. Maybe it’s because I’m mentally programmed to picture a vintage bathroom tile floor when I think hexagon patterns (although, there again, I’m really a penny round girl at heart).
All of that aside, my hexies are done and finished exactly the way I wanted them to be. Mission accomplished. Hello, Honeycomb Hexies. Full-on quilting crack habit avoided. I think. For now. Never say never. I’ll be quiet now. Might still eat my hat on this one. Must go find a tasty-looking hat just in case…
Until whatever happens next, happy Monday and happy making!