My big machine is still in the shop — I presume that they have had to order parts. I’m chugging along with maple leaf blocks but I’ve already made one post about that. Instead I have a new project to show you.
I’ve been watching a lot of quilting and other needlecraft videos lately and on Saturday I came across Emma Jones’ video on The Perfect Quilt Project, so I decided to try it out.
I pulled a length of border fabric from the stash and something suitable for the backing. I already had a set of hexagon templates so I picked one with 3″ sides as the inner (6″ point to point) and 3½” sides as the outer (7″ point to point), which I thought would give me a half-inch seam allowance all around.
The geometry of hexagons, however, means that the seam allowance was only 3/8″, and with the thickness of the batting it left me a turnover of only a generous 1/8″ inch. Of course I had cut all seven backing hexagons at once before realising this. Still, I went ahead with the first one, using my iron and some PVA glue to help secure the turnover.
The result wasn’t great — not only was I battling with the small seam allowance, but the batting was quite dense and not easily compressed (it was an offcut from the batting I used for En Bourgogne in 2019).
I used a zigzag stitch to secure the edge on the remaining hexagons which helped considerably but the small turnover was still tricky. I also noted that the corners were a little upturned (something I will have to be very careful about in future).
I discovered about halfway through stitching it that I had assembled one of the hexagons with the backing fabric reversed. Since I had already decided by then that this was going to be a standalone piece I didn’t bother to undo it but left it as a testament to poor planning.
The seven hexagons were assembled by whip stitch without any further issues, and in spite of all the problems I like the finished result. I’m not one for quilted decorations but this would make a lovely table topper or centrepiece.
I may try this method again — it’s very portable. To be honest, though, I don’t think it will ever give a result that is as flat and smooth as a top quilted all at once.
1. Bind-as-you-go hexagons need a backing that is cut at least ¾” bigger in side length (or 1½” point-to-point length if you are using Matilda’s Own templates). A difference of 1″ (2″) is better if you have thick batting.
2. Zig-zag stitches around the edge of the fabric and batting make the turnover much easier.
3. Glue-basting is much better than pin-basting for this technique.