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project: hexagon striped towel

Hexagon Towel


Here's the thing about English paper piecing hexagons: they are lovely to make and you want to make lots, but to construct a whole quilt from them is an overwhelming thought. While I'd like to think that I'll do that someday, I'd like the gratification of putting my hexies to use sooner than when I reach retirement age. Projects like this are the answer!

With a handful of hexagons ready to go (my towel uses nine), you can stitch up a set of towels for yourself or as a gift!

You will need:

A dish towel
Hexagons (see how I make mine here)
Thread
Embroidery floss

NOTE: Towels and fabrics will shrink in different ways, so pre-wash to avoid unexpected results. Or...live on the edge!

Hexagon Towel
Hexagon Towel

To start, lay out your hexagons along the short side of your towel to determine how many you'll need to go across the entire width. Next, you'll join all of them to form one big stripe.

There are several methods that folks use to join their hexies, and I've always been a whip stitch gal. Recently, however, I read a post which suggested running stitch for joining, and I think it's a winner!

Hold two hexagons with right sides together. Using regular thread, knotted at the end, stitch a tiny running stitch along the edges you are joining. Stitch very close to the edge so that you catch the fabric, but not the paper inside the hexagons. It can be tricky at first, but once you get used to how it feels to only stitch the fabric, it goes very quickly. Secure the end with a knot.

If you're joining these into flower shapes or other formations, you can keep on stitching without knotting at each side.

Hexagon Towel
Hexagon Towel

As you work, you can see how the stripe is forming as you open the stitched seams. The gratification is already starting!

Hexagon Towel

Remove the paper from the hexagon on one end, then pin the hexie in place, making sure that the stripe is straight. Continue removing papers and pinning, working across the row. I find that working one hexagon at a time makes it easier to work with.

You can see the difference in shape between those that are pinned and those with the paper still inside. A bit of pucker and "relaxation" is normal, but you can help combat this with some ironing and extra pins.

Hexagon Towel

Using running stitch and three strands of embroidery floss, stitch around each hexagon shape, securing the thread with a tight knot. Towels get washed a lot, so you don't want these coming undone!

Hexagon Towel
Hexagon Towel

Simple, but effective. This is the kind of thing I like. And fortunately, you can't even see that coffee that I spilled on my towel! Yes, really. Right in the middle of making this. Ugh.

By the way, someday I may right an entire post on the topic (or maybe I already did a while back?), but this is one of those projects on which I make no claims to originality. Although I didn't look at them before making this project, there are plenty of posts and Etsy listings for towels with hexagons sewn onto them. Try different arrangements to make this your own!

12 comments:

  1. This is so cute! I'm pinning too. Little Bit

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  2. this is really cute and mathematical!

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  3. Very cute! Do you put anything on the back to cover the stitches or as stablizer?

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    1. I didn't, but the stitches don't show too much. You could use thread that matches your towel if you're worried about it. And because you're basically hand sewing, the stabilizer isn't needed.

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  4. This is very pretty! Makes a great gift too :)

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  5. This is really sweet.I love using shapes and pattern but I don't think I have the patience yet for a quilt!

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  6. I love this! What a smart way to use up tiny scraps of fabric!

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  7. Hi Mollie, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing all that you do, you're so generous with your patterns and printables, and I think you're the bees knees! Your hexie habit is spreading, I knew I was going to have to try making some after seeing a few of your posts, so I did, and you're right - so fun & easy! This could get quite addictive! I embellished a small hand towel, just a small project to start with. I blogged about it today, and made sure to link back to your blog. If you have a moment, pop on over. Have a great day! ~Lisa

    http://www.lisasteatime.blogspot.com/2013/05/happy-hexies.html

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  8. Great idea and great way to incorporate hexies without committing to a huge project, perfect for me as I have just discovered hexies :) Best wishes, Carina.

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  9. The cutest!!! All of your hex projects are great! I hope you don't mind, but i featured this one in a collection on my blog today. www.lemondropblog.com

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