project // half-hexi spider web
With my growing love of english paper-pieced hexagons, I've been thinking about and trying a few other shapes to piece together this way. I have some templates on hand, but one of the shapes I've been looking at is a half hexagon. It's a little different from regular hexagons, but similar to the diamonds that I've also been playing with. So...I jumped in!
Hexagons naturally have a spider web shape hinted in them, so that's where I went with this. It's a nice way to get your feet wet on half hexies! Of course, since this is a spider web, don't be surprised if you end up feeling like you can't break free and just NEED to keep on making them!
Here's what you need:
Small amount of fabric in two colors
Backing fabric to fit a 6-inch embroidery hoop
Needle and thread
6-inch embroidery hoop
1-inch hexagon templates printed on card stock
Take 3 hexagon templates and cut them in half from point to point. Grab one, and pin it to one of your fabric colors. Cut around the shape, leaving about 1/4-inch of fabric around each edge.
Starting on the long side of the half-hexi, fold the fabric over, then fold over the next side and take a couple stitches with your needle and thread.
Continue basting the half-hexi by folding the fabric over and tacking down the corners. Don't stitch through the paper...only the fabric.
When you make it back to the start, your shape should look like this. Those pieces hanging out are often referred to as tails, which you are to "leave wagging." You can baste these half-hexies so that the "tails" wag in different directions, depending on how you want things to fit together, but this way seems to work well for the applique that this will end up being.
You'll need a total of 6 half-hexies (three of each color) and 1 regular hexagon. They'll go together in a larger hexagon shape.
Hold a half-hexi and the center hexagon with wrong sides together and stitch the edges. You can use running stitch, whip stitch or ladder stitch, as I'm doing. You don't need to knot off the thread when you get to the end, because you'll continue with the next half-hexi on the next side of the main hexagon.
Using the alternate color of half-hexi, join it to the next edge of the main hexagon. You can see here that the first half-hexi is there, off to the side.
Keep adding alternating colors of half-hexies around, until they are all attached. At this point, the half-hexies are only connected to the center hexagon, and not to each other.
Now it's time to join the half-hexi edges. Pinch them together and stitch them as you did the other seams. You may want to take an extra stitch at the point where the three pieces connect.
Remove the papers from your hexagons. You may want to press your shape with an iron, and at the same time, you can press those wagging tails to the back, but you can also do it without an iron, as I've done.
Place your backing fabric in the hoop, then pin the hexagon shape in the center. Make sure that those tails are hidden away, nice and flat.
Stitch the edges of the hexagon shape down to the fabric. I'm using a blind applique stitch. As you go, if any of those tails try to poke out, you can use your needle to smooth them under the shape.
When the hexagon is all attached to the fabric, thread your needle with three strands of white embroidery floss. Actually, I'm using a creamy color to match the dots in my black fabric. Stitch three long lines across the center hexagon, working from point to point.
Stitch lines connecting each spoke of the web, but don't let them touch the spokes. Well, really you can do this any way you want. I was going for essence of spider web...
Make your way to the center with those lines, then take a small stitch to tack down the center.
You could leave this as just a web, but I think a little spider really finishes this off. So, to make the spider, use three strands of black floss. Make a standard french knot (with the floss wrapped two times), then right next to that, make a larger french knot with the floss wrapped three times. Add eight straight stitch legs coming off the sides.
Finish the back however you choose, and your spider web is all ready to hang and display!
And even more exciting, you've just made a new english paper-pieced shape! This was my first go at half-hexies, and I liked how it went. I'm excited, because I have some ideas in mind for making more things with this shape. Oh, the things I can stitch!