Hi there! I'm Krissy from Hot Commodity Home Decor and I am thrilled to be guest posting today! Let me tell you a bit about me before I get into the tutorial.
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And now on to the tutorial! First off, a disclaimer: I am not very experienced with quilting, so please excuse my little mistakes. I am learning by doing!
I have been seeing hexie projects everywhere lately and I've been wanting to try them. My original plan was to piece my hexies together like you would in a quilt, but my impatience got the best of me and I opted to do an applique instead.
Step One: Cut your hexies!
Since I tend to do a lot of improvising in my projects, I cut hexies in various fabrics before I decided to only use three of them. To get the hexes to the correct size and shape, I used a template that I generated here. This way you don't have to do much math, which is how I like it. My hexies are the 1 inch variety, which means that each side is 1 inch long.
You'll also want to cut your other fabric pieces at this point. You have a little leeway on your overall placemat size. Base your size on the scale of your dining table. The placemat dimensions should be approximately 12"-14"wide x 18"-20"long. You'll need two rectangles this size for each placemat, one of the top fabric and one of the bottom fabric.
For the binding, cut 2" wide strips and stitch them together, end to end to create one long strip.
Step Two: Press & interface.
First, press all your larger cuts of fabric. If your hexies have wrinkles, you can carefully press them, too.
To apply the hexies to the top fabric, I used Wonder Under interfacing. If you've never used it, it is awesome because it will hold two pieces of fabric together for you while you sew. Before applying the Wonder Under, I played around with my hexie design. I laid the hexies on the top fabric and figured out how I wanted it to look. Once I'd settled on the design, I marked how wide I would need my Wonder Under to be.
Place the Wonder Under on your top fabric, rough side down (paper still attached). Make sure it's straight because once you press it, there's no turning back! Press this to your fabric really well, then peel the paper off. The good news is that the Wonder Under is pretty much invisible once the paper is removed, probably depending on what color your fabric is. With my beige polka dot, I could barely see it.
|(with paper still attached)|
Once your Wonder Under is in place and you've peeled off the paper, arrange your hexies on top in whatever design you want. Make sure that the hexies are covering as much of the interfacing as possible.
With your pattern in place, lay a damp pressing cloth over the top, being very careful not to shift any of the hexies out of place. Press thoroughly. This will fuse the hexies to the top fabric. Slowly remove your pressing cloth and carefully peel it off if it fused to the Wonder Under at any point. Now your hexies should all be securely in place!
Step Four: Sew.
I wanted my placemats to have a shabby chic look to them, so I first stitched a border around each hexagon.
But then I realized that a placemat probably shouldn't have open edges to collect crumbs, so I did a different, more decorative stitch around all the hexies as well. This also helped fill in any gaps that I had from my hexies being a little bit uneven.
Step 5: Sandwich.
Once your hexies are finished on your placemat top, you'll start putting the "quilt sandwich" together. Place your batting between your top fabric and bottom fabric and pin it all in place. The more pins, the less slipping you'll have. Once it's pinned, do a quick basting stitch around the outer edges.
Step 6: Quilt.
Hopefully by this point, you'll have an idea of how you want to quilt the placemat. I used my hexie design as a springboard for my quilting. First, I quilted along with vertical lines between my hexies, which created a zigzag on the back of the placemat.
Then, I measured out regular columns and did the same zigzag across the placemat. Straight line quilting can also look fantastic on a small project like this. So, do what you're comfortable with!
Step 7: Create your binding.
To bind these placemats, you could buy double fold bias tape. Or you can make your own so you get a perfect match! I had tons of leftover green fabric, so I decided to make my binding match my backing. You'll want a strip that is 2" wide and long enough to go all the way around the placemat, allowing for folding at the corners.
Once you have your strips cut, press two folds into the strip so that 1/2" is folded over on each side of the strip. Work carefully to make sure you're folds are even.
Step 8: Bind.
Once your binding is pressed, you'll pin it to your placemat. Place the bias tape over the edges, making sure it is even, and pin it in place. Use a lot of pins! Then, you'll stitch around the entire thing, attaching the bias tape to both the front and back of the placemat.
Corners can be tough, but stick with it! You want to end up with a diagonal fold at each corner. I'll admit I had to pick one of mine out and sew it again because it ended up a little wonky!
Once it's bound, pick out any basting stitches that are visible, and then enjoy!