English paper piecers are patient. They love order and pieces that fit together perfectly. They are the sort who appreciate a good puzzle and a kaleidoscopic array of colors. Needles and threads make them happy, and they are prone to lose track of time when engaged in their favorite hobby.

I know. I am one.

booksSo when I had the opportunity to check out Mickey Depre’s three books, Pieced Hexies, Pieced Hexies Deux, and Ring Around the Hexies, I was excited to grab some fabric and get busy!

Making Mickey’s pieced hexies is so much fun! Her books include detailed instructions for strip piecing and cutting the hexies.

I used two of the many block designs available in the books, Tumbler and Sparkle. The shapes I used are both from the Pieced Hexies: A New Tradition in English Paper Piecing book. I stopped to chat with the friendly ladies at Paper Pieces (since they are so handy right here in Paducah now) and picked up just the right paper pieces and some templates to make the process fast and easy.

pieced-hexies

See the notches on the sides of the plastic templates? Those are for marking the exact spots that you’ll need for lining up the pieced hexie seams. They are different on every template.

book-open
The hexie-making process is fun! It starts with sewing strips together, cutting, then adding another block to the top make a trio of prints and/or colors. This sweet little fabric trio is then adjusted to just the right location on a marked paper hexie, following the book’s careful instructions, and basted.

Christmas BatiksChristmas is coming, so I chose a half yard bundle of these Christmas Batiks from ShopAQS.com. I sewed a little, cut a little, and before I knew it, I had a whole stack of adorable Christmas-theme hexies.

hexie rowsIf you’re looking for my basting stitches, I have to admit that when I EPP, I baste with glue. I use a Sewline™ Fabric Glue Pen. I made all of these hexies in just a couple of hours, start to finish, including the cutting and the machine stitching of the strips. Thread basting to the paper pieces by hand is preferred by Mickey, however, and with that method you can be totally in control of secure seamlines.

NOW comes the best part. Look at the design potential of these cute little hexies!
hexi-animation
Would you use them as unique Christmas ornaments? That was my first thought. As Christmas décor hanging from your fireplace mantel on ribbons? A hexie wreath for the door?

I decided to put mine together as a large placemat for the center of my kitchen island. Pieced Hexies Deux shows some beautiful ways to put pieces together to make a larger designs that only look more complex than the typical flowerlike structure. That’s not quite done yet, be watching for it!

If you’re interested in these three books, click on them below:

Pieced HexiesPieced Hexies: A New Tradition in English Paper Piecing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexie DeuxPieced Hexies Deux: 10 New Designs to Rock Your Quilts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ring Around HexiesTake it to the next level and make a pieced hexie quilt! With detailed instructions every step along the way, make Mickey and Bonnie K. Hunter’s Ring Around the Hexies quilt. Bonnie passes along her advice in the book, as well.

Ring Around the Hexies

 

 

 

Look at what is brand new, also from Mickey Depre, and so hot off the AQS presses that it is practically steaming!  Half-Scrap Quilts: Take and Make Them Yours includes nine quilt designs using many different traditional blocks using regular, not English paper piecing, methods.

Half Scrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have fun with English paper piecing, traditional piecing, stitching up a pieceful storm, and your next project, whatever it may be!

>>>Ann
ann.hammel@americanquilter.com

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