This tutorial is for a 26 inches x 26 inches mini quilt using my variation on Nicole Daksiewicz's clever Modern Hexagons.
To make it you will need:
* A 26in x 26in piece of plain background.
Since the quilting will bring the size down a tad you might like to cut your background a little larger, and trim it down after you've quilted it.
* A 28in x 28in piece of backing fabric
* A 28in x 28in piece of lightweight batting. I used Warm and White.
* 32 5in squares of assorted fabrics for the hexagon stars. I staggered the placement of mine, and didn't entirely cover the background, so if you prefer a more orderly pattern you will need more squares.
* A water based fabric glue that will wash out, such as Aleene's Fabric Fusion (recommended by Nicole) or Roxanne's Glue Baste-It. Since we can't get Aleene's Fabric Fusion here I used the bottle of Roxanne's that I already had.
*32 (or more) 2in hexagon papers. The 2in is measured along a straight side. They actually measure 4in from point to point through the centre. Yep, they are big.
You can buy these online from shops like Paper Pieces in America or Patchwork with Busy Fingers (Sue Daley) here in Australia.
However a cheaper alternative is to print them from websites with free printable hexagons. I used Incomptech's hexagon graph paper PDF generator to print my hexagons out the size I wanted.
Be sure to set your printer to print at 100%, not Scale to Fit or Shrink to Fit.
They are best printed on lightweight card (used manila folders are perfect for this) but if you don't want to put this through your printer you can print your hexagons onto ordinary computer paper and then attach the page to the a couple of layers of card by stapling through your hexagon shapes to hold all the layers firmly together.
It's simple, then, to cut apart your hexagons and remove the staples. You'll have plenty of accurate hexagon shapes ready to cover with your selected 5in squares of fabric. (Note: The hexagons in my photo are smaller that you will be using for this quilt, so you won't fit so many hexagon shapes to a single sheet of paper.)
* Cover the 5in hexagon squares by simply folding over and tacking the fabric at the back without first cutting the fabric squares into hexagon shapes. You'll notice I don't tack through the papers.
* Use spray starch and steam to press your finished hexagons.
* Fold your background fabric in half horizontally and press along the fold line. Then fold in half vertically and press along this fold line.
* Lay the background fabric out on a surface that's not going to be damaged if a little glue seeps through, or put some sheets of paper underneath for protection. My kitchen bench was just right for this.
* You will now have co-ordinates to guide you as you start by placing your first hexagon at the crossing made by the crease in the centre and lay your hexagons out with a consistently sized small space between them.
* Once you're happy with the distribution of colours or shades you might consider taking a black and white photo, just to check that the tonal values are all you intended.
* Then, starting with the centre hexagon, remove each hexagon and take out the paper.
Normally its much easier to just lever the papers out gently from behind leaving the tacking in place, but for the hexie stars I didn't want the thread left in as it might have been in the way when I gave them my "star" treatment..
* Put a small dot of the glue of your choice on the fabric, about 1/4 inch in from each of the six corners.
The fine applicator tip that comes with the Roxanne's Glue Baste-It makes it so easy to do this neatly without getting your fingers covered in glue.
* Place the hexagon back into position on the quilt top and give those points a little press with your fingers. Repeat this with as many hexagons as you're using.
* By the time you've finished most of the glued points will be dry. Gently lift the quilt top, take it to your ironing board and give it a final press.
* Sandwich your top, batting and backing using your preferred method. I used plenty of safety pins, though I think I was being over-cautious.
* This is where you click on your machine's walking foot and quilt those long, straight lines across the quilt, travelling through each hexagon from point to point, then out the other side and along in the background until you come to the next hexagon. And repeat. In three different directions.
For amazing clarity and just darn prettiness you can't go past Nicole's tutorial at this point. Pop on over. Go on, take your time. I'll just make myself a cuppa while I wait here for you :-)
* This is the point at which you would stop and bind if you were making a Modern Hexagon quilt.
However a Modern Hexagon Star quilt involves a little extra hand sewing. Let me show you how to tweak these hexies into star shapes and create a secondary pattern of circles as well.
If you've been very observant you will have noticed that I've made my hexagons twice as big as those in the original Modern Hexagon quilt. This is because you will need to turn back a folded bias edge and pin it at the mid point, and this is best achieved with longer sides.
* Take a needle and thread in a co-ordinating colour and, burying the knotted end of the thread in the batting, slip stitch the inner curved edge from point to point.
* Continue on around the hexagon, turning and slip stitching one edge at a time while it's held in place by that pin through the centre.
* You'll be surprised how little time this takes (around 10-15 minutes per hexagon, in my experience).
I hope you'll agree the effect is worth it. What a star!
* Bind your quilt using your preferred method. To further emphasise the graduated tones I made my binding from strips of some of the fabrics I had used in the quilt, grouping the darker colours in one corner, near the darkest hexagons, and the lightest ones in the top right hand corner where there's even a creamy white hexagon star.
I just love the texture of that straight line quilting in a grid pattern.
If you make a Modern Hexagon Star quilt using this tutorial I'd really love to see it.
You can tag me on Instagram @darlingdi, or use the hashtags #modernhexiestars or #modernhexiestweaked.
Better still, you can send me a photo by clicking on "Email Me" over on the left, under my profile pic, and I'll share it on my blog.