Sunday, January 1, 2012

More sewing with templates…

I am the worst blogger EVER! I hate to just post pictures without some explanation and then convince myself I haven’t got the time. But this post should be short and sweet. I’m hoping to explain how to use the Marti Michell templates to machine piece hexagons. This will save you heaps of time rather than hand piecing over papers…

stripper set templates

I gave the Marti Michell 2 1/2” Stripper Set a go to make this iPad case for Justine. She loves the Anna Maria Horner Loulouthi range and had a FQ bundle she hadn’t got around to using yet.

Justine's B'day pressieIMG_3313

I cut a 2 1/2” strip from every piece and chose one of the larger scale prints to line the case.

Cutting the hexagons from the strip was really easy, perfect for using up those favourite jelly rolls!

cutting hexagons

Place the 2a hexagon template on the strip and use a sharp 28mm rotary cutter to cut the hexagon. You can stack the fabric strips and cut multiple pieces, this makes the cutting go real quick. Isn’t that fabric pretty!!

Unfortunately I haven’t got a fast way to mark the dots. Use a sharp pencil, I use a regular HB pencil, anything too soft may spread and mark lighter colours. This is a little tedious but unless you can eyeball the 1/4” seam allowance where it meets at each point of the hexagon (perfectly) I wouldn’t skip this step. It really helps when you’ve got the fabric bunched under the presser foot and can’t work out where to stop sewing.

marking the sewing dots

Next it’s time to take your hexies over to the machine. You can pick up pieces randomly or play around till you like how they look together. I felt they needed a little resting spot every now and again so added a few grey hexies.

Sewing the hexies… Set your stitch length to slightly smaller than usual, I use a 2mm length stitch. It gives you more control when it comes to stopping on the dot and the seams are tighter. You don’t want these gaping apart!

sewing hexies dot to dot

Place two hexies right sides together and lower your needle exactly on the top dot. Give your machine a little kiss if it has an automatic knotting function now! Otherwise you will need to make a couple of zero length stitches before continuing. Sew right up to the next dot and again make a knot (zero stitches) before cutting your thread. It’s best to sew just short of the dot rather than go past it and sew into the seam allowance.

To make a pieced section of hexagons like I did for J’s iPad case I sewed rows of hexies together end to end. Then I sewed the rows together in pairs, fours etc.

two rows of hexies

The next step is a little tricky to get your head around so it helps to lay the rows out and match the first seam you will sew. You are sewing between the dots, make sure to keep all extra fabric out of the way. Tie off at each seam and then pivot to sew the next one and so on until you are done.

sewing rows togethersewing hexie rows together

There’s no need to press till you finish sewing your rows together. Then you need to pay a little bit of attention to the seams. Alternate the direction each seam is pressed so that you end up with “swirled” seams where the y seams meet. This will reduce the bulk at the seam and help you achieve a nice flat piece of patchwork.

back machine pieced hexies before pressingback of machine pieced hexiesfinished machine pieced hexies

I know, it’s a little slow and hardly seems worth the bother the first few times but really keep going, imagine how long it would take to sew all these hexies together by hand?

Once I had enough pieced fabric to make the case I used a few tutorials to construct the case.

The Sometimes Crafter  : kindle case tutorial

Greenleaf Goods : Quilted iPad Cover

You Sew Girl : Magnetic clasp instructions

Since then I’ve also made myself a Kindle Case, using the triangle template in the 2 1/2” Strippers set. This was a very quick project and I love having something I’ve made to protect and distinguish my e-reader from all the others.



  1. Thanks Lorena! Your iPad case looks very good, I love the fabrics you used!

  2. wow, beautiful cases, and thanks for the step by step on the hexies.
    I am a horrible blogger too.

  3. goodness. I have some templates and never noticed the holes... thank you! I am going to try the machine stitching without clinching my teeth in fear, ha!