English Paper Piecing and/or hexagons have been all the rage for a while. As usual I'm late to this party. This week three of us started a fabric exchange. We are exchanging 12″ squares of Civil War-ish reproduction type fabrics in medium and dark flavors. Each of us will make our own version of hexagons stitched into diamond shapes. That's the plan anyway. The background and the path between diamonds will be light fabrics of our own choosing. I plan on cutting hexagons with Scan and Cut by Brother.
English Paper Piecing or Hand Piecing?
My two partners in crime will be stitching their 1″ finished hexagons using the English Paper Piecing method. I will hand piece mine. This means I need to cut the hexagon 1/4″ larger than the finished size. Next I will mark the 1/4″ seam for the piecing line. When I have hand pieced before, I marked only the seam intersections. I estimated the seam allowance. But because these are such small pieces and there are literally thousands of them, more than 3000 to be exact, I prefer to have an accurate line to follow.
I recently purchased a Scan and Cut by Brother. I wanted to start doing more machine applique. The learning curve for the Scan and Cut has been quite small for me. I was quickly able to try out some things and actually get some projects going. Last week I wrote two articles about machine applique. I used the Scan and Cut to prepare most of those appliques. The articles are: Raw Edge Machine Applique and Turn Under Machine Applique.
I discovered the Scan and Cut can actually draw lines with those pens that came in the box. This was interesting but I really got excited when I discovered I could also use any marker or pen that fit in the Universal Pen Holder.
Cutting Hexagons with Scan and Cut
Brother has an online creative software program for Scan and Cut owners. It is called Canvas. I drew a hexagon using the grid. Next I added a 1/4″ all around. You designate which line is the cutting line and which line is the drawing line. Super easy. When I did my first test run I was off just a little. I searched the inter-web to find that a 1″ finished hexagon is 2″ from one point to opposite point. Also, it is 1.73″ from one side to the opposite side. I went back to Canvas, entered the correct numbers and did a second test run. Success! The video below shows the second test run. It gives information on the features I used.
Steps for Cutting Hexagons with Scan and Cut
- Design your hexagon online in Canvas and download the file.
- Prepare your fabric by pressing it and using generous amounts of Faultless Maxx Spray Starch.
- Place the fabric, right side down on the Scan and Cut standard mat. Make sure it is well adhered.
- Using the Universal Pen Holder and a Sharpie Ultra Fine marker, run the machine to Draw the seam lines.
- Replace the Universal Pen Holder with the cutting blade and holder. Run the machine to Cut the outside lines.
Article – Hand Piecing Hexagons: No Papers Needed