Hexagons in Quilts

QuiltNotes Learning Center

Last Updated March 07, 2018

Hexagons, also known as “hexies”, and quilts go back a few centuries according to the article, Quilt Patterns Through Time: Hexagon, Honeycomb and Grandmother’s Flower Garden at Womanfolk.com. A multitude of designs can be made from hexagon shapes because there are six sides. Construction of hexagon shapes most often requires them to be sewn side to side. The opportunity for design comes into play with the colors and textures of the fabrics. Hexagons in quilts can be hand pieced, paper pieced, appliqued and machine pieced to name a few. I have even seen no-sew hexagons using fusible fleece and modern hexagons that are basted then topstitched on a foundation. Find them on my Pinterest Hexagon Board below.

Here are some pictures from my Pinterest Hexagons in Quilts Board showing hexagons in quilts and in other applications. Scroll through the pictures here or click to follow on Pinterest.

My Hexagon Project

In February 2018 I started one of my bucket list quilts. I am using 1″ finished hexagons. The fabrics are Civil War-ish reproductions. Two of my friends and I are trading fabrics to get more variety. My version has a center with two rounds of hexagons. The connector or pathway fabric is a navy blue and white shirting.

hand piecing hexagons in quilts with connector

Here is the setting so far.

adding the hexagon diamond units for more hexagons in quilts

I have a really long way to go for the king size I want to make. The hexagons are marked and cut using the Scan and Cut. I am hand piecing everything. You can keep track of my progress by clicking on the article below.

ArticleHand Piecing Hexagons: No Papers Needed

Cutting Hexagons

Most often hexagons are cut using a rotary cutter or scissors. There are many different ways to achieve the same result but I will show you two ways here.

Cutting Hexagons With the Scan and Cut

For my Diamond Hexagon project I am cutting and marking the hexagons using the Scan and Cut. Here is a short video showing one of my test runs.

I have learned that the cutting blade needs to be calibrated every once in a while to keep the seam allowance even. I like to have the seam lines marked for hand piecing. The article below gives more information about using the Scan and Cut to cut and mark hexagons.

ArticleMarking and Cutting 1″ Hexagons With Scan and Cut

Cutting Hexagons With Templates

Another way to cut hexagons is with templates. Use a rotating cutting mat to make the job go faster and more efficient. I am starting another hexagon project but right now it’s just in my head. I will use templates to cut that project because the hexagons are much larger.

Mark the points only for machine piecing. There is no need to mark the seam lines. The article below shows how to cut hexagons with templates and two ways to mark them.

ArticleHow To Cut Hexagons With Templates

Hand Piecing Hexagons

Here is a video and article showing how I hand piece the 1″ hexagons for the Diamond Hexagon quilt.

ArticleHow to Hand Piece Hexagons

Machine Piecing Hexagons In Quilts

Because hexagons have inset seams, many quilters shy away from them. Inset seams are your friend. Mark a few points then stitch between. That’s all it takes to sew inset seams.

Finally, here is a video and article showing how to machine piece hexagons.

ArticleHow to Machine Piece Hexagons

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