How to Hand Piece Hexagons

QuiltNotes Learning Center

Last Updated March 02, 2018

In this article and video I show you how to hand piece hexagons. Throughout my quilting career I have tried hand piecing a few times. I love it because it’s simple. Hand piecing brings instant progress but I have yet to finish a project.  I see all the hexagon quilts, from old classics to the modern versions. I want to make a hexagon quilt. English Paper Piecing is not my thing. I tried it but got frustrated working with those tiny pieces of paper. Mostly I didn’t like it because my whip stitch….is terrible! I don’t think my heart is in it. Since I started my hand piecing hexagon project I am rediscovering what I love about hand piecing.

Hexagons and hand piecing quilts have been around for centuries. The simple geometric shape with six sides gives quiltmakers endless possibilities in design. Knowing how to hand piece hexagons is a chance to simplify our quilting projects. Hand piecing is so portable. Here is project bag I keep in my purse.

hexagon project bag

You never know when you’ll have a few minutes to stitch a few hexagons!

How to Hand Piece Hexagons

Hand Piecing Supplies

Compared to machine piecing, hand piecing is easy, inexpensive and portable. Here is a list of supplies:

Thread

Use a good quality cotton or polyester. I use Aurifil 50wt cotton because that’s what I have at home. For hand piecing, Aurifil recommends the 40wt or 28wt cotton thread. Check out the Aurifil web page for thread recommendations for all stitching techniques –Aurifil Thread Recommendations. Here is a video from that page for hand piecing thread.


Sharp Scissors

Use a small scissors with a very sharp point. Embroidery scissors are great for this. Here are two scissors from Gingher.

Needles

I use quilting betweens size 10. These are shorter and I find them easier to work with.

Assortment of needles for hand piecing.

Thimble

I have seen many quilters use a sewing needle without a thimble. I am not able to do this. There are many different styles. If you have long fingernails, look for a thimble with an opening for them. I went through a lot of trial and error with thimbles. I spent a lot of money and found that an inexpensive, metal thimble with a flat top and deep grooves worked best for me.

Assortment of thimbles for hand sewing.

Sewing Pins

My favorite sewing pins are Easy Grasp from Dritz.

Tools for Marking Seam Allowances

For marking seam lines I use a mechanical pencil and the Perfect Piecer by Jinny Beyer.

Additional Reading

Hand Piecing Hexagons: No Papers Needed

Marking and Cutting 1″ Hexagons with Scan and Cut

Simplify Quiltmaking, Hand Piecing and Hand Quilting

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