Using the Hugs ‘n Kisses pre-cut hexies available in three sizes from www.hugsnkisses.net this is the simplest most therapeutic method of making addictive hexies on the planet. it can be used for any paper piecing project – if not one of our pre-cut shapes and sizes just print or trace your shapes onto Hugs ‘n Kisses appliqué paper sheets, cut out and use in the exact same way.
Position your precuts shiny side down (the paper has a shiny (glue) side and a matt side) on the wrong side of your chosen fabric. You can use scraps, stripes, motifs, whatever you like. You don’t need to worry about grain, and as the paper is semi transparent you can position to fussy cut motifs, line-up stripes etc.
You only need to leave about a large 1/4” seam allowance between shapes for turning. For small hexies, even smaller is fine.
Fuse with a hot iron until the glue has melted and the shape has fused to the fabric. (note: you can over heat and crystallise the glue – if you do manage to ‘muck up’ your glue, just use a bit of glue pen to hold your shape – don't waste it!)
cut out roughly with a pair of scissors – no, you don't need a plastic template, a rotary cutting mat or cutter – of course if you already have one you could cut your fabrics several layers at a time then just fuse a paper shape to the back. But the seam allowances do not need to be accurate – the template is fused so it stays and maintains your exact shape and size. It doesn't move as you glue your edges. So just take your stack of fused fabrics in the car, to church, to the school meeting, to your lounge chair – and cut away… I looove and only use the Karen Kay Buckley scissors to cut my fused shapes now.
We now use a fabric glue pen – pictured is the Sewline brand but any brand that looks like this is fine. The ‘stickiness’ of this glue is perfect for and instant push and hold, it is removable and then will wash out at the end so no harm to your project. Plus its nice and thin so no sticky fingers.
fold the fabric with your thumb until you feel the edge of your paper and then push down onto the glue. Now this paper is not as thick as some other EPP precut shapes/cards – so you need to take care not to roll the edge of the paper in as you fold. Just feel that edge, then push down onto the glue. Yes you want to be as accurate as you can be but there is plenty of room for adjustments in further steps with this method. – it is very forgiving.
Now we would join all of our hexie together…
Generally I do this by hand and use a Superior Bottomline lightweight polyester thread. Nice and strong, nice and fine and it just sink into the weave of the fabric. I always use a red for reds, but for most other colours use a blender colour such as cream, grey, khaki or flesh..
I also use Hugs ‘n Kisses appliqué needle – it is shorter and stronger than the straw or milliner needles many use for EPP so it doesn't bend quite as easily (I cannot personally work with a bent needle although many don't mind them) – but most importantly – it has a large eye – so is much easier to thread. And it is still fine enough for lovely invisible appliqué and EPP piecing stitches.
Use your normal preferred method of joining – I’ll give a quick peek at mine below..
Place two hexies right sides together with the edges even. position them in your left hand between forefinger and thumb (if you are right handed) with the flat edge you are going to stitch along the top edge of your forefinger.
Knot your thread and take it under the seam allowance half way along an edge bringing it up at the exact corner point.
Do not pull the first stitch too tightly. Now take it through that corner point again – in exactly the same place. Don't pull all the way through and you will have a loop. Take the needle through the loop and then pull tight to knot.
begin stitch along the top edge – if you have positioned it correctly the needle will run along the top of your finger and just catch the two egdes – to go too deep (and have stitches showing) you will have to go through your finger! The needle should pass at right angles to the edges so the stitches on the front are the smallest possible with the angled movement of thread on the back.
Use your thumb nail to hold those edges locked in tight to your finger so that they cannot flap around and the needle goes exactly where you want it to.. you will get quite quick at this. continue until you reach the other end of your seam. (note: if your gluing has not been 100% perfect now is the time to fix this.. when you get about half way along check ot see if the end corners match – if not ease them into fit now and stitch to the end. you may have a little pucker but once you hit it with a bit of steam it will flatten out perfectly.)
The last stitch should go right into the two points at the end of your seam. take a second stitch through these two points, take the needle through the loop and pull tight to knot once again.
Once your motif is complete you would now normally remove your tacking or pull up your glued edges and remove the papers. This causes the seam allowances to fray and you lose all stability of your shape. We just leave them in.. perfectly stable and ready to either join to other motifs or appliqué onto a background.
Now because the papers do not need to be removed you can actually also join these if you were in a real hurry or are not a hand stitcher, by machine.
I use a Monopoly thread (in top and bottom), an open toed embroidery foot and a blind hem or small zig zag stitch.
how much easier can it get? once you try these iron ons you will never go back to papers… I hope you enjoy them!
hugs and happy hexing