Make a “Hypnotic Hexagons” Quilt with Rob!

The hexagon is a super great base layer for
all kinds of fantastic quilts. Today I’m going to walk you through how to make one
that is kind of hypnotic. Let’s get started. That’s right, I’m going to walk you through
making this awesome quilt you see behind me today. And we’re going to actually use triangles
to make our hexagons. So we’re going to start with a strip set rows. And before we
even get too carried away you don’t even know what you need. So let’s talk about
supplies. So I am using this awesome Creative Grids triangle ruler. They come in a lot of
different sizes. Mine is a 12 ½ inch so it spans the entire distance of my strip sets
once they’re made, right? We also need to get ourselves a fantastic solids bundle for
this kind of quilt. Of course you can do this with any fabrics. I’m just going to walk
you through the one I made. This is Robert Kaufman Lavender Fields. And I love it because
you can see that the colors basically gradiate. And that’s one of the tricks to the set
up in our strip set rows. So we’re going to need that. And then just for a little bit
of that modern splash, that modern feel, I added an accent color. This is the cyan. It’s
a fun kind of green, turquoise that I love against the purples. I used it for the binding
and I used it for a few triangles that you see floating around in the quilt. You’re
going to need about a half a yard for that. Hopefully you’ve got all that information.
We also have a cool printable in the link below that will show you the management of
your strip sets. Now you’re totally ready to start your sewing. So you have your strip sets. And you’re
going to make two of every family. And each family has five pieces in it. And so here
you see I have one family and as I pull it aside you’ll see I have identical twins
basically. And these sets are going to graduate from dark down to light as I float through
the sections. And the easiest way to do that is to just take your roll apart and lay it
out as the manufacturer sends it. So we can move these out of the way here. We’ll need
them in a few minutes to show you how to cut. So as I was unpacking this I just found that
I had two of everything in there. And what I’m going to do is I’m just going to unroll
it. And I’ve already started making some of our samples for today’s video out of
the stack. So those ones have been consumed. So as I go through here, I’m pulling out
and I’m pulling out some of my colors like you see. And that one got rearranged for later.
Some of these pieces will have three in them and that’s the bonus where you get some
of that little extra magic happening. So I just go through my whole stack and I pull
them out like this. And then what I’ll do is I’ll find a grouping that looks fantastic
together once they’re all laid across the table. And then I choose those five and like
I said I make two sets just by simply grabbing two pieces. And I’m going to start up at the top. Where
my selvedges are I’m not even going to trim these off at all. I’m just going to use
that edge from the manufacturer. I’m going to bring them to the sewing machine. And one
of the things some of us will struggle with is these long strips of sewing. So I’ve
been working on some techniques. And some of it is how I hold my fabric. And a lot of
it especially if you’re sewing at big tables, I want the weight of my fabric up on my table
here. That’s going to help a lot in these long strips. Now I’m going to go ahead with
a quarter inch seam allowance here. And I’m going to begin sewing. And as I do I’m also
pinching the fabric down together about six inches. I’m going to switch my finger over,
let that float through. Stop. And then I’m just going to realign. And what I’m really
doing is I’m looking at this edge along here to make sure that both of my pieces of
fabric are lined up. And I’m just pinching them. I’m not pushing, I’m not pulling.
And I’m going to sew all the way through those adjusting every six inches or so. And
then that way they all come out really nice at the end. I’ll be back after I get out
of caffeinated mode after I finish this up. When you saw me use the backstitch there even
though I don’t really need to because I’m going to be cutting these strips as they’re
finished down into triangles. However I forgot to point out when you’re going to be cutting
your long rows into other pieces it’s a good idea to shorten your stitch length. So
if your stitches are shorter they’re less likely to come apart after you cut those seams.
It will make sense as you’re working. So I’m at a 2.0 stitch length right now instead
of our normal 2.5. And then as I return over to my pressing station, this is a trick some
of you may or may not know as well, and I like this a lot. What I’m doing is I’m
coming with my right sides together and then as I bring up my nice hot iron I’m actually
coming into my seam now. And I’m basically kind of setting it and then opening over the
edge. And this will also help make a nice crisp seam allowance, a nice sewn set of rows.
And I’m going to press after each sewing. So that, everything is nice when I have all
five colors put together there. So I want to show you how to build these triangles.
We need to get busy on that. So I’m going to not finish sewing all five strip sets into
that, like I said, the printable will show you how to do that. I’ve gotten them already
made over here. And I want to talk a little bit more about
some of the colors and I’ll bring it all back together at the end of the video in front
of the quilt and show you the quilting and the color management and some of the unique
things that happened. But I did mention early that these are a graduation of color, from
dark to light, from dark to light. This one is more subtle, this one offers higher contrast.
They’re both used in the quilt. When we’re looking at this though I want to pick a top
side for where my ruler is going to be working. And if you really want a lot of the hexagons
that form stripes around there, we’re going to need to make sure we cut them so we have
opposites. This will make sense. Now what we’re going to first start doing, I’m
very right handed and I will need a rotary cutter so it’s going to be back here in
my Sew Mando vest here somewhere. It is in the Sew Mando vest somewhere. I was looking
for my other one with the pretty blue handle, silly me. Ok, so here’s what we really want
to do. Now let’s focus. Rob, focus, this is important. We’re going to cut. The lines in the sewing,
the lines in the fabric, I need them to line up with the lines in my ruler so that everything
looks really accurate when I’m done. I’m going to always start with the tip of the
ruler at the top edge of my fabric. And I’m going to run long and that’s ok. All of
my strip sets are the same width, top to bottom. Your first cut, and it’s a good practice
cut. We’re going to take one triangle off but as we do that this triangle here as you
can see from this triangle here. I need a quarter of an inch up here for the way that
the pieces go back together. So we’re not going to cut this line right to the edge.
We’re going to slide over a little bit so I can finish it off later here. And now I’m
looking at that white line on the seam allowance. I’m looking to make sure those lines are
running parallel. If I need to make little bits of adjustment I can with each and every
cut. And here we go. I’m going to cut once through here this way like that. And that’s
freed that up. Now to make the next triangle here I could spin it on a lazy susan which
is a great choice. I’m learning to cut more left handed because that’s the safest way
to do this. And I’m just going to go ahead here. And the reason I don’t want to move
my ruler right now is I have it so accurately placed. Ok, so I made that cut. And this triangle
here has a wide dark strip and a narrow light strip. The next cut will be made using your
ruler by taking the ruler, spinning it around like that, right? That’s super easy. And
remember we need to line up the top of the ruler to keep everything working correctly
with the top edge of the fabric. I’m looking at this line to make sure I’m still accurate.
My next lines I’m looking at are the same lines I was looking at early on. And then
now I’m going to have to cut left handed again. That’s going to get old for me so
at this, after the first cut, I do, I spin it and make a mess. We’ll get rid of those.
And because of that now I can work through right handed for the rest of the project.
But you have to make that first right and left handed cut. Ok so here we are back on target. My tip is
up here, my lines are lining up this way. I’m double checking as I go through here.
And now as I cut this I’m going to end up with a darker narrow and a lighter wide strip.
And what happens there is you’re going to get about five strips, excuse me. Five triangles
out of each one of the strips. That’s why you’re making two so you have plenty of
the matching triangles so that you can make either the checkerboard hexagons like I’ve
got behind me or you can make the strip hexagons like I have behind me. So we just take each
row and cut it down piece by piece. And then I’m stacking my triangles back up in order
so that I can find them later on. It’s easier to work through my design wall time that I
love so much, right? Now as I spin this let’s say we’re having problems. Right now usually
they do but I’m not. But let’s say I was having problems. What would the problems be?
Problems would be is if I’m cutting over here these lines are no longer square within
my ruler lines. And that means my triangles are going to get off. So what I can always
do is I can make a correcting cut over here and fix it along here if necessary. Fortunately
for me I’m going to be able to get one more of these triangles off of here beautifully.
And I’m still just looking at these lines. And they’re running perfectly parallel to
the seam in the strip set and the ruler, so I just cut all the way through like this.
Cutting them down. And at the end I’ll show you, you’re going to have one of those last
triangles. And that’s where I’ll show you how to fix that cut with this ruler so
you’re just one slice away from that here. That was one of my sample squares. This is
awesome. Now check this out. What happens here is I have the cut I just made. Now what
I can do is I’m going to go ahead and use the center line that adds the. Excuse me I’m
going to use the center line which is the straight line here. And I’m going to slide
it down so that the tip lines up up here again. And then I’ve got this line here and I’m
going to cut this line here like this. And now that as that is cut you can see I still
have that quarter of an inch I need necessary to reassemble the rows. Now I’m going to
talk about assembly so that you can see it in the quilt when we get there because it’s
a little tricky mentally. Right, we build these back together in rows
on the design wall. And they are going to go with a short end up against a long end.
That will be placed in there like this, ok? So as these go through all the triangles basically
form back into these rows as they go together for the construction. But follow me now to
the quilt. Let’s talk about some of this awesome stuff that’s happening. One of my
all-time favorites is right here.This is the checkerboard style design, right? And with
this you can see that it kind of rotates its dark and light colors as you go through there
that way. And that is formed by using the same strip set rows. But I’m going dark
to light and light to dark when I build it. Here is the construction of the row. So I’m
bringing half of the hexagon together and the bottom half of the hexagon together in
the next row. So do all of your design first and then the re-sewing of it together. Now
here’s another fun one maybe easiest to see up in here. This one I used all of the
same exact triangles to form a hexagon that has stripes that go around it which I think
it really, really cool, ok? Some of the other things that are going on. I’m using three
and four of the different triangles to form the hexagons to get all the different colors
that are coming together so that it feels similar but it’s giving you a bit of a twist.
Remember the whole concept within this, and I was trying to play with something that would
really kind of mess with our eyes visually within the color and within the layout of
the hexagons themselves. But I also wanted to give myself some place that was really
fun to do the free motion machine quilting on. So the free motion machine quilting we did,
basically started by drawing some lines with my ruler that followed the actual construction
of the hexagons themselves. So you can see some of these lines but they weren’t pronounced
enough. So then I came back in and did a bunch of free motion machine quilting in the background
areas to cause those lines to lift off. And then as you see back here in the alternative
color triangles that I’ve created. This is where I wanted you to really be able to
see the machine stitching. So I put a lot of time and a lot of focus in and also demonstrating
the same motifs you find without the quilt. So I often I know this video is a little bit
like cart in front of the horse style. But I want you to be thinking when you’re doing
these off the wall style designs. I want you to be thinking about the entire process as
you’re building because as you’re sewing these pieces together or as you’re designing
it you could be dreaming, what will the quilting do for this? What will the layout do for this?
What will the binding do for this? I cut the binding for this project halfway the quilt,
I was so excited about that cyan color. Now I promised you construction and we haven’t
finished. So I’ve got one more step to show you. And that is simply sewing these triangles
together and then I’ll let you get into your own design area. So let’s take one we’ll be able to see.
I’m going to use one here that is opposite colors. So when we’re sewing these together
at the machine, it’s just going to be straight lines from tip to tip. That’s why we have
that extra quarter of an inch up there. So I make sure that my lines are going the way
they want. And because they’re triangles I could sew them together like this. I can
sew them together like this. Or I can sew them together like I showed you like this.
And that is the other thing that I was trying to point out with all of the different design
elements that are happening behind me. So let’s do it together like, oh no, let’s
do it together like this so we can see a neat hexagon starting to form when we’re done.
So we’re going to line up these two squared out tips, these two triangle tips down here.
But it’s just the same edge. And at this point what I like to do if possible is I like
to use the actual seam allowances from the strip set rows to make sure I have my marker.
So I’m holding here. I’m also pinching down the row. I don’t know if you can see
all the way through the machine or not. I’ve got that nice little grip. And we’re going
to sew here. And then I’ll pause for a moment. I’ll make sure the next two seams are aligned
if I can especially on the ones where I want the colors to come together nicely. I’ll
sew that together right there. And we’re going to finish out with a nice edge right
there. So you did see me backstitch that. And the backstitching is important on this
part of it because we’re locking those triangles together. Head to the iron after each triangle
you put into. You don’t do this assembly line and just press it. I’m not worried
about pressing the seams open, just one direction, right? And you can probably see here that
hexagon is starting to form together. But I don’t want you to get too focused on the
hexagon. Remember you’re sewing back together the rows you’ve already designed on your
design wall. So one of the next pieces is going to be this
triangle coming back in here to continue on the row. And then let’s talk about those
end pieces really quick, right? Those half triangles we made earlier. These pieces right
here will stitch right in to fill in. And that’s what allows the edges to become square
again in the quilt. And if you look at the quilt real carefully you’ll see I generally
used the same two triangles in each position so that they didn’t distract your eye too
much. They just were kind of the background color there. And then it’s also another
fun place to add in some very basic quilting elements, right? So I certainly hope you’ve been hypnotized
by this crazy hexagon layout. Remember it’s super simple and easy if you just make your
strip set first and cut your triangles. And enjoy your time at the design wall. There’s
a million and one different design opportunities for you. Have fun and we’ll see you next
time at Man Sewing. Thanks for being a Man Sewing fan. It’s
great to have you out there encouraging me to create fantastic new content. If you’ve
missed any of the videos we’ve got links for you here and here. And when you’re checking
those out make sure you’re subscribed. We don’t want you to miss any of the action.