Mini and Micro Hexagons

Micro Minis

Mini and micro hexagons belong to the extreme quilting disciplines. Especially micro hexagons (1/4") really are a challenge. Initially it feels as if you have absolutely nothing between your fingers.

But when you are more used to their size, or lack of it, mini and micro hexagons are a very effective way of using up approximately 1" square (which means 1" square unfinished size!) scraps.

For very small shapes such as 1/4" and 1/2" hexagons, the usual techniques used in English Paper Piecing (pinning and basting, German technique known as 'Lieseln') are not very practical. Neither pins nor small pegs can be attached to help the basting process.

Years ago, Jutta developed a technique using a spray-on glue invented for graphic designers. The spray allows you to fix pieces of paper to other surfaces temporarily. 

The mini and micro hexagons make splendid “take along” projects for doctor's appointments, for your children’s soccer practice, or for travelling in buses, trains or even planes. Although we wouldn’t want to stake our lives on this, lately, we have again been allowed on planes with sewing needles and a (small!) pair of scissors… But be warned: Be prepared to be stared at!

Materials needed:

  • English Paper Piecing Templates: Hexagons 1/2" and 1/4"
  • flat box and piece of cardboard that fits into the box
  • rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • small ruler
  • a can of Spray Mount by 3M
  • face mask, gloves

Materials and Tools

CAUTION:

Read the safety instructions on the Spray Mount can carefully before proceeding. Only work in a well ventilated area and wear mask and gloves. If out of doors, check where the wind is coming from and always spray downwind (in the same direction as the wind is blowing).

Technique: 

Preparation

  • Take the piece of cardboard and spray it lightly with Spray Mount.

Spray Cardboard

  • Stick the hexagon paper pieces onto the cardboard. Spray the hexagons with Spray Mount (do not spray your fingers or any other part of body or clothing!). Wave the cardboard until the glue layer is dry. Lightly tap the hexagons to test stickyness. They should adhere firmly to a piece of fabric, but you should be able to pull them off without too much effort. No Spray Mount residue should remain on the fabric (if it does, you have sprayed too much glue onto the paper pieces).

Spray Hexagons

  • Remove one hexagon and put it on the fabric remnant with the sticky side down.

Remove one Hexagon

Place on Fabric

  • Cut round the hexagon using a ruler and rotary cutter. Scissors will also do as the cut does not have to be accurate. This is especially useful if you have taken this project on holiday where cutting mat and cutter might be impractical.

Cut

  • Repeat until either the paper pieces or the fabric scraps have been used up.
  • Store the paper-fabric-hexagons in a little box or container.

Paper Fabric Hexagons

Sewing

  • Take two hexagons and place them right sides together.

Sewing

  • Finger press to fold over the seam allowance.

Sewing

  • Start whip stitching at one corner of the hexagons. Make dense and regular stitches.

Sewing

Sewing

  • Sew to the next corner and unfold the two hexagons.

Sewing

  • Take another hexagon and align it with the first hexagon. Again stitch from one corner to the next corner.

Sewing

  • Continue sewing according to the pattern of your project.

Our advice:

If you decided on the same New Year's resolution as Jutta (which is to sort scraps into their respective categories and process them up to a ready-to-use state immediately after they appear) you might like our advice: 

Take a flat box with a lid, cut a piece of cardboard exactly the size of the interior of the box. Then cut off one corner of the cardboard so that you can lift it out of the box more easily. Prepare cardboard and hexagons as described above and keep the cardboard with the sticky hexagons attached in the box with the lid closed. This prevents the sticky surface accumulating dust and little pieces of thread and fabric.

Whenever there are scraps to be turned into fabric-paper hexagons, you will have the sticky paper pieces ready in your box.


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