Saturday, 24 January 2015

Hexie Piecing #1 - Invisible Stitch Method

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Let me just say I'm really no expert in paper piecing having taken it up fairly recently, but I've settled into a method which seems to yield good consistent results without the visible stitches that I've seen in lots of other examples so I thought I'd take a few snaps and share it with you lovely folks.

Of course that's not to say there's anything wrong with the stitches showing! It's just a matter of preference and the finish you're after. In fact it can be quite lovely as a little nod to the hours spent piecing them together by hand, but this following method is what I've personally settled on.

So firstly basting / tacking depending on your preferred terminology. Sort of reinventing the wheel here but hey -for the sake of being thorough I'll go with it (You can use a glue pen for this stage but I've yet to try that myself).

So you start by centering the template and folding over one edge. Fold the next edge, neatly wrapping the corner, then take a little stitch where they meet leaving a short tail. Take another stitch in the same spot to secure the thread (or knot for extra security).

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Move to the next corner and repeat, neatly folding the corner and taking two stitches to secure until you've worked around the whole shape. Take a double stitch (or tie off) and snip.

Keeping your stitches close to the outer edge will make removing the templates a little easier leaving the basting stitches intact. This helps to keep all of the tiny seam allowances nicely in place.

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk


Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

When it comes to assembling I've seen a ladder stitch recommended for invisible stitches. I often use it for hand sewing binding or turning holes so thought I'd give it a try but I have to say I wasn't so enamored with the finish. A 'Whip Stitch' is stronger and seems to be general preference.

Now here's the trick! 

Most articles I've read suggest stitching through only the tiniest margin of fabric -a few threads only. You want to avoid hitting the paper but I've found that biting into the fabric a little more (consistency is important here!) yields better invisible seams.

So start with your pieces right sides facing as shown below and take a stitch through both right at the corner. You can simply take another stitch in the same place to secure, or again tie it off for extra strength. Then take a little stitch back to front, back to front every few millimeters being sure to keep the stitches nice and taut.

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Like I said, stitch consistency is important with both depth and spacing. It takes me a couple to settle into a rhythm. When you reach the other corner you can finish up using your preferred method of tying or stitching and snip.

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Hexie Paper Piecing - My method for invisible stitches http://www.stokescroftstitching.blogspot.co.uk

Ah, Pretty! And not a stitch in sight. I've another Hexie post in the making with a little method for matching up corner points but as it's the weekend I feel I've done enough photo editing for one day!

By the way my lovely birthday pressie Liberty hexies (which I keep banging on about) are from Very Berry Fabrics. Anyone else tackling paper piecing? Or have your own tried and tested methods? I'd love to hear them!

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