Yay, my first tutorial! Please let me know if there is any part of it that doesn’t make sense to you. Just leave a comment and I can email you back. I have my own unique way of doing things but I have tried to be as detailed/coherent as possible. Also the tutorial will be available as a PDF to download down the bottom of this entry.
This is what your ornament will look like at the end. It can be made using scraps and you can make it as big or as small as you like. If you leave out the loop of ribbon it works really well as a pincushion too. My hexagons were 1″ which means each side was 1″ long and the height and width was 5″. This is a big size but works well for both an ornie or pincushion.
Assemble your scraps, 14 precut paper hexagons (I cheated and bought mine in a pack of 100 from a craft shop. You can buy them online from here for a really good price and the time/effort you save is SO worth it!! Plus you can reuse them several times each), ribbon for the loop, thread, needle, scissors and pins. For reference I made 4 striped, 4 linen and 6 floral hexagons for my ornament.The fabric is Heather Bailey’s Freshcut range and brown linen. Make sure your thread blends well with your fabric scraps.
Pin a hexagon onto a fabric scrap. You can fussy cut it if your scrap is big enough, so your hexagon will show the best part of the fabric design. Cut around the sides leaving 1/4″ of fabric all around, like this:
Fold one side of fabric over the hexagon and finger press it down flat. Do this for the next edge and where they cross over tack the fabric down through the pentagon with a stitch. Like this:
Do this all around the paper piece – fold each side down and tack it in place with thread at the corners. You can put more stitches around each side if you want to. Make a knot at the end and cut the thread. Knotting isn’t necessary but one small knot makes me feel better about my fabric holding as a learner. Later on I’ll just leave a long thread tail. This is called ‘letting your tail wag’. Remove the pin when you’re done, put your pentagons in a little pile as you finish each one and admire your talent.
Repeat this for all 14 hexagons and when they are all done lay them out in whatever order you want your ornament to be in.
With a slip stitch sew one side of each outer ‘petal’ to the central hexagon.
At this point if your paper pieces are a bigger size it may begin to get a little tricky. Just rearrange it in your hand as you sew. When they are all attached to the central part you can now cut the tacking on the central hexagon and remove the paper piece. This is what you’ll now have:
The empty middle piece will make it easier to fold the ‘flower’ in half to sew the side of each petal to the one next to it. When you’ve sewn all ‘petals’ to the ones next to them you’ll end up with one side of the ornament in a complete piece. Repeat for the other side. When you have both sides done put them right sides together, take a loop of ribbon, sandwich it in the middle with the ends of the ribbon coming out past the edges of the top of the ornament. Make sense? Tack it in place to hold it steady if you need to or start slip stitching the top side together a little before putting the ribbon loop in place. Like this:
Now your two sides are held in place by one seam and your loop is attached. Next you need to start sewing around the whole thing, leaving the last two seams open. You can leave two sides open down the bottom if you’d prefer – it’s a little less obvious than having the opening at the top. And once each ‘petal’ has been completely stitched around all six sides of it you can cut the tacking and remove the paper piece from it. This is what you’ll end up with:
BUT one thing I learnt: (see the picture with markings) Do not end your threads at the middle of the V (#2 in the picture).
When you get to these points make sure you reinforce them with an X-stitch and knot. It sounds like overkill but if you don’t reinforce them you’ll end up with holes at those points on the finished ornament like this:
At this point you’ll still have two pieces of paper attached on each side of the opening. Iron your ornament, taking extra care to really flatten the two sides not sewn shut. They need to maintain their folds when you turn the ornament. Now you can remove the last paper pieces and turn the ornament right sides out. (Trim some of the edges first if you want but I didn’t find it made a difference). Iron it nice and flat again – again paying extra attention to those unsewn sides. You may need to pin the folds down. Stuff your ornament and slip stitch it closed. If my instructions made sense you’ll now have a cool new ornament or pincushion.
I chose neutral Healther Bailey fabrics because I like having ornaments up all year but you could do Christmas fabrics or all basic colours or whatever you want. You can sew beads all around the edges too to hide the seam and make it sparkle. Smaller ones would work well in a garland too. Use your imagination!
Here’sthe PDF: paper-pieced-hexagon-flower-ornament-tutorial for you to download and share. And if you have any feedback on this tutorial please leave a comment and let me know!