I’m really thrilled to show you this hexagon quilt tutorial today.
The hexagon quilt pattern is one of my all-time favorite “one patch” designs, which means the entire quilt top is made up of only one type of patch.
In this lesson, I’ll show you how to stitch hexagon blocks together using the more traditional way.
The “Y seam” approach is the name for this technique.
After learning these methods, my goal for this lesson is for you to be able to build an easy hexagon quilt.
A Brief History of the Hexagon Quilt
Hexagon quilts, dubbed “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” in the 1930s, have always been a favorite in the United States.
According to quilt specialists, the first hexagon template was unearthed in England in 1770. By 1803, the hexagonal pattern had become one of the most popular in England.
In 1835, Godey’s women’s journal published the Hexagon pattern for this block, which included detailed directions for the paper-piecing construction process.
Supplies You Need for Your Hexagon Quilt
- Fabric for the quilt top, backing, and binding is required for your hexagon quilt. The amount will differ depending on the size of your project and the size of your hexagons.
- Board for cutting
- Cutter rotary
- a six-sided ruler (or a hexagon outline printed out on cardstock)
- a writing instrument
- Machine for sewing
- Ironing board and ironironing board
“How many hexagons does it take to make a quilt?” you might ask. After that, I’d want to ask you a few questions:
- How big do you want your hexagons to be?
- How big do you want your quilt to be?
I’m making a baby quilt for my project, and I’ll give the dimensions of the quilt and the size hexagon I used, but you can change this to match your project’s needs.
I want my finished quilt to be 47″ x 47″, so I’ll be cutting 3 12″ hexagon blocks with a 3 12″ hexagon ruler. The 3 12″ refers to the length of one side of the hexagon, not the total width. The resulting hexagons will have 3 14″ sides once they are put together. I cut 77 hexagons measuring 3 12″ in diameter.
How to Make a Hexagon Quilt Step-by-Step (The “Y Seam” Method)
Step 1: Cut out your hexagons.
Cut out your hexagons with your hexagon ruler. I prefer to cut strips to the width that my blocks require. They needed to be 6 12″ broad in this example. Then I used those strips to make hexagons.
It’s fine if you don’t have a ruler. You may find free hexagon templates online and print one out. Just make sure it’s the appropriate size. I recommend printing it on cardstock rather than standard printer paper because it is much more durable. You could also print it on standard printer paper, trace it on cardboard, and cut it out.
Step 2: Mark your ¼” seam allowance marks.
This step is critical and will greatly assist you in sewing your hexagons together. 14″ from the edge, make a little dot in each of your six corners.
These markers will aid you in sewing together your hexagons and provide accurate “Y”s for your quilt top.
I punched holes in my hexagon ruler, but the similar effect may be achieved by cutting a hexagon out of cardboard and punching holes in the corners. Alternatively, you could simply measure 14 inches from either side in each corner with a conventional straight edge ruler.
Step 3: Create your layout for your quilt top.
As you decide out the layout and design of your quilt, this step is the most enjoyable. Keep in mind that sewing your columns (vertical rows) together is the next step.
After you’ve decided on a layout, stack your columns neatly so they’re easy to transport to your sewing machine.
Step 4: Sew your columns.
Place the right sides of your first two hexagons together. Your marks will be visible on the top hexagon. Begin stitching on that spot, being careful not to backstitch past it.
Now stitch until the end of that side’s mark. You’ll have a 14-inch open seam on both ends of your seam, which is exactly what you want.
Continue to add hexagons to your column until it is completed. To finish all of your columns, repeat this procedure. Along the way, double-check that all of your seams have a 14-inch open end.
Step 5: Press all your seams to one side.
You can press all of your seams on either side. To make the step more achievable, make sure they’re all pressed in the same direction.
Step 6: Sew your columns together.
This step may be confusing if you haven’t done it previously. But believe me when I say that if you tackle it one seam at a time, it’s not only simple but also enjoyable.
I like to start by laying out my first two columns and double-checking that everything is in order.
Then I stitch my first seam by flipping it over so the right sides are touching. The initial seam is marked by a red dotted line.
You can see where my next seam should go when I flip my column back over. Another red dotted line draws attention to them.
This is how the back of your blocks should look after you’ve sewed a few seams.
Complete this step to finish the column, then attach the remaining columns.
Remember to align your columns first to ensure that you begin with the correct seam. Don’t worry if you start on the wrong seam by accident; a seam ripper will take care of it.
Step 7: Pressing all those lovely little seams.
I know this step seems tiresome, but properly pressing your seams makes all the difference. The “Y” seam section is the most significant component. There are a few options for making things lay flat.
I’ve discovered that opening up just the “Y” area of the seam is the best method to get them to lay flat. I’ll “flower out” the three different fabrics that meet in the “Y” by wriggling my finger in between them.
Then, very carefully (you don’t want to burn your fingers), iron the little “Y” seam blossom you’ve made.
I like to press the rest of the regular seams to one side to keep them as consistent as possible. But if a seam truly wants to lean in the “wrong” direction, I’ll let it happen.
Step 8: Trim excess fabric.
Some excess points and half hexagons protrude from the quilt’s perimeter, as shown in the photo above. You’ll want to clip all of that away with a straight edge ruler and a rotary cutter to give your quilt excellent straight edges.
That’s all there is to it! A beautiful, thrilling quilt top that has been assembled and pressed to show off all of the fine, crisp “Y” seams. This project can be quilted and bound in any way you want.
With my quilting, I like to imitate the hexagon shape. It gives it a fantastic modern feel and brings out the hexagon shape even more.