Saturday, December 31, 2011

3D Hexagon Project - Instructions - Part 1 of 3

Welcome to a

 3D Hexagon - Easy Y Seams

 Table Runner Project 

Part 1 of 3

By Paco Rich

This project is set up so that the most novice quilter may be able to follow along. We are all here to learn something new. It is important that you read through every part, as I feel every piece of information mentioned in this project will help make your learning experience a great one. I am here to help you learn, so please ask me questions!!! **Click on any image to see them larger...

This project is broken up into 3 sections: supplies, cutting directions & assembly.

Throughout this project, we will become comfortable with picking our fabrics. We will learn two ways to cut half hexagons. We will learn one way to cut diamonds. We will go through the steps for piecing together 3D Hexagons using the Easy Y Seams method. We will learn one way to nest your seams to line up points and reduce the bulkiness at your points. By the end of this project, you will have finished a table runner top measuring about 10" wide by 34" long. You will also leave with the skills needed to tackle any Y Seam you come across, such as tumbling blocks and six pointed stars. 

Basic Supplies:
Sewing Machine
Sewing Notions - scissors, straight pins
Cutting Mat 
Rotary Cutter - New blade - because life is easier!
Fine Point Fabric Marking Tool - I like the FriXion pens
Thread - best if it matches one of your fabrics - I tend to pick thread that matches my light fabric.
Starch - use your favorite brand - we will be sewing on biased edges, so I recommend you starch your fabric before you cut. **see below on Starching the Fabric...

It is not necessary to have a special 60° equilateral ruler to cut a 60° angle, but cutting accurately is an important step. This project gives you an excuse to buy a cool new ruler (Shop Local!) or use the cool 60° triangle ruler you bought long ago. I have written this tutorial based off the Creative Grids 60° Equilateral Triangle Ruler.
60° Triangle Ruler with 1/4" increment markings
Important: There are many triangle shape rulers out there. If you are going to use a triangle ruler, the triangle ruler must be a 60° ruler. I just learned of a Tri Recs ruler, which has two 63° angles and it will not work. If you have a triangle ruler and you are unsure, send me a picture and we will figure it out together. :-)

Update: Since starting this project two weeks ago, I have learned there is an enormous amount of different kinds of 60° equalateral triangle rulers out there! AND they all have different measurement increments! Who knew! As long as you know it is a 60° triangle ruler, you should be able to use it, you will first have to measure to find the right horizontal line to use. Pictured below are just a few!

If you are like me and don't have easy access to purchase a 60° triangle ruler right away, a square/rectangle ruler that has a 60° line on it will work just as well.
This ruler has a 30° line, a 45° line, and a 60° line.

As there are 2 different rulers we can use to cut our shapes, I will cover both techniques next week... 

A 24" long ruler to help you cut out long strips.
A ruler that has a 3" line - your 24" long ruler may have this...

Fabric Supplies: 
You will need 3 different fabrics - a dark, a medium and a light. The 3 fabrics can be all of one color (ie: all green) OR you can have one focus fabric with two coordinating colors, OR you could even pick 3 scrappy colors, as long as one is dark, one is medium and one is light.

Use your smartphone to take a picture of all 3 fabrics together. Change the photo to a black and white photo (some phones remove the color) and you will see the tone. If all three fabrics look the same in the black and white photo, you will have trouble achieving the Wow! 3D look. **If you need me to change your photo to black and white, upload it to the group page and I will be happy to do that for you! Your fabric selection experience will help others. :-)


Notice how the coral and green are almost the same tone in the black and white photo? If you look at the pieced runners above, you will notice the green/coral grape runner does not give off a strong Wow! 3D feel as compared to the other two. You want to look for fabrics that have a nice balance between dark, medium, and light.

The grey in the photo was almost the same as my other fabric once I changed it to a black and white photo, so I opted to leave it out.
Fabrics can be different colors and still have the same tone. You want to avoid fabrics with the same tone as you will not get the "Wow! 3D" look. Here is an example:
Check out the two blocks in the middle row. I have green, brown and white fabric in the first one and green, brown and yellow in the second. They are different colors, but they just don't give you that same "Wow! 3D" look as the blocks in the top and bottom rows. 
When the photo is changed to black and white, you are able to see why, the green and brown for the middle rows are the same tone... I would consider switching out one of the dark fabrics for a medium fabric.

How Much Fabric:
From each of the three fabrics you will need at least: 
14" x WOF - This includes fabric for the triangles in between the hexagons.

Extra fabric for binding and backing is needed. 
Backing: at least 14" x WOF. 
Binding using 2.5" half fold method: at least 8" x WOF.

Something to think about: If you have a focus fabric and want to fussy cut a particular section, plan on having more focus fabric.

Starching the Fabric - optional, but highly recommended:
Because 60° Triangles, Diamonds and Hexagons are sewn on biased edges, it is highly recommended that you starch your fabric before you cut. The starch will help adhere the fibers in your fabric together so that when you are working with the pieces, the fraying and stretching of the cut pieces will be reduced.

Leave the fabric folded in half, with the selvages together. 

Lay it on the board and spray with starch. Give the fabric a second or two to absorb the starch. Press, not iron, by lifting the iron up and moving to a new area on the fabric. Repeat until fabric is pressed dry.

After starching one side, flip the fabric over and repeat for the other side. Repeat until all 3 fabrics are starched.

Please, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Fabric selection plays a large part in making this project look Wow! 3D!

Click here to go to
Part 2: Cutting Directions


  1. What does WOF mean. I imagine it means width of fabric, but I'm new at this so I thought I would ask.

    1. I think it is awesome you are asking! Yes, Width Of Fabric. Most fabric widths are between 42 to 45 inches.

  2. Thank you for sharing it is a wonderful project.

  3. I have three fat quarters 19 inches by 24 inches, would this work?
    thanks Ruth

    1. Hi Ruth! You should have enough to make the 3D hexagons, but I am not sure about the set in triangles. Depending on your fabrics, you could always try to find something that matches.