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the latest pre-cut

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Are you a nut for those gorgeous pre-cut bundles that every quilt store puts out to tempt us? I know we could cut them easily enough ourself, but we’d never get the little sample of every fabric in the line without driving some poor salesperson nuts cutting little bits for us. And the ladies behind us in line would be shooting daggers at us with their eyes. So much time is saved when someone else (actually some computerized machine) has done all the cutting for us. And then there are all the beautiful patterns written specifically for pre-cuts…I could go on and on.

It seems, from the ads I’m seeming of late in the newest quilting mags, that a new pre-cut is coming along–pre-cut hexagons. Don’t flinch at the thought of sewing those. They don’t require hand stitching. Here’s a free pattern and a very nice video (click here) of how to make a grandmother’s flower garden quilt from hexagons completely done on the machine. A little marking of your sewing machine’s bed and you’re good to go. Another traditional pattern, ready to be made in modern fabrics, with a modern technique. How cool is that?!

Moda’s got them now, but you know it won’t be long until the other fabric companies come out with their versions. Here’s the video of Moda’s Lissa Alexander talking about them and giving her hints at QuiltCon: click here.

And certainly you needn’t buy the hexagons pre-cut. What a great way to use up scraps–cut them into hexagons! If you own a 60 degree ruler or are proficient at flipping your regular rulers around, you can easily cut perfect hexagons from a folded strip. There are specialty rulers around that are made specifically for cutting hexagons as well. Just be certain where to measure for sizing your hexagons. Sometimes the given size of a hexagon is measured from point to point (ex. the 6″ Moda Honeycombs are measured that way) and sometimes, particularly for the hexagon rulers, they are measured flat side to flat side so you can cut them from strips. If you remember your trig from high school you can make the conversions back and forth! (oh no! some math! yikes!) Here’s a little worksheet to help you get started-now don’t freak out, I’m giving you advance warning. It does look like a math worksheet from your past! hexagon math I can’t help it-it’s second nature to me now!

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