Saturday, May 14, 2016

5 tips for organizing your Glorious Hexagons

Numbered tabs make it easy to find the correct page.
We're into month #5 of the Glorious Hexagons Quilt Along from Paper Pieces and there has been loads of hexie inspiration over at the Q-bies and other Facebook groups. Have you caught the hexie wave yet?

With each month comes a new packet of paper template of various shapes and sizes. It can be overwhelming! Here are some tips that help me stay organized.

1. I use Post-It notes to create tabs in my guide book, The New Hexagon book by Katja Marek. Numbers on the Post-Its correspond with the blocks that will be made with the paper pieces for the month. These tabs help me quickly flip to the page with the hexagon pattern. (BTW, when Katja signed my book—with the numbered Post-it tabs protruding from the pages—she remarked that this was a cool idea.)

2. Most quilters have several projects going all the time—each in a different stage. The same situation applies to my hexagons.
      Sometimes I like to fussy cut the fabric.
      Sometimes I am basting the pieces.
      Sometimes, assembling blocks.
To keep the pieces organized, I use clear, plastic zip-lock sandwich baggies.
Plastic sandwich bags keep hexie bits organized.
A baggie might contain a bunch of fussy cut fabric pieces, ready for basting.
A baggie of fussy cut fabric pieces.
Or it can contain all the bits for a single block... like this #47 Janet block made with a fabric line called Cheeky Pumpkins.
Diamond and triangle bits for #47 Janet block.
Here's a baggie with butterflies and kitty hexagons for a #13 Judy block.
Butterflies and a kitty cat for #13 Judy block.
Or a baggie can contain a single shape—like 1" hexagons, or diamonds—that are in the basting stages.
Paper pieces, fussy-cut fabrics and basted hexie bits.
3. I have one larger zip-lock bag with my hexie making tools: a spool of basting thread, my 80 wt. bobbins of Decobob Thread for hand piecing, a pencil, scissors and thread conditioner. See my post, "8 essential tools for English paper piecing" for details.
Tools for making hexagons.
A second large plastic bag holds my completed hexagons.
Completed hexagons.
4. Keep all your Glorious Hexagon acrylic templates in the plastic zippered pouch they came in! In other words, "put your toys back where you found them!" as your mother used to say. Why? Because the acrylic templates are clear and difficult to locate if you toss them in the baggies with your fabric pieces or your works-in-progress. And when you have multiple blocks that require the same template... you think you can easily and quickly lay your hands on the baggie it's in? Not! So don't think you'll save yourself some time. (And don't ask me how I know this.) 

Just put all the acrylics back into the original bag. You get the gist... (And, yes, your mom was right!)
Keep acrylic templates together in their plastic bag.
5. And finally, a canvas tote bag keeps all the large and small plastic baggies together for easy grab-and-go.
You can't have too many tote bags.
Do you have tips for keeping organized on your Glorious Hexagon journey? Leave me a Comment. I'd like to hear your ideas!
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