Portable Hexagons – Part 3

Portable Sewing Kit

Everyone loves the idea of a portable project but the amount of prep can be intimidating.

There are at least 3 methods of preparing shapes for hand piecing.


  • All three methods of preparation work for traditional fussy cutting.
  • All three methods work for scrap quilts.
  • All three methods allow you to do some of the prep on the go.
  • The first two options allow you to combine hand and machine piecing in a “hybrid”, so you can have the best of both worlds. (Portable Pink Pieced Hexagons – Part 2)

We can always be ready to sew on the go! We love portable!


Print hexagons on fabric with your Inkjet


  1. Print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo (above).
  2. Rotary cut several layers at a time or cut with scissors.

Ready to sew!

If you run out of time, you can finish cutting the shapes apart with scissors on the go because the cutting lines are printed on the fabric.

Sew along the stitching lines with a running stitch.

Printing on fabric, best tips is one of the Top Ten Tutes (tab above).

Main Beginner’s Page (free shapes)


Use freezer paper templates


  1. Prepare freezer paper templates (print or trace).
  2. Iron the templates to strips of fabric and rotary cut, adding seam allowances on all sides (above).
  3. Draw the stitching lines manually using a mechanical pencil to create crosshairs at the seam endings.

Ready to sew!

If you run out of time, you can finish drawing the stitching lines on the go.

Sew along the pencil lines with a running stitch.

This is the method taught in my Quilted Diamonds books and on the QD2 DVD. (Available again!)

This method is slower than printing the shapes on fabric but drawing the lines is still faster than basting to templates (and removing templates later).

See the many advantages of freezer paper over any other type of template material in this article on QuiltingHub.

Fabric pieces prepared with freezer paper templates can be used with fabric pieces printed with Inklingo. This is ideal in situations when you cannot print on fabric for some reason or because a shape is not available from Inklingo (yet).
Index of Shapes


Baste fabric to templates with glue or thread


  1. Use an acrylic template (seam allowances included) and rotary cut the fabric, several layers at a time.
  2. Baste onto templates (homemade or purchased) using thread or glue (above).

This is the most time-consuming method of prep because you are “sewing” each shape twice but if you run out of time, you can finish basting on the go.

When all of the shapes are basted, sew with a whip-stitch and remove the templates when all sides of a shape are joined.


8 Good Ways to Use Inklingo for EPP


I do not recommend traditional English Paper Piecing for any design, but there are at least 8 Good Ways to Use Inklingo for EPP, if that is the method you prefer.

That means Inklingo is for everyone—whether you print on fabric or not! That includes:

  • quilters who prefer whip-stitching over templates (EPP)
  • quilters who prefer a running stitch
  • quilters who use scraps
  • quilters who fussy cut
  • quilters who want to print templates
  • quilters who want to combine hand and machine piecing

Isn’t it nice that we have choices? It is up to each of us to be familiar with the options and make the best decision for ourselves.


Maggie Smith sewing Patchwork of the Crosses


There was only one option in the 1950s and 1960s.

Lucy Boston did not have the advantages of freezer paper, acrylic templates, a rotary cutter, Inklingo, central heating, or microwave popcorn and she had to make do with a very limited selection of cotton fabric in post-war England.

She created 20 amazing quilts but it makes me sad to think that there could have been many more if she had had our advantages. Imagine what this artist could have accomplished with the tools and fabric we have today!


Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC)


Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses is not a book about English Paper Piecing.

It is about an incredible artist whose creativity flourished despite significant disadvantages.

The popularity of POTC is that it includes everyone!

When you take a hand piecing class, it is okay to ask the teacher if she is familiar with all of the options and to ask why she chose the method(s) she is teaching.


Portable Patchwork of the Crosses


No matter which method you prefer, it is good to remember that quilters who piece by hand have more in common than they have differences.

Hand piecers are a tiny corner in the quilting universe but they love what they do just as much as machine piecers, appliquéers, and long-arm machine quilters love what they do.


No Waste Fussy Cutting with Inklingo

By the way, some quilters think you cannot fussy cut with Inklingo but there are two methods!

  1. Print shapes without seam allowances on freezer paper for traditional “Swiss cheese” fussy cutting.
  2. Print shapes with seam allowances on identical sheets of fabric for “No Waste Fussy Cutting” (example above). It is similar to Stack n Whack™—but without the stacking.

TWO methods of fussy cutting


Patchwork of the Crosses by Fern in Singapore

If you missed seeing Fern’s POTC in Houston or Tokyo, you can see it on the Main Lucy Boston Page.


Print shapes on fabric with Inklingo

I’m going to print three or four more sheets of fabric for a few more of the 300 Pieced Hexagons and load up my kit again.

Don’t you love sewing on the go!


I post a photo or two almost every day on Facebook.

Please have a look at the photos I have posted in the past week but the best way to stay up to date is to subscribe to the blog (top of right sidebar).

I hope you will feel inspired to choose 4 Pieced Hexagons from 300 Pieced Hexagons and prepare a Cheat Sheet (Part 1) and load up a portable kit because there is more to come . . .

Linda & Monkey


New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Main Beginner’s Page There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon! 9 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

4 thoughts on “Portable Hexagons – Part 3”

  1. Another great article Linda. Of course, I will always choose Method 1. Using Inklingo to print shapes on fabric and then cutting them out is the best, fastest, and most accurate way. I do combine machine and hand piecing when I can, as I do more machine piecing than hand, but have found that I can do the running stitch quite successfully even with my hand tremor….maybe slower, but I can do it and that is what counts most. I, too, spread the word about how wonderful Inklingo is wherever I am. Linda is always there for you; is most helpful, friendly and gracious. She and Monkey have become my very good friends!!

  2. Using Inklingo revolutionized hand piecing when I first used it. How many years ago? It is so versatile that no matter what you want method you want to use, it is so convenient! Thanks for all your work, Linda. The Blog posts are a great way to remind people of the ease of use!!!
    Happy Holidays

  3. I try to spread the word when I can of the beauty of Inklingo – I continue to be amazed at how so many still think of hand piecing as “hard work” it is so easy and relaxing – hand piecing is my favorite way to make quilts and I have been doing it for years – I have made several quilts the Inklingo way and love it.


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