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Hexagon

PICNIC BLANKET This bold, bright blanket uses large fabric hexagons that are machine-stitched together Project JANE HUGHES Photography RACHEL WHITING

SKILL LEVEL: MATERIALS: •• 14 55cm-square pieces cotton fabric in a variety of colours & patterns for patchwork panel •• 128x135cm soft fleece for backing •• 0.5m 112cm-wide cotton fabric for binding •• sticky notes •• freezer paper •• rotary cutter, ruler & mat •• free template from www.sewnowmag.co.uk SIZE: 135x128cm NOTES: Prewash and press all fabric before use as necessary. This is important if you are using vintage fabric as it may have dyes that will run when washed Make the hexagon paper template When piecing the patchwork, pin and stitch together with right sides facing. All seams are 1cm unless otherwise stated

It is really important to sew accurately, as this is the key to making the points on the hexagons neat and flat

HOW TO MAKE: Using the hexagon template, neatly cut out 28 full hexagons from your chosen fabric. Referring to the patchwork-piecing diagram, you will see that the filler pieces fit into the gaps at the sides and along the top of the full hexagon pieces. You will need 18 filler pieces in all. Use the paper pattern and fold it to size to cut the filler pieces from your chosen fabric as required (use the patchwork piecing diagram on page 78 as a guide).

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Lay out the full hexagons on the floor. Use the patchwork piecing diagram as a guide and start with the first full vertical row of hexagons – row 2, which has been shaded on the diagram. Once you have placed all 28 full hexagons, stand back and decide if you have a good balance of colours and patterns. Try to avoid putting similar colours or patterns next to each other. If you are happy with the layout, you can start to fill in the gaps around the edges with the 18 cut-to-fit hexagon pieces.

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Once the layout is complete, check you are happy with it and take a photo to refer back to later if necessary. Using sticky notes, number each row 1 to 7, as in the patchwork piecing diagram. Working from the bottom of each row up, gather up the pieces in a pile and pin the numbered sticky note to the top piece.

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Using a disappearing marker pen or a pencil, mark an X 1cm from the edges of each point to represent your start and stop

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