⬡⬡⬡ 52 NEW ways to sew a hexagon quilt (+ giveaway!) ⬡⬡⬡

Hooray for MORE hexagons from best-selling author Katja Marek!

The New Hexagon 2

Katja is back with 52 new ways to play with hexagon shapes in The New Hexagon 2. Using her efficient, accurate methods for English paper piecing (EPP), Katja shares streamlined how-to techniques such as basting with glue and using precut paper templates.

From The New Hexagon 2

Katja’s also expanded the possibilities by including not just one, but two different block sizes. Choose from:

  • 14 twelve-inch blocks
  • 38 six-inch blocks
  • 5 pretty projects to show off the blocks you create!

We asked Katja a few questions about her latest book and about her creative life—read on for her answers. (And don’t miss the announcement about a special quilt-along with Katja at the bottom of this post!)

Katja MarekStitch This!: You’re a prolific designer, and your books on English paper piecing have really made a splash! What inspired you to write a sequel to the best seller The New Hexagon?

Katja: There were still so many hex-abilities left to explore, even after the first 52 blocks in The New Hexagon and 366 more blocks in The New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar. There are still possibilities! Also, I’ve learned some new things over the five years since The New Hexagon was published. It seemed like a great time to share some new tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way.

Blossoms Bed Runner
Blossoms Bed Runner

ST!: What’s your designing process like—and where do you find your inspiration? 

Hexagon starKatja: I find I’m able to visualize a concept very well. I sleep with pencil and paper beside my bed. Often my brain doesn’t want to be quiet at night, and I want to capture an idea so I can play with it some more. I’ll doodle random ideas onto graph paper (in the case of hexagons, I use triangle graph paper) and see how they play together. Once a concept becomes more cohesive, I continue on paper or on the computer. Sometimes I’ll sew a small test piece to see how what I envision translates to fabric.

Inspiration is everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. I find inspiration in nature, in life, in songs, in books, in patterns in the sand, a wave, the clouds . . . literally everywhere.

ST!: Tell us more about your approach to English paper piecing—what makes it so unique?

Katja: For starters, I believe in NO RULES. In a class, just like in my books, I show people what has worked well for me, but I’m open to other ideas. Part of that belief led me to trying non-traditional techniques, the biggest of which is glue basting. Glue basting allows me to expedite the basting process and get to the sewing much faster.

Example of Katja’s how-to from the book

ST!: Do you have a favorite block or quilt from The New Hexagon 2?

Katja: Wow, that’s a tough question, I love different blocks and projects for different reasons. In Block 2: Carrie or Block 3: Lissa, I absolutely LOVE the arrows and the rainbow colors—but then what’s not to love about rainbows? We’ve seen arrows in many square and rectangular blocks, so why not in hexagon blocks? I also like to look for hidden elements that I can use to draw attention to an area, such as a hidden heart that pops with color and value in Block 10: Sheryl.

Hexagon blocks
Katja’s favorite blocks from left to right: Carrie, Lissa, and Sheryl

As for favorite projects? In Explore the Stars, individual blocks are allowed to shine.

Explore the Stars quilt
Explore the Stars

In Starburst, color and flow between shapes allowed me to create a millefiori-style look.

Starburst quilt

But probably my favorite project is Argyle. This two-color quilt uses many of the blocks to create the stunning argyle design.

Argyle quilt

ST!: What’s inspiring you right now?

Katja: I’m playing around with some different shapes at the moment, and I’m also machine piecing things that are traditionally thought to be restricted to English Paper Piecing. I’m known for EPP, but my ideas extend beyond that! Inspiration is everywhere around us, and I have no trouble coming up with multiple new things to try. Time is my biggest battle. There’s just not enough time to do everything that’s in my head.

ST!: What’s on your sewing table right now?

Katja: Since I’m on the road right now, enjoying a mother-daughter holiday in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, I’ll show you what I’ve brought along. First is a sample for my quilt shop, Katja’s Quilt Shoppe in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada—a soccer-ball quilt using black-on-white and white-on-black prints.

The second project consists of samples for my Take & Teach class coming up in Houston, Texas, for Fall International Quilt Market.

At home I’ve been working on Quilty Stars patterns by Emily Dennis of Quilty Love.

ST!: What’s your #1 tip for beginning quilters?

Katja: Just start! Don’t stress about all the things you don’t know yet; none of us knew anything at the beginning. Everyone has to start somewhere, and only by doing will you learn.

QAL ALERT! Join Katja in January 2020 to make a one-of-a-kind quilt designed with blocks featured in The New Hexagon 2—follow Katja’s “Quilt with Me” Facebook page for all the details as they emerge!

The New Hexagon 2

We’ve got a copy of The New Hexagon 2 to give away today!

To enter your name into our random drawing, tell us in the comments:

Rate your “EPP” skills: EPP major, EPP minor, or haven’t enrolled yet?

We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win. Good luck! And if you’re ready to EPP the day away, purchase The New Hexagon 2 at our website and we’ll send you a link to download the eBook instantly—for FREE!

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Jacqueline V who says:  “I have completed 2 king sized quilts using EPP hexies…so I guess you could say I have intermediate skills. Working on a large, long-term non-hexie project right now!
Thanks & Quilty Huggs!”

We’ll email you about your prize, Jacqueline V—congratulations!


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