Back to Hexies: Moda’s Honeycombs

We’ve been talking about hexagons recently, because the May/June issue of Quiltmaker is full of them. Three great projects featuring different looks and techniques will keep you sewing for a long time.

QMMP 130600 cover 2001 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

But I wondered what other hexagon products were out there and I spent some time scouting around for them. Today I’d like to introduce you to Moda’s newest precut, the Honeycomb.

honey1 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs


I started out with two Honeycombs from an upcoming line by Bonnie and Camille called Happy-Go-Lucky. Each Honeycomb has 40 hexagons that measure 6″ from tip to tip.


honey2 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

A Honeycomb hexagon measures 6" from tip to tip, shown here on a 6.5" ruler.

These little guys are spot on—exactly 6″ from tip to tip, shown on my 6.5″ ruler above.

honey3 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

With each Honeycomb you also get a nice plastic hexagon template. There are tiny holes at each corner which can be used as starting and stopping points if you were sewing the hexagons together. (See Lissa from Moda demonstrate.)

I did something a little different. I used the template to cut more hexagons because I wanted to add more fabrics to this project. At first glance I thought I could measure the template from side to side and cut strips that width. But because it’s 6″ from tip to tip, the side to side measurement is something funky.


honey4 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

Here is how I dealt with it. I laid the fabric on the cutting mat and squared up the right-hand end. I laid the ruler on top of the fabric and placed the template on top of the ruler, sliding the ruler and template until they were exactly at the edge of the fabric. Now when I cut along the left side of the ruler, I’ll get a strip exactly the correct width from which to cut more hexagons.

The measurement came out to be a skosh less than five-and-a-fourth, but more than five-and-an-eighth. Mathematically it’s 5.19″ (see this post on hexagon math) but I thought my method was simpler than trying to cut that.


honey5 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

Next I placed the template on the strip I just cut.


honey6 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

I used a small ruler to make one of the angled cuts at a time. I was very careful not to cut into the template because I didn’t want to alter its perfect size.



honey7 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

The first cut is made, and then the second.


honey8 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

Here I learned something useful. After making the first two cuts (shown to the right of the hexagon), you’ll want to make a straight cut just outside the left-hand tip of the template.


honey9 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

Then go ahead and make the last two cuts. By making that straight cut first, you’ll be sure not to cut into the rest of the strip on your final two cuts, so you won’t waste any portion of that fabric. Your remaining strip (to the left) will be longer than my test strip was, so you can cut more hexagons from it.

honey10 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

Taking the tips off is critical.

I decided I wanted to add 60º triangles and join the Honeycomb hexagons in rows. So the next task was to figure out the size of the triangles. Here I could say I’m a math whiz and I calculated it with a fancy formula.

honey12 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

But what I really did was cut some 60º triangles from a strip with the Hex N More ruler, taking the tips off all three points. I kept cutting the strip down (narrower) and cutting more 60º triangles, until I got some that fit perfectly.


honey11 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

These fit perfectly.

When I put them on a ruler, again it was a funky measurement: more than 2 3/4″, less than 2 7/8″. I decided I wasn’t going to worry about it as long as they fit.

I found that I liked the Happy-Go-Lucky fabrics best if I sorted them into “mostly darks” and “mostly lights.” From there I chose fabrics for the small triangles. I used a great text print from Kate Spain’s Sunnyside line for Moda, to be released in September.

honey13 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

This is how my first option is coming along.

honey15 Back to Hexies: Modas Honeycombs

And my second. The royal blue polka dots are from my stash. It’s amazing what you can see from a photo that you don’t see otherwise—I need to do some rearranging.

My third project may appear in Quiltmaker sometime down the road. You’ll have to wait to see that one, but I really like it.

I can’t tell you how much fun the Moda Honeycombs are! And I have just scratched the surface!




About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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8 Responses to Back to Hexies: Moda’s Honeycombs

  1. Robin says:

    what size triangle template do I need to use with 6″ honeycomb? Thanks?

  2. Alex says:

    Wow! Glad to see the hex pre-cuts. I may try playing with these. Love the Tonga fabrics!

  3. Alberta Roberts says:

    I love these hexies. My mom used to make Grandmother’s Flower Garden with these and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the. I think I’ll try working with some. Thanks for the memories.

  4. Pat says:

    A hexie quilt will be in my near future!

  5. Sara Dinis says:

    Love this design! Very cute! ;)

  6. Pingback: Sew Thankful Sunday: 04.28.2013 - The Crafty Quilter

  7. Jean says:

    LOVE the magazine with the hexies and your article Diane. We are doing a day of English Paper Piecing at the center on June 29th….starting a quilt, making an applique block, a coaster or a table mat….. participants can choose what to do or bring their own projects for show and tell. I will have your magazine on display for certain…. I am so hooked.

  8. A “skosh,” huh? I still have a hard enough time cutting strips that come out to nice even widths like 3 1/2″, 2″ etc. So I’m going to admire your hexagons from a nice, safe distance… ;-)

    I really like the last project you showed, with all of the triangles in the blue polka dot fabric. My first thought would have been to mix in a solid, but the polka dots you selected add a sweet vintage character and are much more interesting.

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