Paper or Plastic? Quilting? What? by Diane

As I go through the check-out line at the grocery store, I’m always asked a question by the bagger, “Paper? or Plastic?”    “But”, you may ask,  “What does that have to do with quilting?”

Well, if you’ve ever made a Grandmother’s Flower Garden flower using paper hexagons and following the English Paper Piecing (EPP) method which involves drawing and cutting out all of the paper hexagons, basting the fabric to them, sewing them together, removing the basting stitches and papers, and then throwing all of the papers and threads away…


Grandmother’s Flower Garden

Use hexagons cut from plastic! Yes, I said plastic!

Now, you can purchase die-cut hexagons online, but, I prefer to Di-cut (Di-cut , get it? Cut by  Di-ane. Sorry. Couldn’t resist the pun.) my own out of plastic lids from products I buy at the grocery store. I find yogurt and ice cream tub lids work best. They are not too thin or thick, and flexible yet sturdy.  And best of all, free!  Well, basically, because you can recycle something that would otherwise have gone in the trash!


Yes, you do need to trace the hexagon pattern onto the plastic, so, initially,  like EPP, there is some time involved with the tracing and cutting-out of the hexagons, but,once you have a stack of them, you can re-use and re-use and re-use…

…well, you get the idea.

Plus, if you need extra hexagons, just eat more yogurt and/or ice cream!

It’s a big job, but, sacrifices must be made! (Wink)

I’ve put complete instructions here on my website under “Tutorials”, “Grandmother’s Flower Garden”.

Have fun!


4 thoughts on “Paper or Plastic? Quilting? What? by Diane

    • lookoutmountainquilter says:

      Under the “Learn It” section on my website, is a page titled Using Plastic Hexagons. There I explain how I use them to make my Grandmother’s Flower Garden flowers. I use an office hole punch to punch a hole in the middle area of the template and a pin in that hole holds it quite securely. There my be a tiny bit of shifting, but, it’s minimal. Plus I cut about a 3/8″ wider all around than the template to allow for the thickness of the plastic and any slight shifting. The basting stiches hold everything secure, and I leave them in! Yay! I’ve included lots of photos of the entire process. Check it out. If you still have questions, please email me as I am traveling to care for ill inlaws and my be away from my computer for a while.

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