Portable Hexagons – Part 4

You’ve already seen my attempts to get my own sewing kit loaded up for some portable sewing during the holidays. (More about that later. It’s fun.)

Part 4 is about preparing a sewing kit for a friend!

A longtime friend recently showed a tiny bit of interest in quilting! Hooray! After all these years!

She asked about hexagons, so I am giving her the 60 Hexagon 1 inch shape collection with instructions for downloading it and the Hexagon Quilt Design Book plus a few other things to help her get started.

So far, I am including . . .


Fabric printed with Hexagons

. . . sheets of fabric, printed . . .

(Some are still attached to the freezer paper, which is labeled for her.)


Hexagon Flower

. . .  a sample hexagon flower, which I loved sewing. . .


Gift sewing kit

. . . and a few needles, a finger pincushion, small scissors and a bobbin of my favorite thread.


how to press hexagons

After I give it to her, I will email her a note with links, so she can click to watch the videos on the website (sewing a hexagon by hand) and learn about printing on fabric with the hexagon shapes.


The Inklingo Handbook  Quilted Diamonds 2 with DVD

She already has The Inklingo Handbook and Quilted Diamonds 2 (with DVD) because I gave them to her when they were first published, even though she was not a quilter. I hope she can find them because it has been a while!

I’m very proud of both books and she celebrated with me when I published them.


If you have a friend who might enjoy an introduction to quilting, you can prepare a fabulous kit without buying anything at all—thanks to the free Diamond Triangle Square shape collection!


FREE Diamond Triangle Square

You can print shapes from the free Inklingo shape collection on a selection of pretty scraps from your stash—and sew a star to get her started.


How to make a finger pincushion (video)

Even better, you can add a finger pincushion using the instructions in the video and add some simple, pretty tools like needles, thread, and scissors.


Inklingo Smart Shopper's Idea Book  (free)


If you want to spend a little more, Inklingo Gift Certificates are available. There are many options at only $20 and $25 but you can choose any amount to stay within a comfortable limit and give her the pleasure of making the choice herself.

You might want to include a link to the free Smart Shopper’s Idea Book (under the Support & Goodies tab), so she knows what is available.

It is extra special if you include some fabric printed with the free shapes with the Gift Certificate.


Christmas Eve long ago

When my sisters and I were growing up, it was hard to go to sleep on Christmas Eve! Wide awake and excited! (Now you know why I prefer to be on the other side of the camera.)

We knew that in the morning there would be a new homemade dress and at least one new book for each of us, plus a jigsaw puzzle for the whole family. There was often some kind of craft project too. We played games and did jigsaw puzzles and knit and corked our way through MILES of scrap yarn during the holidays. There was no shortage of scarves for our new dolls.

By the time this photo was taken, Mum had already let me sew on her Singer sewing machine. It was supervised fun that was totally exhilarating. The special gifts that we remember were things we could do together.

The best Christmas gifts are homemade. Monkey says:

Make a friend a quilt? Fabulous.
Teach a friend to quilt and she might make one for you!

I am excited about giving this pretty gift to my friend. It’s not something I bought in a rush at the mall. It feels homemade and I think she will understand why I enjoy sewing so much.


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 be inspired to prepare a portable kit to introduce a friend to quilting. It can cost you next to nothing in dollar terms but it is pretty and it can be a wonderful way to share what you love. Who knows? You might end up going to guild meetings together for years to come.

Please stay tuned. I’m working on something. . .

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

Simple Things Make Sewing Fun

Inklingo Quilters know how to have fun.

Monkey says it’s often the simple things that make sewing fun.

  1. Wear reading glasses or turn the lights on so you can see without strain.
  2. If you are hand piecing on the go, thread several needles on the spool when your eyes are fresh and the light is good. Then you can take a length of thread with each needle, one at a time. Secure the end of thread on the spool to keep the needles from falling off.
  3. Wear a finger pincushion whether you are sewing by hand or by machine.


Win a pincushion from Inklingo


Monkey has a few extra finger pincushions to give away.

If you leave a comment on the Inklingo Facebook page, before Sunday night at midnight, you could win one of them!

Facebook has been a good way to spread the word about Inklingo. Your comment might inspire someone else to try it for the first time.

NOTE The more comments and shares, the more pincushions we will give away! Sharing will NOT hurt your chances of winning.


Inklingo How to Make a Finger Pincushion

I posted a 90 second video about How to Make a Finger Pincushion on the Inklingo Facebook page a few months ago, so even if you aren’t one of the lucky winners, you can see how Monkey and I make them.

If you want to see Inklingo in your FB timeline, please go to the Inklingo Facebook page and click “Get Notifications” in the drop-down menu under the like button.

To show Facebook that you are interested in what I post there, please “like” or even better—”share” my photos.


Inklingo Print shapes on fabric with your Inkjet


The Quick Start Guide under the Support & Goodies tab explains the 3 simple things that make Inklingo possible.

We think Inklingo makes sewing more fun too.


The two new hexagon shape collections for Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) are only $20. After midnight tonight, they will be $25.


If you have already bought either of the other POTC hexagon shape collections, you can download the new versions any time to get the third layout of hexagons—free!


Facebook is fun but the blog is still the best place for me to teach or write longer messages, so I hope you will subscribe (top of right sidebar).

See you on Facebook?

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon!  8 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

25 Signs YOU are an Inklingo Quilter

Inklingo on Facebook

Have you liked the Inklingo FB page yet? AND chosen “Get notifications?”
If you haven’t, please

How to Sew Hexagons by Machine (The Movie)

I had my first experience with sewing on a machine before I was old enough to go to kindergarten, and I love machine piecing, hand piecing, and appliqué.

However, Monkey is famous as a hand piecing snob, thanks to my first Quilted Diamonds books—more than ten years ago already!



Yes! Now, even Monkey has to admit that hexagons are fun to sew by machine too—thanks to Inklingo.


The movie shows how to sew hexagons by machine for a GFG (Grandmother’s Flower Garden) quilt. (If you click the little icon at the lower right, you can watch full screen.)

I used red thread and printed the lines a little darker than usual to make it camera-friendly.

The lovely “Vintage Rosie” fabric was provided by Patti Carey, the Marketing Director at Northcott Fabric. Even the fabric with the black background is light enough on the wrong side to print easily with Inklingo.

We think you will agree that sewing inset seams by machine is easy when you have lines printed on the fabric with Inklingo.


Northcott Vintage Rosie with rotary cutting layout
(Fabric not necessarily to scale)


We are in the mood for hexagons these days, thanks to the 4 new Inklingo hexagon shape collections announced yesterday, so stay tuned for more, including tips for designing hexagon quilts in Electric Quilt software.

Until next time, these links should keep you busy.

Why Quilters Love Inklingo Hexagons  (movie, hand piecing)

Hexagon Quilt Design Book (and how to get it FREE)

Main Inklingo Hexagon Page

How to Make a Finger Pincushion  (movie)

Top Ten Tutes (tutorials about Inklingo)


Northcott Vintage Rosie with scissors layout
(Fabric not necessarily to scale)

Monkey’s newest movie turned out pretty well, don’t you think? Did you see Monkey’s “Moment of Zen?” at the very end?

Have you seen our other movies on YouTube? Monkey says this one our best so far.

Are you subscribed?

If you don’t want to miss anything, you can enter your email address (right sidebar), so you will always be the first to know. You can also subscribe to YouTube, of course.


As usual, the new hexagon shapes are at a very special intro price—but for a few days only!

We would love it if you would tell your friends in person and online (Yahoo and other groups) about the new movie. Monkey says they will thank you later—maybe even machine piece a hexie quilt for you!

See you soon!

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

$10 Coupon!  6 Year Anniversary Special on the handbook

Inklingo for Beginners

Inklingo Quiz – Just for Fun!

A Beauty of a Portable Sewing Kit

Monkey has already shown you how to make a finger pincushion in his little movie. He is a hand piecing snob.

With Inklingo, I love hand piecing, machine piecing, and appliqué, so I need finger pincushions even when I’m not hand piecing.

You don’t have to be a hand piecing snob to enjoy a portable project.

Don’t leave home without it. 

I always have a sewing kit in the car just in case I am stuck waiting anywhere—in a dentist’s office, at the border, while someone else slowly savors a banana split. (My small cone disappears fast, especially soft ice cream.)

Things to Put Things In 

I have some pretty little kits, but I am always on the lookout for “things to put things in” . . .

. . . so when I spotted this case at the mall, I had to have it.

Don’t tell anyone, but the teenager in the kiosk at the mall is there for people who keep their sunglasses in sewing kits.

Isn’t it elegant?

Scissors, finger pincushion with 2 needles, thread, and reading glasses. To maintain that feeling of elegance, you may want to carry a wet-wipe too. (See above re soft chocolate ice cream.)

Keep it simple.

Did you notice that I do NOT carry pins? I just carry two needles to use interchangeably as needles and pins. Carrying pins could be dangerous to other people if I drop or spill them.

New York Beauty diamonds and triangles are perfectly portable.

You may want to thread a ribbon through your bobbin of thread and your scissors to tie them to the kit.

It is also a good idea to stick a return address label to the kit—just in case. (Pun?) (I also have one on my camera case and even on my camera.)

  Click for a larger view!

A Beauty Tip

Inklingo’s new New York Beauty is a beauty of a portable project.

If I have a surface to work on, I will lay the pieces out in order, wrong side up, but if not, I can just sew in my lap.

I can carry shapes printed with Inklingo in the case or in a baggie, and  truly stitch continuously.

Of course, hexagons are the most common portable project.

There are several sizes of Inklingo hexagons to print on fabric, and that means you don’t have to carry templates—or baste—or whip-stitch!

Inklingo hexagons go together very fast because you use a running stitch instead of slow whip-stitching.

Carry a whole bag of them with you, so you don’t run out.

Speaking of running. . . 

A running stitch sounds like exercise, and it is just as fast as it sounds, but don’t fool yourself. It will not burn off many ice cream calories.

On the other hand, whip-stitching sounds (and is) just awful, and I don’t recommend it. (Why English Paper Piece (EPP)?)

You can print many sheets of Inklingo hexagons very quickly and cut several layers at a time with a rotary cutter before you leave home, or with scissors anywhere. (There are special layouts for scissors-cutting to save fabric too.)

Continuous Stitching 

Monkey is a hand piecing snob, so he wants to sew all the seams by hand. I look for opportunities for “continuous stitching” by hand, like hexagons and other shapes with inset seams, but I sew the rest by machine.

Continuous stitching means more than just stitching on-the-go.

You can see continuous stitching in our little movie “How to sew a Grandmother’s Flower Garden.” Learn how to move from the end of one seam to the beginning of the next seam without breaking the thread.

Whether you are sewing New York Beauty or Grandmother’s Flower Garden or any other Inklingo shapesInklingo has a Design Book for you ($10 or free) with detailed instructions for hand piecing and machine piecing.

4 Questions

  1. Where are you going to keep your sunglasses now?
  2. Do you think I should visit Dairy Queen today?
  3. Do you have a friend like Monkey?
  4. Are you subscribed to the blog?

Thank you for visiting.

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

Inklingo for Beginners

Inklingo Quiz – Just for Fun!

Did you win a Finger Pincushion?

(unless we get carried away) 

We have 11 winners! If you are listed here, please send your mailing address to me at linda#lindafranz.com (replace the # with @). I intend to mail everything on Friday morning, okay?


Also, if you have a color preference, please let me know. No promises, but I will do my best to match your outfit. LOL


Brandy Lynn wrote:
The pincushions would be a great addition to any guild retreat goody bag! The music sounds great.

Judy D in WA wrote:
Great tutorial and fabulous video. How fun! Monkey is adorable.

Susan Claire wrote:
great video, great music, great pin cushions! Thanks Linda and Monkey, do you do live performances?

Kim wrote:
How adorable, these would make great gifts :0) thanks for the chance to win! Happy Sewing

Carole Phinney wrote:
Great tutorial and music. Now what do I use the bottle caps for?
Have been saving them but something was stopping me from making them. The buttons are way cuter!!!

Carolyn Edwards wrote:
I enjoyed this video and I am especially interested in the concept of making the cutting process easier. The pincushions are adorable. I will have to try to make some. Thank you for sharing. Now if I had all the energy that the music gave me.

Jane wrote:
Oh how I love these! Although it’s bedtime right now, I think that I will dig into my button jars right now 🙂 Oh, before I forget: thanks for the chance to win one!

Shelia wrote:
Love the pincushion tutorial. I’m definitely trying this. Thanks for the inspiration.

June wrote:
How cute are those!!! I would love to win one, but if I don’t, I will certainly be making one or more of them for myself and who knows who else. I found you via Bonnie’s blog post.

Regan wrote:
These are adorable! I will be making them for all my quilty friends! Thanks for the tutorial! Oh, and Bonnie sent me! She’s so good!

Sally M who wrote:
Wouldn’t have thought they were that easy to make. I’m now thinking of making some for some friends.


Monkey was feeling very generous.

He picked a total of 20 numbers, so there will be 9 more quilters who receive a surprise in the mail and we will choose the color. (They are all pretty.)  These 9 don’t have to do anything because we already have addresses for the ones who are Inklingoists.

We don’t mind making more because it is so easy when we print Circles on fabric with Inklingo!


You will have to make your own finger pincushions—but it’s fun!

We think you will love making them for yourself and your friends.


Monkey thinks you could just tell all of your friends about our Oscar-ready movie HERE (please do!), and hope they enjoy a laugh and want to thank you by making lots of finger pincushions—and give you one that matches your sewing duds. . .

. . .  or your scissors!


By the way, we saw a nifty little glue gun for $12 in a local store today. You might even find one cheaper online. A mini glue gun comes in handy for lots of things.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment—and congratulations to the winners!


Come back tomorrow to see a few more of the Top 25 designs in the Electric Quilt/Inklingo Love the Lines Contest too!

Thank you for visiting.

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

Inklingo for Beginners

Inklingo Quiz – Just for Fun!

How to make Finger Pincushions

I love my finger pincushions. They’re dainty and indispensable.

Machine or Hand

These are great for machine piecers (left), and hand piecing snobs (right).


They even work for lefties!

I wear a finger pincushion when I am machine piecing, when I am hand piecing, and sometimes when I am not sewing at all. (Ooops!)

If you forget to take one off when you leave the house, Monkey says you should try to wear one that matches your outfit.

They are fun to make, so there’s no excuse not having one to match.

There are written instructions in a few Inklingo Shape Collections, but they are so simple you can probably just watch the movie (70 seconds).


Inklingo How to Make a Finger Pincushion

1 minute how-to

What I used:

  • scraps of cotton fabric
  • Inklingo Circles – printed 1.5 inch circles on fabric  (named with the finished size)
  • rotary cutter and mat (Use scissors if you prefer.)
  • quilting thread for a running stitch to gather the circles
  • finger-sized spool of thread
  • scraps of batting (Silk is v v nice.)
  • 1/8 inch elastic
  • tweezers to coax the elastic through little holes
  • a bit of patience (see above)
  • big buttons
  • glue gun and hot glue

Russ listened to the William Tell Overture over and over again. (Licensed from Unique Tracks) It’s okay because he laughed when he saw the final result.

We have written about circles before, here.

You could WIN

Leave a comment before Tuesday March 6 to be in a drawing for one of my pincushions, okay? If you don’t win, you can make lots of finger pincushions for yourself and for friends anyway.

This was not on the official To Do list, but it was a nice break. Can you tell I was having fun?

We’ll be back soon with more about the winners in the EQ/Inklingo Love the Lines Contest too. Thanks for visiting.

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

Inklingo for Beginners

Inklingo Quiz – Just for Fun!