Crazy for Hexagons: A CutWork Shortcut Grandmother’s Flower Garden

By popular demand, Mary Beck’s instructions for her Grandmother’s Flower Garden block – stitched entirely on her embroidery machine. If you’re in Tucson this winter, check out her class at The Sewing Room. Jo

Here’s how I created the machine-applique design for my machine-cut and -appliqued Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt in BERNINA DesignWorks Software. The applique pieces are cut using the BERNINA CutWork Tool, then embroidered in place by machine. Looks like a pieced block, but stitched in a fraction of the time!


Open a New Design

• If you have just opened the CutWork software, click on Next in the wizard. Otherwise, select File > New.

• In the Fabric dialog box, click Next.

• In Artwork Source select New Graphic.

• From the Hoop drop down selection, choose BERNINA Large Oval 255 X 145, #44C. Click Finish.


Create a Hexagon

• Select Create Polygon. If the polygon shape is not showing click on the black triangle in the lower right corner and choose the polygon from the fly out menu.

• In Tool Options, enter “6” for number of sides and 90 for start angle. This orients the hexagon with a point at the top.

• Hold CTRL + SHFT with one hand and left click and drag on the design screen to create a hexagon shape.

• Press the space bar to select the hexagon.

• Deselect Proportional in Tool Options.

• Change width to 38.87 mm and height to 44.87 mm.

• Rotate 90 degrees.

• Enter “0” for X axis and “45” for Y axis.

• Click on None in the Fill Tab of Object Properties.

• Save as “Hexagon Shape”.

Create a Hexagon Array

• Select Create Circular Array.

• In Tool Options make the following changes:

o Start Angle: 90°

o End Angle: 90°

o Step Angle: 60

o Step Count: 6

o Check Clone Objects and Clockwise.

• Six hexagons should be on your screen.

• Click on the node at the center of the original hexagon (at the top of your screen).

• Hold the Shift key and drag the top hexagon down until all of the hexagons are slightly overlapping. Release the mouse first, then the shift key.

• Click on Apply Circular Array. The size should be about 110 mm wide and 114 mm high (give or take a mm or so).


Weld the Array

• While everything is selected click on Weld Shape in upper tool bar.

• Save as “Hexagon Array”.

Create the CutWork File

• While everything is selected choose Cutwork in Object Properties.

• Next select Auto Border in the side toolbar.

• In the dialog box make the following selections:

o To the Outside

o Distance: 1mm

o Type: Running.

o OK

• Right Click and select Break Apart.

• Select center hexagon and delete by pressing the delete key on keyboard. This deletes the running stitch on the inner hexagon.

• Move Layer 2 in Sequence Manager to position 1 by clicking and dragging.

• Save as Hexagon_Cut. Export to machine and cut.

Create the Appliqué File

• Delete Layer 1 in Sequence Manager.

• Save as Hexagon_App.

• Select design.

• Select Fill Tab in Object Properties and choose Appliqué.

• Place a check in Cleaning and select Laser Cut from the drop down menu.

• Select Outline Tab and click on Running. Choose Stitch #132. Save.

• Select Create Bezier Shapes in side tool bar.

• Left click first on a corner of the inner hexagon and then on a valley of the outer hexagon. Right click to set. Repeat to make 6 lines dividing the larger hexagon into 6 equal smaller hexagons. It is important to go from inside to outside so that the directions of the decorative stitching are all the same.

• Press the spacebar to deactivate the drawing tool and select the lines.

• While the lines are selected choose Stitch #132.

• Select all. Change Stitch Length to 4.0. Save.

• Export to BERNINA CutWork-compatible machine.

• Complete cutwork and applique following the on-screen prompts.


4 thoughts on “Crazy for Hexagons: A CutWork Shortcut Grandmother’s Flower Garden

  1. Just what I needed – a little push to use my Cutwork again! This will make a darling baby quilt for our Covered Bridge Quilters NICU project, where we provide a brand new quilt for each baby who is in the neonatal intensive care unit (even if for just a day). Thanks for the inspiration, Mary.

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