This is the first article in a new series called Recycled Treasures. Each month, Phyllis Shaw – the Querky Quilter from Stanford, KY will be bringing us a quilt pattern with tips and ideas. This month is the classic pattern called Grandmothers Flower Garden. If you are in Stanford, make sure you stop by her shop, Simple Times, on Main Street to talk quilts, stories and ideas. Join me in welcoming Phyllis to Hobbies on a Budget.
When we hear the word “ green” we often think of efforts to conserve and recycle. But this is not a new concept, dating as far back as Ancient Rome, women were recycling clothing into bed covers. Eventually, these evolved into our modern day quilts. One of the most popular patterns, of all time, is the Grandmothers Flower Garden. After 1925 many women made this quilt due to its budget friendly materials, its beauty, and the ease in hand piecing. By using discarded or outgrown clothing this pattern creates a memory filled, inexpensive, scrappy beauty.
Grandmothers Flower Garden
The hexagons used in the photos are circa 1925-1930. They were given to me by an unknown elderly visitor to the shop. As she handed me the brown paper bag she said,” Here I want someone to have this that is going to appreciate it.” She then walked out leaving me to discover the treasure inside the unassuming brown paper bag. Hundreds of hexagons! This quilt has become a labor of love and one I will never part with.
For this quilt the hexagons are 2 inches but you can use any size you like. Your template can be made out of cardboard or plastic. A plastic hexagon template is suitable for cutting with a rotary cutter. inklingo.com has a quick paper version you can use to make and cut your hexagons. Also available at the shop, while supplies last, are free hexagon templates at Simple Times.
Cutting and Marking the Hexagons
- Layer your scraps( face down)
- Place the template on top of the scraps, keeping two sides of the hexagon pattern straight. Trace and cut.
- Each flower requires 19 hexagons. I like to make my centers all the same fabric but you can experiment with many different color combinations.
- With a sharp pencil, mark dots on the wrong side of the hexagons ¼ inch from the side at every corner.
Making One Grandmother’s Flower Block
- Arrange the 19 hexagons in a pleasing color arrangement.
- Flip the center hexagon right sides together to one outer hexagon, lining up the outside edges and pinning.
- Sew the hexagon together. Always begin and end on the marked dot.
- Flip that hexagon up and out of the way. With the center on top, pin and sew the next hexagon.
- Sew all hexagons to the center hexagon.
- You will continue this procedure until all hexagons are attached and form the flower.
- Press seams flat
Adding White Pathways( or any color you choose)
As previously done, you will cut out enough white hexagons to fit around the flower. You will add these in the same way as previously done. Once you have done this to all of the flowers you will attach the blocks together creating your topper.
This is not a quick quilt topper but one that will become a family heirloom. I love it because due to the small pieces and the hand stitching it is very portable. You can take it with you everywhere.
One of my favorite sayings is, “ A small porch can bring much happiness.” I hope these little hexagons bring happiness to your creative spirit.
Next Months Recycled Treasure” Log Cabin Block.
All pictures used in this post are property of Phyllis Shaw and used by permission.