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Grandmothers Flower Garden

This pattern and tips for the quilt pattern “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” is by a Kentucky former quilt store owner.  Thanks to The Querky Quilter for sharing this with our readers. 

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.

Grandmothers Flower Garden
Piecing together Grandmothers Flower Garden

 

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

  1. Layer your scraps( face down)
  2. Place the template on top of the scraps, keeping two sides of the hexagon pattern straight. Trace and cut.
  3. Each flower requires 19 hexagons. I like to make my centers all the same fabric but you can experiment with many different color combinations.
  4. 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

  1.  Arrange the 19 hexagons in a pleasing color arrangement.
  2. Flip the center hexagon right sides together to one outer hexagon, lining up the outside edges and pinning.
  3. Sew the hexagon together. Always begin and end on the marked dot.
  4. Flip that hexagon up and out of the way. With the center on top, pin and sew the next hexagon.
  5. Sew all hexagons to the center hexagon.
  6. You will continue this procedure until all hexagons are attached and form the flower.
  7. Press seams flat

 

Grandmothers Flower Garden
Adding a White Border

 

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.

Family Treasure quilted over 50 years ago of all their own clothes.
Family Treasure quilted over 50 years ago of all their own clothes.

One of my favorite sayings is, “ A small porch can bring much happiness.” I hope these little hexagons bring happiness to your creative spirit.

All pictures used in this post are property of Phyllis Shaw and used by permission.

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4 Comments

  1. HELP. I really need help. My late mother made several (I’m not sure how many) blocks for this quilt. I have inherited them and would like to make the quilt, but I do not know how many flower blocks I would need to make a quilt, I will have to use some new material , but try to match it with the old fabric as much as possible.
    Could you please tell me how many blocks of the flowers I would need?
    Thank you so very much.
    Bonnie James

    1. Hi Bonnie, This is going to be such a family treasure when you finish it! I’m not sure exactly how many flowers you will need. My suggestion would be to lay a full size (or queen size) sheet or blanket and then lay the flowers all out on top and see how close you are to finishing the full size you want the finished product to be. That will give you a reference for how many more you need to make to finish up the full size quilt. I’d love to see your progress!

  2. I have one that my late mother-in-law pieced and quilted. I can’t imagine how much time she spent on it. I also have a wedding ring one and a log cabin that she made.

  3. What an absolute treasure this quilt is! I am so honored to have family quilts from both sides of my family and each with a story behind it, so what a blessing the story behind this one is.

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