Friday, August 23, 2013

I Will Spend the Winter in a Flower Garden

Contrary to my young years, summer is my least favorite season. And August my least favorite month ... I'm weary of the heat, my under-the-eaves sewing room is too hot and everything in the garden is past it's best bloom.  But just on the horizon is autumn ... cool crisp air, bright blue skies ... and the beginning of a new Quilting Season.

This year's TV time project is to finish the Flower Garden quilt that my Grandmother started back in the 60's.  YiaYia got all the flowers pieced.  I joined the flowers together.  And now she's ready to quilt.  Since this is all pieced by hand, I am going to quilt it by hand.

Grandma's template for cutting the hexies.
1960.  3 lbs of hamburger or sausage for $1.00

These hexies were not English paper pieced.
They were just plain ol' hand pieced.
The key is learning to pivot and anchor each of the Y-seams.

After a few, you get the knack.

If I had to bother with templates, this quilt never woulda happened.

Early in my quilt life I pulled all of the flowers with red centers from Grandma's pieced blocks and made a small baby quilt.

 ... and did the quilting by hand.
I think it was my first large hand quilting project.
It was lap quilted without a hoop.
I should have used a hoop.

If I had used a hoop there may be fewer
 globs of fabric where they ought not to be.

The other thing I learned was not to fully quilt each hexie ... there is no definition of the individual flower garden blocks.

So this Flower Garden quilt will be quilted
to follow the blocks, not the hexies.
I am much happier with the look on the back.

I am still finding the hoop a bit awkward
because there is lots of turning as
I quilt around the blocks.
But I'm sure I'll get better at it.

This is a big quilt ... 90 x 95 ... 99 blocks
There is lots of opportunity to hone my craft.


  1. Oh I love it!! One of my first quilts was a flower garden, but I did it on a frame.

    Don't you just love the old prints!! I have one of these started by the farmer's great aunt and need to finish it. She had made some seams no larger that 1/8 inch which would pull out, so I would need to take some of it apart. The solid pieces are made from unbleached muslin.

    This should keep you busy ALL winter :)

    1. Yes, I just love the old prints, every block I quilt on I think, gee, this fabric is so cute!

      Am still struggling with the awkwardness of the hoop, I gave up trying to do it from the couch on my lap and put the hoop in the standing frame. That will work better, waaay too much quilt for the lap.

      Now I'm working on getting even stitches and just the right tension/give in the hoop. Yes, this winter's free time is spoken for !!