Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt Like Grandma Used to Make
Hello Dear Friends and Readers, today I will share my journey and the instructions for making a simple Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt Like Grandma Used to Make. I have been at this project for years, and although that may seem like a negative, in fact, that is not the case. I kind of call this a Clayton’s Quilt. (That is code for the quilt you make, when you are not making a quilt). You may ask, how can that be? Well this started life as a hand work / travel project. This was done at times when I would not have been able to sew, certainly not with a machine. These moments being when travelling or watching television and other times when just waiting for some reason. So you can see that although it may have taken a long time, in fact I could have been idle at those times and instead I have this top.
I feel like it was a good learning experience too. My initial thoughts were to make this quilt top as our foremothers may have been made years ago. I wanted to experience that process myself, rather than buying precut papers or fabrics. I used the English Paper Piecing method. I cut all my own papers from brochures. I made the hexagons as 2” hexagon because I thought that might be quicker. Here is how I did that.
Hexagons Charming Free and Easy
You can cut your papers from brochures too or print some out and cut those. If you don’t want to cut your own papers, I noticed in a quilt shop today that you can buy them for about $10- for 100 papers.
I used fabric from my stash and picked out fabric which I feel somewhat emulates Art Deco style fabrics like feedsacks. Bright but with limited colour schemes and often with white in the design.
I thought about how these quilts would have been made in the past and I decided to use 5” x 5” squares of fabric. Somehow, that seemed logical to me and I imagined that maybe most ladies would not have necessarily cut out the hexagon shapes from the fabric . Today by chance I read a tale about someone finding a vintage / antique Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt which was incomplete and still had the papers in it. Guess what….??? The maker used squares of fabric too! It made me feel quite justified in my decision. Actually, I found it helpful to have that bit of extra fabric when wrapping it around the papers prior to sewing them together.
Well now I have put the last stitches into the top and prepared it for quilting. I made a bit of a day of it as i have done before. I call it backing day!
I had some fabric which I thought would be ideal for this quilt. It has lots of green and tan in a very stylised pattern. I was able to join the fabric easily matching the pattern (sometimes this is a pain) but not this time.
Here she is, all layed out. It will probably take some time to quilt but thats okay with me because the journey has been pleasurable so far.
If you would like to make one, here are the requirements and instructions. It is a good size.
Finished size 77” x 96”
This is a hand piecing project. All fabric was washed and lightly pressed prior to commencement
Previous posts about this quilt.
Here is a lovely article which outlines the history fo Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilts.
Requirements for Grandmother’s garden Quilt Like Grandma Used to Make
7 1/2 yards / metres of solid white background fabric like white homespun
1/3 yard / metre of 24 assorted fabrics. I chose bright simple prints with white in the background OR 32 assorted fat quarters (or the equalivent in scraps)
675 of 2” paper hexagons (2″ is the measure of each side)
Cutting the fabric for the Grandmother’s Garden Quilt Like Grandma Used to Make
From the solid white homespun – cut 35 of 5” strips across the width of the fabric. Subcut 273 of 5” x 5” squares.
Cut 3 of 3” strips across the width of the fabric. Subcut 24 of 3” x 5” oblongs,
From the assorted fabrics, cut 5” strips across the width of the fabric. Subcut390 of 5” x 5” squares.
Making the Hexagons
See this post for making the hexagon templets and stitching the fabric squares over the templets. Hexagons Charming Free and Easy
Sewing the Hexagons into Flowers
From the assorted fabrics make 50 flowers of 7 hexagons each, with one in the centre being different and the surrounding six hexagons in the same fabric like this.
Make eight half flowers of one centre hexagon and four hexagons of matching surrounding fabrics.
Make 273 white hexagons.
Make 24 white half hexagons using 24 of the papers folded in half and using the 3” x 5” pieces of fabric to wrap the half hexagons.
Sewing the Grandmother’s Garden Like Grandma Used to Make together
Hexagons are amazing shapes when you consider the potential for the infinite and ingenious patterns which can be created. Just ask the bees. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-surprising-architecture-in-bees-honeycombs/
For this quilt, it is a very simple layout. I found it easiest to make the quilt in long rows with three white hexagons in between each flower as pictured below. Then add in the missing background white hexagon and join the long rows together. Each row is offset from the previous row.
Make Five rows of six flowers with three white hexagons in between each flower and each end of the row.
Make four rows of five hexagons with three hexagons in between each flower and add one of the half flowers to each end of the row of five.
Alternate the rows beginning and ending with a row of six whole flowers, filling in the missing background white hexagons as you go. Nine rows altogether.
To finish, sew in the 24 half hexagons on the outside of the two end rows to make the edge straight.
There it is. A simple Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt top Like Grandma Used to make.
Now I have backed this top and I’m about to start Hand quilting it.
From small beginnings. This quilt top could also be mede with scraps that you have in your stash.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like
Orange Peel Quilt Blocks Pattern
Hand Pieced Spool Blocks with Instructions
Hope you can make something in times when you might not have thought you could.
©️ Susan Stuklis 2022
9 thoughts on “Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt Like Grandma Used to Make”
I have a hand sewn quilt top in the flower garden pattern. I would like to finish it same way, but am to a quilter myself and am at a loss for what to do. It is 66×90, so would fit on a full sized sheet, but how do I handle the uneven shape of the quilt top?
Hi Avis, the details of how I finished this quilt are in this post.
My hand stitching which I used to join the pieces shows when the pieces are joined into the final 7 piece block and in the quilt as a whole. I have used light and dark fabrics but have joined all with white thread. I started over and tried to make very small stitches. It didn’t work. Should I give up and make two quilts, one with only lights and the other with only darks? Suggestions please!
I believe that once the quilt is completed the stitching lines will be barely noticeable. At the moment there is tension on the stitching lines due to the papers and the sheer weight of the quilt top. I experienced the same problem even though my stitches were tiny. Once the whole top is quilted, bound and washed the seam lines will settle in. Personally I would keep going. It will be beautiful. It is a hand pieced quilt after all. 💕
Susie, I have my top ready to quilt with my batting and backing pinned. I plan on hand quilting it but wondered how you are quilting yours, around each flower?
That’s really exciting! How lovely. Yes I hand quilted mine. I quilted around each hexagon, but you could certainly quilt around each flower. Here is the link to the quilting. https://susies-scraps.com/2022/05/24/all-in-hand-lessons-in-hand-quilting/
and for the binding https://susies-scraps.com/2022/10/07/bias-binding-for-hexagon-quilt/
Hi Susie, thank you so much for this pattern!!!!
I started making hexagons with scrap fabric just to keep my hands busy while I wasn’t able to quilt, and not knowing what I was going to do with all the hexagons…and now I do.
I also love knowing the history of this quilt pattern.
I am curious as to what you are using as batting. Thanks, Victoria