“If quilts take taken the country past storm, then the hexagon Bloom Garden, or Grandmother’s Flower Garden, or the French Rose Garden—whatever your locality calls it—well, it’s a whirlwind.”
“Mind in on any grouping of ardent quilt fans and yous will hear frequent mention of this most popular blueprint of the day and it is not hard to see why.”one
Romance of the Patchwork Quilt – 1935
Barbara Brackman reports that the Grandmother’s Blossom Garden was the virtually popular design afterward 1925. She tells us, “…many women who never made another quilt finished a Grandmother’southward Flower Garden.”
Hexagon Quilts from Colonial times to the Colonial Revival
The author quoted above gives the names Grandmother’s Flower Garden and French Bouquet for this blueprint. She goes on to say that “modern” quilters loved the countless color combinations and ways the blocks could be set together with this design. She relates, “Some other affair of pride is the number of small hexagons in the finished quilt, often many thousands.” Although many Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts do non incorporate many thousands of hexagons they even so represent a peachy deal of labor.
This lovely mosaic quilt may have been truest to the Colonial Revival’s ideal of reproducing early American quilts, for the mosaic quilt was indeed made as early as the end of the 1700s. Early names for this quilt were honeycomb and mosaic.
Methods for Making a Hexagon Quilt
Early hexagon quilts were ordinarily made using the English Paper Piecing method. Information technology is quite dissimilar from modern paper piecing and is a method done by hand, non automobile. Many modern quilters are finding they like this old method and it is a expert manner to accurately put together a Grandmother’due south Flower Garden Quilt. Excellent instructions tin be found at Keeping Us in Stitches: English Paper Piecing.
Hexagon Layouts for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden
The most common way Grandmother’southward Blossom Garden quilts were made was with a central hexagon and rows of hexagons surrounding it with an interconnecting row of white or in some cases light-green for grass as in the picture higher up to the right. But quilters are always creative and variations were used like the quilt to the left that surrounds the flower with an interconnected star.
The size of the hexagon used tin can exist varied as well. Earlier quilts tended to use hexagons an inch or less across while 20th century hexagons tended to be larger. Go to the
Blossom Garden Hexagon Pattern Template
and print it out. Yous may find you want yours to be a different size. Enlarge or reduce it and so add together a 1/four inch seam.
Binding the Quilt
If you elect to follow the hexagon edges it could exist done using bias binding. You can either employ commercial bias tape as many did in the 1900s or you can make your own bias strips. Another method would be with a pillowcase plough. Recently I saw an exquisite Flower Garden Quilt that was done with a knife edge. The edges were turned under toward the batting and were carefully whipstitched together.
Many Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts were finished along the edges of each hexagon or the hexagons trimmed like the bounden pictured to the correct. Others were finished with a straight border. Quilt historian, Charlotte Balderdash, tells near a lovely quilt finished like this. In this case a wide edge was cut then the edges of the hexagon quilt were appliqued onto it. This left a squeamish surface area around the Grandmother’due south Flower Garden where the quilter added fancy cablevision & plume feather quilting. Another possibility would be to applique flowers on the border.
So hexagon edging or a straight border the choice is yours. Either way would exist true to the catamenia.
� 2007 Judy Anne Breneman
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Learn about the history of hexagon quilts
Honeycomb to Grandmother’southward Flower Garden
p 88 “The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt” past Carrie A. Hall & Rose One thousand. Kretsinger
p 169 “Clues in the Calico” past Barbara Brackman