How to Put Together a Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt

Written by steven white
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How to Put Together a Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt
Quilts can be fashioned from any style of fabric. (quilts image by Christopher Martin from

The grandmother's garden or honeycomb quilt became popular in the 1920s and 1930s as its colourful, flowerlike design reminded its recipient of a cheerful flower garden. Originally crafted in 18th century England, this labour-intensive quilt is not readily available in the modern market. Creating a grandmother's flower garden quilt takes meticulous attention to detail and precise cutting and shaping of the various hexagon pieces, not to mention a lot of patience for crafting together each individual flower panel.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Colourful fabrics--cotton blends are ideal
  • Hexagon template
  • Disappearing ink sewing pen
  • Scissors
  • White thread
  • Plastic zipper bags
  • Sewing machine or serger
  • Pins
  • Cotton batting
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Select some colourful fabrics for forming the different flowers. Choose both solid and print fabrics to avoid making the quilt appear too busy. Ideal fabrics for quilt-making are 100% cotton weaves or cotton and polyester weave blends. Remember that the quilt is going to have a variety of different flowers, so no more than 1/4 yard of fabric should be purchased in any particular colour.

  2. 2

    Pair together fabrics that you feel will create your desired flowers.

  3. 3

    Trace hexagons onto the fabrics using a hexagon template and disappearing ink sewing pen.

  4. 4

    Cut out the hexagons with sharp sewing scissors and lay out the hexagons while cutting to form each flower. Once a flower is finished, put the pieces into a plastic zipper bag to keep the pieces together.

  5. 5

    Sew the hexagons together using white thread and a sewing machine. Remember that the hexagons should be placed right sides facing in, and the edges stitched with at least a 1/4 inch seam. The most common stitch used for these quilts is a straight stitch. For a firmer hold, consider using a running stitch such as the button stitch function on most sewing machines, as this stitch will prevent the fabric from unravelling over time. If preferred, a serger machine can also be used.

  6. 6

    Combine the finished flowers with solid coloured hexagons to form the larger parts of the quilt.

  7. 7

    Pin and sew a border onto the outside edge of the quilt. This will finish off the design and add some additional stability to the quilt.

  8. 8

    Lay out and pin the cotton batting to the back fabric. Quilt stitch the batting into position on the back fabric.

  9. 9

    Place the back fabric and front panel right sides together and sew the two pieces together. Leave 1 foot of space open at the end of the quilts for right siding the quilt once combined.

  10. 10

    Right side the quilt and iron the edges so that the corners are crisp and will remain in place for sewing.

  11. 11

    Round the entire quilt once, creating a final border stitch at roughly 1/2 inch. Any stitch can be used for this step, including embroidery stitches, because this is the final finishing on the quilt.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid attempting this intricate quilt as a first quilting project. For a beginning quilter, consider forming a quilt with 3-inch squares instead.

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