How to Finish the Edges of Grandma's Flower Garden Quilt

Written by anne baley
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Grandmother's Flower Garden is a quilt design that was popularised during the 1930s and has come to epitomise the classic Depression quilt. This design is made entirely of hexagonal patches sewn together to create the look of a field of flowers on a white or green background. This style of piecing together hexagons results in a quilt with a very uneven edge. Impatient quilters have been known to cut the edge off to create a smooth edge to their finished quilt. But you can finish this quilt in a more elegant manner, keeping the integrity of every flower in the design.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Bias tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Needle
  • Thread

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  1. 1

    Purchase double-fold bias tape in green, white or a colour that matches the centre of your flowers. Measure the edge of your quilt, adding the length of all four sides. Add 12 inches. This is the total length of bias tape you will need.

  2. 2

    Unroll all of your bias tape lengths. Pin the lengths together and sew them into one long strand to create the length of bias that you need for your entire quilt.

  3. 3

    Open your bias tape to notice that it consists of a piece of fabric folded in the centre, with each edge being folded up inside. One folded edge is longer than the other. This longer edge will go on the back of your quilt.

  4. 4

    Position your bias tape so that the centre fold snugs down over the edge of your quilt. Open up the tape, keeping the front flap in place. Pin down the front flap so that the raw edge of the bias tape runs exactly along the raw edge of your quilt. Pin the tape along the edge of the quilt for about 12 inches, keeping to the peaks and valleys around the flower shapes.

  5. 5

    Sew the bias tape to your quilt, sewing only the front flap down. Keep your stitching inside the opened bias tape, and sew directly along the first fold.

  6. 6

    Pin the bias tape to another 12 inches of the quilt, then sew that portion to the quilt. Continue on in this manner until you reach all the way around the entire quilt and end up where you began. End this portion by cutting off any excess bias tape, then folding the end to the inside and tacking it down to create a smooth edge.

  7. 7

    Fold the bias tape back up around the quilt so that the centre fold is once again snugged up against the edge of the quilt. Pin the longer flap to the back of the quilt, keeping along the edges of the flower shapes. Stitch this flap down with tiny stitches.

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