Monday, March 22, 2010

Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt

One more project I've been working on is a Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt. I've been making the quilt top completely by hand, so it's taking much longer than most quilts.

Please don't think I'm a purist who refuses to make quilts by machine. That's not the case at all. But I've chosen to make this project by hand because I find it soothes my spirit. If things go wrong in my little world, I can sit down and stitch on my quilt for awhile and then I'm fine. Calm. As Alice once said, "Go to your happy place." Stitching on this quilt is my happy place.

I don't know how most people make a Grandmother's garden quilt, but I start with fabric strips 3 inches wide; I cut them into squares, and then I cut the corners off a bit. What I'm left with is a piece of fabric that is loosely a hexagon shape. I saturate the dickens out of the squares with starch and then I steam press each one around a cardboard template that's exactly the right size.

Sometimes I spend a little time just making hexagons to keep my sewing basket well stocked. Then later on I'll take one of this color, six of that color, and twelve of that color over there. I stack them and tack them straight down the center to keep them all together until I'm ready to make the "flowers". In the photo below, you can see a stack that's ready to go, a couple of single hexagons, a couple of the cardboard templates and my faithful spray starch.

When I want a little quiet time, I pick up a stack and stitch them together. Since I used the templates to make them the correct size and shape, the putting-it-together part is real easy. And since I've already chosen the colors (1, 6 and 12) when I made the stack, it's a complete no-brainer to make a flower like this.

When I get enough "flowers" I add them to the quilt top. Some of the colors in this particular quilt are pretty bright -- it reminds me of Mom and how she LUV'd bright, cheerful colors in her quilts.

Haven't a clue when I'll finish this project, but in this case, it's DEFINITELY the journey that's most important, not the destination.


Mary said...

That is going to be one beautiful quilt. And that's a lot of quiet stitch at a time.


Thanks for your encouraging words. I checked out your block and I only got as far as the Beads and Baubles Quilt Pattern. LUV IT! t's beautiful!

Thanks for stopping by.

TexNan said...

Love the quilt, Daisy! It's gonna be a beauty. I so know what you mean about the soothing quality of handstitching. Or at least I did when I could actually see at night, which is when I manage my quiet times. (But you know Mama was never as organized making quilts as you are. Guess that's what comes from having all those kids.)