Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grandmother's Flower Garden

After sharing my preference for thimbles yesterday, I thought I would show the first ever quilt I pieced by hand and hand-quilted. This quilt took many years for me to make. I think I started it in 1998 or '99 and I worked on it off and on for many hours while waiting for my youngest son while he was in his Tae-Kwon-Do class, while spending time visiting my mother-in-law whenever she was hospitalized, while on break at work and during many other bits and pieces of time that make up our lives. There were also lots of times where all of the bits and pieces just sat in the box waiting for me to pick it up and work on it. This quilt finished at 71" x 89".

Normally, a hexagon quilt is made using the English paper-piecing method but not this one. I made a template from sandpaper and traced the cutting and sewing lines on whatever scraps I had available. I did purchase fabric specifically for the pathways between the flowers and the borders. I was so happy once I got the top together and I could see what my quilt would look like. I wanted to do a really scrappy version because this pattern really is depression-era and I am pretty sure that women of that time would have just used what they had. I have to say that some of the flowers in this quilt are not so attractive and others are just so pretty!

When it came time to quilt it I was really clueless and I just got up the courage and went for it. I quilted sort of in-the-ditch around the outer edge of each ring of hexagons. There are 2277 of these hexagons and each side finished at 1". I had no idea that when hand-quilting you use only one strand of thread (this quilt is quilted with two) and that you "pop" the knots into the layers instead of letting them sit on top. My stitches are so far from perfect (there are an awful lot of seams) - some stitches are big, some are crooked but I must say that I did quilt it with joy!

I completed this quilt in May 2007 and I gave it to my mother for Mother's Day with the inscription -

Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother
For all the beautiful flowers in your garden.
Made by hand with love to honour my Mother.

The pattern I used.
The template I used and leftover pieces
My Mother has 9 children, 22 grandchildren and so far 6 great-grandchildren and they are all her flowers from her garden.


Sue said...

That is the most wonderful quilt story. Each stitch that is made with love, no matter how wonky, is perfect.

Peg said...

How lovely! And what a tribute!

Cathy said...

That is a beautiful quilt!! I'm sure your mother treasured it when she received it, and still does.

Jan-Maree said...

Oh my - I bet that quilt and the love that went into it can still bring a tear to your mother's eye!

Connie said...

What a beautiful quilt! I envy anyone who has the patience to make one of these!

vtquilter said...

Beautiful quilt. I would be very proud of it too - completely by hand! Love the story behind it.

Rose Marie said...

Beautiful quilt!!!