Saturday, February 4, 2012

The story of my Grandmother's flower garden quilt top

I started this quilt back probably in 2003 (that's right!), this picture was taken in 2004.
I began quilting in 2001 after watching Simply Quilts on HGTV every day. I video taped the program and watched the episodes over and over again. They had an episode on the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt with the plastic hexagons method by Pati Shambaugh. I excitedly started to collect plastic milk containers and round tops of sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. Printed a 2" hexagon  from an internet find and here I went. All the way to queen size. Here's a link to the patties in  case you want to try this method and want to spend no time making the templates:
I've worked on it whenever I couldn't do machine piecing. It was mostly my vacation project. We spend a lot of time in the car when we go on vacation so I could sew away sometimes for days stopping only to get gas and to stretch out a little bit. I really loved making this quilt top (and still thinking to add to it somehow just to keep working on it) even though I had some bumps along the way.
A few years into making it I realized that my marked-by-sharpie-plastic templates started to bleed on the white fabric so I started noticing red spots. I thought to myself, oh no! What in the world am I going to do with this? I thought sharpies are permanent markers and they're not supposed to rub off. WRONG! Now I know that they do rub off and I just had experienced it big time! I kept thinking about a solution and how to fix the problem. Finally I started to put the plastics back around the patch with the red on it, took my handy dandy seam ripper and ripped out the seams around the one I wanted to change. It became a flower with no middle :) Then sewed the new patch in place and took out the plastics. I think I still have one spot that I have to fix and I'll try to take a picture of it to demonstrate.
I would like to put a border around the whole top and I figured it should be hexagons :) then just put the backing and batting, baste and quilt it, not sure how I'll finish the edges since they still have the plastics in them. If you have any suggestions you can email me at or just leave a comment in the  blog. Any advice is helpful no matter what I decide at the end.

Here's my home-made version of patties:

Hexagon patties

I keep them in a zip-loc snack bag.

My sewing  necessities for hand-work:

This way I can just grab the box and go :)

And my super-dooper expensive plastic box picked up at Wal-Mart for about $2.-

If you can't find it right now, try it when they have back to school stuff, otherwise you can use any tupperware container.

The quilt looks like this now:

A close-up of the back and the edges (as you can see the plastics are still in place on the edges):

I decided even after I finish this one I will start another hand project because I find it totally relaxing. Don't get me wrong, I really like to work on my machine, but when I'm not home I still like to do something.
If anyone is interested in a tutorial of this method of hexagon making please let me know and I'll put it up on the blog.
Thanks for stopping by, I'll post some update pictures of my baby quilt as it is ready to be basted.

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