Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Quilting Designs for Grandmother's Flower Garden -- Part II

Good morning!  Following are several of the experimental designs from my Grandmother's Flower Garden sample which I like.  If you're visiting my blog today from a link-up you'll want to read yesterday's (Tuesday) post with photos of the charming vintage quilt. 

As you can see, I've drawn them out on a large hexie grid (you can get a PDF of the grid to print out here) -- I need to keep a record of what I have done for future reference!

I used a different color marker for each round of a design.  My goal was to do the entire motif with one start and one stop.  The order of the color slashes in the lower left corner indicate my sewing order. 

This is my favorite center design.  I started a the intersection where the orange arrow is pointing and arched (gracefully, most of the time) across the center of the hexagon skipping a "corner" -- follow the orange line -- and back to the starting point.  The green line is the transition to the next corner which set me up to stitch the purple triangle skipping corners and bringing me back to that point.  I finished it off with the little arcs -- the blue line -- ending at the corner where I began.  From here I can start any of the designs that follow.

Below are two options for "swirls" in each hexagon of the first ring.  I found they look best when I filled as much of each hexagon as I could with the swirl.  The ones on the right remind me of a "koru" which you see in the art of the Maori in New Zealand.  I tried to stitch in the ditch to travel from one hexagon to the next.

The diagram below illustrates another center motif I like -- just be sure to end at the corner of the hexagon for an easier transition to the outer ring.  The green lines represent the basic soft arc of the continuous curve quilting approach and it left the hexagons too empty in my opinion -- so I experimented with adding more (the purple lines).  One option I liked was echoing the first set of arcs and the second option is oval petals.  Once again, I stayed in the ditch of the center hexagon to travel to the next section. 

The next design seen below on the right side began with the small petals (orange) and when I got all the way around, once again, it was too sparse, so I added a second line (green) -- still needed more so added a third line (purple).  See the dot in the center of the lower left hexagon? -- that is center point I made with chalk so that the first petal was somewhat consistent. 

The design on the left side has 5 lines starting with shallow arcs and making them deeper with each pass.  I did all the orange arcs first and then came back to echo with the green and so on -- gave me better results that trying to make all 5 arcs in one petal at a time.

This is my favorite design!  It requires three passes around the motif.  Before starting, I put a chalk dot about 1/4" from the outer edge of each hexagon to give me a landing point for the purple archs.  The first line is the orange one and it starts by the little arrow (upper right corner).  It skips a corner and lands at an outside corner of the motif.  Then go back down skipping a corner to an inside corner and repeat until you are back at the beginning.  The second line begins with an arc out to the floating chalk dot in that hexagon and back down to the next inside corner -- this is a transition line to set you up for the rest of the second line (green).  When you land back at that point, you are positioned to finish the motif with the purple line.

After quilting the central motifs, I echo quilted the outline of the center motif 1/4" from the seams and again around the outer edge of the outer ring.  I chose a yellow thread that matched the center hexagons for all this quilting and worked with my free motion foot. 

So there you are -- the best of my experiments.  I hope my method of sharing them is helpful to you and that they are the jumping off point for quilting your Grandmother's Flower Garden.  Use them all or repeat one of them -- add lines or eliminate lines -- make it your own!!

I hope the woman who pieced this quilt is pleased with the way I quilted it!!

That's where I'm headed!! 

Mary Huey


  1. Oh my! What lovely quilting! I'm sad to say that I usually just quilt through my hexies on the diagonal. I'll have to file your post away for inspiration on future projects!

  2. I love the arches that you ended up with. It looks great.

  3. Thank you for the awesome inspiration! I usually just do echo quilting on my hexies but now I might actually try something a little more daring! :)

  4. I like that 2nd to the last design best,but they are all really great and creative!

  5. I love your designs. What wonderful ideas.

  6. Your format was very helpful. I will bookmark this for when I make a hexagon quilt. Thanks for sharing.

  7. wow! this is some impressive quilting. I love that you showed all of your design possibilities and your sketches.

    Thanks so much for linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

    1. Thanks for the opportunity to "link-up", Kelly!

  8. These are all great ideas, and beautiful quilting! My MIL recently asked if I would quilt the hand pieced grandmother's flower garden quilt she'd made, and I've been collecting ideas of how to quilt it for when she's ready. I love seeing your ideas!

  9. your tutorial with colored lines is terrific. Thank you so much. I'm about to need quilting advice for a tumbling block design.