Flower Garden

The flower garden has always been one of my favorite quilt patterns.  I’ve never made one but I’ve started several.

Looking at the fabrics I used in this quilt,  you can probably guess this one was started in the 80’s.  Who knows if I will ever finish it.

A couple of friends have been working on flower garden tops using the English paper pieces method.  Every year, the Paper Pieces ladies are at Paducah.  Every year I stop and talk to them.  Every year I say . . I’m going to do that! I have a bag of the pieces that I bought at Paducah in 2007.

Truth is . . I started one already but I don’t have a clue where it is.  I don’t have much of it done and I was doing in 30’s prints (reproductions of course).  Don’t ask me why I chose those.  They’re so ‘not me’.  The problem has been that everyone else was using a “theme” or one line of fabric.  Elaine did hers in all Chocolate fabric.  Someone used all reds, whites and blacks.  I can’t remember what all I’ve seen and I kept trying to convince myself to use a certain line of fabric and make the whole top out of that line but . . I just can’t.

So, I’m going to use a green for the path . . maybe a Dimples by Andover green, and a yellow center . . maybe also a Dimples, but then everything else will just be from the stash.  I can do that.

Only problem is . . when I’m sitting, I could be working on computer stuff, knitting socks or making paper pieces for the flower garden.  And, I so rarely sit.  Maybe I should put this project away before I ever get started!   🙁


  1. 1


    I think a lot of us have projects in progress that we liked when we saw them completed by others but…for some reason……we didn’t like so much when WE were doing them. I am thinking I am going to start giving some of them away at quilt guild or on my blog. No sense taking up valuable space with projects I don’t like enough to finish when I could have room in those places for some brand new fabric. LOL

  2. 2

    Amy says

    The allure of hexagons (probably not GFG) has grabbed me more than once. Luckily I have an EPP UFO to do still…

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    June Piper-Brandon says

    Hi Judy, I started one with big hexagon’s and I’m doing it with bright solids and Eye Spy fabrics. I’ve been working on it for years, my goal is to make it twin size for Liam. But, now I’ve lost my hexagon template, I’ll have to find it somewhere. It’ll be a really cool quilt.
    By the way, I finally hung my stashbox quilt with the black sashing and hand dyed fabrics that you quilted for me with the baptist fans (the one that got a blue ribbon and best use of color). It looks great over my sofa in the living room.

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    I got my hexagon thrill over & done with on small scale, I made a cute pincushion with 1″ hex’s in batiks. I can smile at it everyday but it’s not lurking in the stash growing by the decade, lol 😀

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    Cindy B says

    I bought the hexagon die for the Go die cut machine and used it to cut the paper pieces from lightweight card stock. I have enough hex shapes cut to last my guild a lifetime! I’ve been told with shock voices I’d dull the die blades, oh the horror!

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    I also have 2 of them started..if I remember correctly, 1 uses 5″ hex shapes all scrappy reds, browns, golds, creams, rusts (you see where we’re headed here) the other is 1.5″ hex EPP (I bought the packages of precut too) and it’s 30’s with lots of white and green pathways. If that isn’t enough, I have my neice’s quilt to finish piecing. Mom started it using hand drafted cardboard templates and drawn 1/4″ seam allowances…and it’s all by hand. The pattern is something “rosebud”. It’s a major production to get that one out, set up the chart, mark off which line I”m on…no way to work it any other way but in rows. Uck.

    That’s not my only UFO of really fiddly work….somewhere, I have a cathedral window started using unbleached muslin and 30’s centers. ARGH!

    • 6.1

      nancy allen says

      hi – i just started quilting a grandmothers flower garden my aunt gave me for xmas; it was hand pieced by my great great grandmother in about 1935 is what i have been told – you can tell most of the fabrics were either men’s shirts or women’s blouses, and of course solids – i stated one for my granddaughter four years ago out of scraps, it is NOT very big yet – got a stamp to make the octogons at the huston international show

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    Sandy Gail (Sandra Neel Hutchins) says

    It took me seven years to make my queen size Grandmother’s Flower Garden. It is hand pieced and hand quilted. I finished another one that was started by a lady in 1928. I got it finished in 2005. So hang in there, Judy. Someday yours will be done!

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    Cindy says

    I can’t in a million years imagine you working on a quilt like that. Not even when you’re old.

    Just buy one if you really like it. Life’s too short. You could make 20 quilts in the time it would take you to make this one.

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    laceflower says

    GMFG was one of my first quilts back in the early 80s, hand pieced with the tiniest of stitches and the fabrics where from clothes scraps because quilting cottons weren’t anywhere to be found.

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    I take the hand piecing projects on road trips when I am not the driver. I LOVE to English paper piece the GFG’s. I just put them on 6.5″ squares and then I don’t have to make the whole GFG quilt with all those connections. I used some for the Row Robin I did with WASIQ last year. Mine is the row on the far left. I’m sure you’ve seen it, Judy. It was ont eh Design Wall Monday.

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    Linda H says

    About 6 yrs ago, I ordered some of those vinyl/plastic pieces that pop out once your basting is done –I had tried the paper bit and it wasn’t for me. I no sooner received the plastic ones than I had emergency surgery and had 6 weeks to sit and do hexies! It got old. I have a lovely section about 2 1/2 x 3 or so feet. In beautiful purples. On the shelf where I can see it. And hear it calling to me. Nope, I would rather work on something else. Now, I’m wondering… at my present age, shhh… will it get finished before I am too old to work on it?

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    Sharie - Moss Bluff says

    As you know I have done a few hexies. I used the di-cuts from Paper Pieces. In each one of my grandmothers garden “blocks” I put a black hexie. Then I used what ever and then bordered my quilt in black hexies. A rough guess without looking about 4 /5 rows of black hexies. As a path I use a marbled tan. It turned out to be a great color combination. Then of coarse since I piece my backs and I wanted to keep that knife edge, it only made sense to put them on the back. Making hexies is a great take it with you project and also for watching tv. Have fun………..

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    Kate says

    I’ve been working on a grandmother’s flower garden for about 4 years. It’s my soccer practice, swim practice and road trip project. I hope to finish it by the time DD finishes high school. I have 7 years before that happens, so at this point I’m not in a big hurry. It’s a nice project to have, because when I can’t have my machine, it allows me to feel like I’m being a productive quilter.

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    Carol says

    My mother made a GFG probably in the 70s/80s. She sew hers by machine. She used scraps from the clothes she made for us girls and she choose a white background. It took a long time to make. I don’t have the patience. The English technique is interesting but I could never make a entire quilt using it.

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    I, too, have purchased that set of pieces, but at the Houston show.

    To have time to sit and work on it, try taking an hour break 2-3 days a week, sit out side and watch your chickens scratch and your garden grow. 😉 Consider it therapy.