August 20, 2012

MY Grandmother's Flower Garden

When my grandmother passed away, the family came together to move her things out of the Assisted Living. Among her things were a few quilts she had made. While the quilts went to my aunt, in the things my mother, aunt and uncle had set aside for me was a box of sewing odds and ends and some fabric scraps. Actually quite a few fabric scraps. I've had them for over a year now, and had tucked them away until I found a project in which to use them. I was leaning toward using them and making a scrappy quilt. But felt there was a more intersting pattern to use. So there in my fabric stash they stayed.

A few of the scraps and leftovers from my grandma's quilts.

And a few more leftover fabric scraps.

There were even a few scrappy nine patch blocks. I will be incorporating these into the backing and using a quilt label to be sure the story of "MY Grandmother's Flower Garden" stays with the quilt.

An Angel in Disguise

I travel for work and usually spend a couple hours layover at Chicago O'hare. This trip was no different, except the gate was smaller than usual. There was no opportunity to place that empty buffer chair between me and another traveler. SIGH! A grandmotherly-looking woman asked if the seat next to me was taken. She sat down, made a quick call on her cell phone, and pulled out a sewing project. I didn't pay much first. As time passed I realized she was hand-piecing blocks for a quilt. I struck up a conversation and found out she was doing English Paper Piecing. She talked about her project, where she got her hexagon templates and the things she had learned along the way. She was making a quilt following an historical pattern called "Grandmother's Flower Garden". It was then I realized what I was going to do with the scraps of fabric from my grandmother. I was going to make MY Grandmother's Flower Garden.

Want to more about "Grandmother's Flower Garden"?
Click HERE to visit, a website with lots of quilting history.

A boarding announcement boomed from overhead, and in a flash the kind woman was gone. We said a quick cordial good-bye and wished each other safe travels, but I never did get her name, nor where she was from. Thinking back, I believe that she was placed there to give me the inspiration of how to use my grandmothers fabric. Thank you, whereever you are.

The Adventure Begins

So last night I embarked on my adventure. I sorted through the pile of scraps, pulled out a few pieces of fabric, gathered my needles, some thread and a scissors and of course grabbed the package of hexagon templates (I ordered them online right from the airport), and sat down with the family to watch a movie (and stitch). The first couple hexagons were awkaward, but soon they began to fly together. I had 'pieced' or rather made enough hexies to make two (2) flowers.

Die Cut Hexagons purchased on ebay from seller sunshinequilter.

While my plan is to make all the hexies I need first, I decided I had better try my hand at piecing them together. One by one, the first six hexies made their way around the yellow center. WOW! That was easy. I now need to decide whether my flowers will be the six hexies around a center, or if I will expand them one more row to make a larger flower.

In today's morning light, I see I need to work on my whip stitch to ensure my threads don't show. But no matter, I, like many of you, have gotten the bug. They are addictive. Hand-piecing really makes me feel as though I've accomplished something.

This will be no Eleanor Burns, "Quilt in a Day", that is for sure. I'm shooting to complete the top within a year. We shall see. But there is something special about doing things the 'old-fashioned' way. And add that I'm using fabric from MY grandmother. This will be something very special.

Happy Stitching!

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