About five years ago on one of my travel teaching trips to Ohio, I stumbled upon a shop in Hudson, Ohio where the owner happened to be an antique quilt collector. She had about a dozen of her quilts on display in the shop and we struck up a conversation centered mainly on quilts and antiques in general and I soon found out that we had a lot in common. As it turns out, she was downsizing her quilt collection and the ones that were in the store were for sale. The end result…two came home with me!
One is a wonderful red and white quilt and the other is my favorite…a dated 1923 Grandmother’s Flower Garden.
This past summer, I decided that I’d like to try to replicate this quilt.
I decided to try to follow the pattern as closely as possible and to use 1930’s reproduction fabrics to mimic the theme of the 1923 original.
Over 1200, 1 1/2” hexagons later, the 63 flowers were complete.
My progress lately has slowed up considerably, but I knew that it would be a labor-intensive project when I started. In order not to lose interest, I work on other projects in the interim and because of it’s portability, find it easy to pick up, sew a few together and put it down at will. I don’t know how many more ‘hexies’ I’ll need to complete the connecting pathways, so I prepare 50 at a time just to keep me going.
My goal is to complete the piecing, quilting and binding entirely by hand, just like in the original.
Initially, I didn’t set a time frame for completing this quilt but if I can get it done by the summer of 2010, two years from when I started down the garden path, I’ll be happy.
This exercise has certainly made me understand and appreciate the labor that the generations before us put into the making of their Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts. Hopefully someone in the distant future will feel the same about mine.