Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Work In Progress

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.

Easter House Pics 014

This past summer, I decided that I’d like to try to replicate this quilt. 

Grandmothers Flower Garden 005 

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. 

Grandmothers Flower Garden 008

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.

Happy stitching!




Dorothy said...

Kaaren, that's an ambitious project, but it will be worth it.
Can't wait to see the finished quilt!

Anonymous said...

I have an old Grandmother's Flower quilt top that was gifted to me from my DH's Aunt (she is in her 90's) It was all hand pieced but then they WASHED the top before it was quilted! I've got a bit of a mess if I ever decide to tackle it. Seeing yours reminded me that it is waiting for my attention. Yours is lovely

Abby and Stephanie said...

The antique and the reproduction quilts are gorgeous. I admire your perserverence! Can't wait to see it completed next year. :o)

Betsy said...

I love your Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt in progress. I would love to make one of these quilts but don't think I have the patience to ever finish one. Thanks for sharing.

Janet said...

I love both the gorgeous quilts, it always amazes me how fantastic these 30's quilts look on a bed.
Thanks for sharing them. It almost makes me want one of my own.

Dolores said...

I admire your stick-to-it-tiveness. I guess now that you have posted this on your blog, you have to finish it. I look forward to seeing the quilting part - one of my favourite things to do. It enhances the quilt sooo much.

Linda - Behind My Red Door said...

That ia amazing - so much work but what a tremendous accomplishment when it is done. You are certainly creating an heirloom for the future and I too can't wait to see the finished treasure!!

dianne said...

i've always avoided the 30's repros - i'm gonna blame it on my mother, who has not one nice thing to say about the 30's ... but yours is the third quilt i have seen in the past week that has knocked my socks off (truly - no socks!) and now i am thinking that (there are no coincidences in the Universe and) i NEED to at least TRY a 30's top

Sherri said...

Your quilt is stunning...already! It will be wonderful to see it completed...and I know you'll do it! A friend of mine found an old Grandmother's Flower Garden in a barrel in her parents' basement. Since her Mom has Alzheimer's...she has no way to find out who made it or when...but it's actually in pretty good condition.

Julie said...

hi kaaren,
while i love the quilt you were lucky enough to buy, i've a feeling yours will be even lovlier. like you, i'm still plugging away at mine every now and then. definitely a long term project. it's nice to pick up in between other projects.
julie xox

Annette said...

You have made such great progress. I admire you for that. I have tried a couple of times to start a GFG quilt but eventually give up. My goal in life is to actually finish one. I like your idea of using it as an inbetween portable project. I think I could do that. Your quilt is going to be such a beautiful treasure.

Candace said...

Kaaren, how lucky you were to stumble on such a well-preserved antique quilt - and I'm so glad to see that you use it! Your reproduction is stunning. I admire your perseverence and can't wait to see the finished product!

Lynn said...

Hi Kaaren - I've got 23 hexagons finished toward a grandmothers flower garden. You are right - it's hard to maintain interest in this one - I've also given myself 2 years to work on it. When I've taken too long of a break with it I just keep thinking how happy I'll be when it's done.

Lisa said...

Your quilt is beautiful! Can't wait to see the end result!!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

I am sure they will feel the same about yours, amazing, just amazing, I love to hand piece and quilt too!

Darlene said...

Your blocks are delightful, Kaaren. I completely understand your desire to do this project. I have quite a few GFG blocks completed but alas I've had difficulty figuring out how to put them together (the path between the flowers has me perlexed) - so the project has been sitting for a very long time.

ranette said...

Wonderful quilt Kaaren and it will be an heirloom when you are done. I love having an ongoing, long-term project, don't you?

Tom H said...

Just a one word Comment!


Alma Allen said...

Ok Kaaren,

You rule. I finally was able to find your blog address! You are the queen of socks and I am your humble servant. Wish you lived close so I could get the lesson for the heels. I love your socks! Your hexagon quilt is wonderful too. I want to start one of them soon.
Your buddy!

Linda said...

Kaaren, what a beautiful quilt this will turn out to be. Patience . I don't think I could last that long. 2 yrs to finish.

Rebecca P said...

Kaaren, what a beautiful quilt that is going to be. I just love Grandmothers flower garden pattern.
Looking forward to seeing each stage of your progress.
Rebecca P