Category Archives: Grandmother’s Flower Garden

Finish Along 2017 Q1

For a more complete list of my WiPs, look above my header image at the “Project List” link.  That list is a work in progress, too.

Before the end of March, I hope to finish (or work on or think about):

  1. The Star Wall Hanging on black, for my mother.  Two more years and it’s still not done yet.  Argh.
  2. Tiny Flower Garden for Prim.  It’s a lot more done now than it is in this picture, and I have more pictures of its assembly which I have yet to blog.  I think if I really push, I can get it quilted and bound and ready for hanging in under three months.  I’m dreading the applique to the borders, but I think I’ve done enough hand-sewing by now that it’ll be fine.  I have no idea how I’m going to quilt it beyond “simply”, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

3. Pumpkin Patch for Sec.  I’d decided that this would be a twin-sized quilt, but I’m going back to my toddler-bed-sized plan.  It’ll be a faster finish and he’s not super-into pumpkins anymore, so this can go into storage for someday when he moves out and takes it with him.  Or he can use it on the couch.  Or both.

4. Red and white twin-sized bed quilt for Sec.  Not blogged (or named) yet, I’ll add a link when I post about it.

5. Improv linen throw quilt.  Chunky rectangles of color, accented with black and white.  1/2″ seams, not blogged yet.

6. Toddler placements.  I promised these to the kids’ (old) school, and I’d like to get them finished up and mailed.  Not blogged yet.

7. 16″ square epp pillow cover.  It’s currently just paper shapes, not blogged yet.

8a-d. Four 7.5″ x 8″ drink/snack mats for the kids’ new drink station.  These are EPPed and I’ll have to redact the photos, since each features its owner’s first initial.  I have Prim’s ready, but I need to re-do the binding as I rushed it and it’s not great.  The paper for Sec’s is cut out and I’m in the basting stage.  These are four separate projects, since they’re time-consuming, but they’re part of a series so I’m listing them together.  Not blogged yet.

9.  Four 7.5″ x 8″ alternate drink/snack mats.  These will be machine-pieced and are much simpler, so they count as one project.  I have the top of Prim’s sewn together and Sec pulled fabrics for his, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten.  Not blogged yet.

And I’ll leave it here, since I don’t want to miss the link-up for the first quarter.  I’ll keep updating my “Project List” link, since I’d like a master list of my WiPs to work from.

Linking up to the Q1 2017 Finish-Along.

Four Minuscule Hexagon Flowers

Terrible low light photo ahoy!

Four minuscule hexagon flowers done, and after taking the last photo on the light background, I realized I liked it much more than the bright green I’d used to baste some of the hexagons.

But now seeing the flowers on this more muted, olive-y green, I like it more then the white I’d intended to use as the path.

But I already basted and sewed most of the background together and I used one of the few flowers on black I have in the center.

But it’s not centered.

A cascade of “buts”.  I”m thinking about just stuffing this one into a container with this green and a strip of white and coming back to it later.  It’s just not fun sewing these little things together anymore and I’d like to make progress on my other projects.  We’ll see if that’ll stick.

Hexes on a Hex

I’m running out of good titles, but I’m loving this photo:

Eleven 3/16″ hexagons on a 1″ hexagon, with space for more.

The orange hexagons are all from the same fabric.  Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have another section with the dots, so the flower from this orange fabric will have one plain petal.

Yes, I’m going to make a 3/16″ hexagon grandmother’s flower garden needle book.  How big?  How will I finish it?  No idea yet.  I’m going to have at least two orange flowers, one red, one yellow, two blue, and one purple.

That’s seven flowers, which is not a great number for this, so I’ll probably add another purple and one pink.  I don’t tend to buy pink fabric, but I’m sure I have enough scraps on hand from my eBay haul for six 3/16″ hexagons.

Scrappy green path, maybe green borders, very minimal quilting, some felt pages (I have some wool/poly felt on hand), and done.  (Ha!  It’s not going to be that easy or that fast.)

Five Flowers for Eleni

Flowers for Eleni HPI decided to also do yellow and white flowers.  They’re wrinkly because the papers are still in.

Flowers for Eleni Back HP

I’m really happy with how they came out (I think I did a pretty good job of choosing hues in each color that worked well with one another), and I hope they fit well into the quilt(s) that Jodi from Tales of Cloth and her helpers make for Rachel and her family.  Here’s the latest from Rachel.  I wish the auction hadn’t been Instagram-only.

Even though I’ve been doing EPP for months now, this is the first project where I actually removed the basting and papers.

Flowers for Eleni Removing Papers HPIt was a little scary at first, and I didn’t realize just how much thread went into the basting stitches until I was cutting them at every corner, but just feeling the fabric drape like fabric again was wonderful.

Flower for Eleni Papers Out HPYou can see that I used a thin light grey thread on the colored parts (Aurifil 50 wt, which I am in LOVE with), and a thicker dark grey thread on the parts connecting with the black.  You can see both sets of stitches a little on the front, but it’s HANDwork, so I like to see it.

I was worried that the seam allowances weren’t behaving, but I put all five flat into a padded mailer, smooshed between pieces of paper, and I think they’ll get to Jodi in Australia better than they left here.

Some people were appliqueing their flowers onto background fabric, per Jodi’s assembly plan, but I just don’t have a deep enough stash to have made that viable.  Also, since I had two light flowers, I wanted her to have some leeway on how she backed them (inverse for those?  Light flowers and dark background?  Or not).

I also didn’t trust myself to do the machine applique and I had no time at all for hand applique.  I hope she can use them and that they play well with other people’s flowers.  This was my first attempt at contributing blocks to a quilt.

I can’t wait to see what she and her helpers do with them and I hope that Rachel’s family can take comfort from them.

Flowers for Eleni

Rachel from Stitched in Color, who teaches the Handstitched class that I’m taking, delivered her baby over the weekend.  Things did not go as expected.  I wanted to offer my support, but I couldn’t comment on her blog post with just my name and I didn’t want to email her my sympathies.

A classmate let us know about Jodi from Tales of Cloth’s Flowers for Eleni 1″ hexagon flowers project.  It’s a very small way that I can come together with our community and let her know that she and her daughter and husband and other children are in our thoughts.

Flowers for Eleni 1 HPI dropped what was on my hand-sewing agenda (aka Midnight Garden) and basted up some 1″ hexagons.  (I made that sound easy, but I agonized, as usual, over the fabrics in each bunch–do they go together, are they balanced, etc.  I want to send her my best and not mess up what everyone else is doing.  I checked the Instagram hashtag and I think what I’m doing will fit in.)

Depending on how fast I can sew these together, I’ll get them mailed on Saturday to Australia(!).  If not, I’ll make a couple more and mail them next weekend.  A yellow would be nice.  Maybe a white-on-white.  For the centers, I used my silver-speckled black fabric, which I love and which I think makes very nice flower centers.

I hope doctors can soon find a diagnosis for Eleni, and I hope it’s one with a good prognosis.

Third Row Progress

Still no finished third row, but here’s what I’ve done this week on my old background fabric, the tan crosshatch:

Third Row on Old Backing HP

I’m really glad I decided to go with the lighter, non-liney background.  The little dots are far softer and they fit in better with the other fabrics and the flower motifs.

I got the green “leaf” hexagons sewn to the first row.  All except that dang green gingham.  I’m really not sure about that one, but I think I need to look for something to replace it.  I also have the third flower on the third row almost surrounded by background hexes, but it was in my travel sewing kit and I didn’t want to dig it out for the photo.

With the Prim and Sec back in school this week, I should be able to get the rest of the row done.

Third Row Rosette

I think I jinxed myself when I talked about all of the steady progress I was making.  It’s been a busy week.  Well, I did manage to get the background on one flower from the third row.

Third Row Rosette Front HP

And the back:

Third Row Rosette Back HPNot much, but better than nothing.

Seeing the back remind me that I like a slightly bigger than 1/4″ seam allowance, which I think will make buying a die cutter (and die, obviously) difficult.  None of them (that I’ve seen) are going to give me the 3/8″ seam allowance I’m more comfortable with.

If you know of a die cutter with suitable dies, please let me know in the comments!  Thanks in advance.

Second Row Done

No exclamation point this week, but I have the second row sewn together.

Second TFG Row HPAnd the first and second rows as they nest together:

First Two TFG Rows HPSorry about the shadows.  I definitely need better lighting.

This project is still very portable (remember that these hexagons measure 1/2″ on a side).  I didn’t attach the single hexagon green “leaves” because I have them all oriented a certain way and it would be a pain to mark them and bring green thread.  I’ll do them all at the end.  And I haven’t decided about that green gingham one yet.

I’m making slow and steady progress, which is great.  I’m not looking forward to doing the applique to the borders, though.

First Row Done! (Almost)

Over the past couple of weekends, we spent a lot of time in the car.  I didn’t have to drive, so I spent the time sewing background hexagons to flowers and joining the first row of Tiny Flower Garden (sans green “leaf” hexagons, hence the “almost” in the post title).  I’m so excited!

First TFG Row HP

It’s actually starting to come together and the more time I spend with it, the more I like it.  I wonder if that’s because of the work I’m putting into it–or maybe it’s just that I didn’t expect much from this project, but I’m learning a lot.

I actually got halfway on joining the second row, but I’ll save photos of that until it’s done.  Soon, I hope.

To facilitate the “sewing while traveling” thing, I got a thread cutter pendant like I’d made fun of in the past.  I’m officially an old lady!  Joking aside, it worked really well.  I’m not used to wearing necklaces (and I had to wear a necklace of braided threads since I forgot to order a metal chain), but it was much less of a pain to wear it and use it than to unsheathe my tiny sharp scissors every time I needed them.  Because I was sewing instead of basting, I didn’t need them too often.

Contrast-Stitched Flower

I promised (even in jest), so I deliver!

Contrast-Stithced Flower Front HP

You’re looking at the only flower I kind of regret.  I was lazy and didn’t switch from the darker thread when I started sewing together the lighter flowers.  Remember that the photo you’re seeing is likely larger than it is in real life, where it measures just over 2.5″ tall, so the stitches aren’t quite so pronounced in person as in the picture.

This is the only light flower that got the darker thread, for reasons that should be obvious.  I justified not ripping out the stitches by telling myself that it adds a homier “make do” feel to the project, but it’s just me not wanting to spend more time undoing it and then cursing to myself as I redid it.

I learned that I need to be neater on the corners.

Contrast-Stitched Flower Back HP

On the back, the whipstitches are clear, as are the little balls of thread in the corners.  I’ve been double stitching each corner and finishing each side with a knot, but maybe it’s too much?  I don’t know.

You’ll also note that I settled into a different basting pattern than on my orange diamond’s hexagons, which were my very first.  I’m now only knotting in the beginning and letting my tail hang against the paper by putting it through the fabric one more time.  At first, I was holding the fabric to the paper hexagon while I stitched, but that was fiddly and annoying, so now I’m basting with a tiny smudge of Elmer’s washable school glue stick.  I’ve also started doing a tack stitch over each corner.  It’s more secure and lets me put the hex down at a moment’s notice without losing all of my work.

The six on the paper hexagon not only lets me find the top of the flower when I’m on the go (most of the flowers are directional) but also reminds me of its order in the pattern without having to look up a reference photo.  This has simplified things for me more than once, since I have them laid out in a not-smart, very kid-accessible place.

As an aside, I’m really not looking forward to prying all of the papers out of the fully-joined hexagons, so I’m putting it off.  I still haven’t gotten the starch yet, so that’s my excuse.