The Grandmother of Hexagon Quilts

Here it is folks, my Antique store beauty.  It only seemed appropriate for the summer of Hexagons that I would find this antique Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt top. I carried it with me all through our visit at the Antique Emporium just to make sure I wasn’t making a rash decision, and in the end, I couldn’t resist.

The only quilt my grandmother ever pieced was a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt right before she got married in 1934.  My mom still has that quilt and I’ve always loved it, but it’s looking pretty raggedy after years of wrapping up kids with chicken pox or taking on family picnics.  When I found this quilt top I about fainted.  It’s not identical to the one my grandma made, but it’s so similar.  The same shade of Nile Green and definitely made in the same era.

This quilt is all hand pieced and in fabulous condition.  No stains, so fading, no signs of wear.  Probably kept neatly folded away some place safe for a lot of years. After starting my own adventures with hand sewing hexagons – much bigger than these babies I might add – I knew this was something I would never in a million years complete on my own. All those tiny hexies? No way.  And the gorgeous, mint condition vintage fabrics sealed the deal. I think I got it for a steal.

I love examining all the vintage fabrics.

And even more amazing, most of the prints are fussy-cut!

Someone put some serious effort into this quilt.

The colors are so vibrant too. I think the reds, yellows and browns are my favorites.

I have been thinking so much about the woman – or women – (I’m assuming) who made this work of art. I wish I knew more about her.  I just hope she knows that her investment is in the hands of someone who greatly appreciates her talent and time to create such a beauty.  I’m going to hand quilt this one – probably very s.l o.w.l.y, but it’s the only way to do it justice. Hooray for happy hexies!

PS If you’re local, there’s a Garden Quilt Show today at Amy McClellan’s home in Orem, Utah. (Remember last year?)  It’s from 11:00-1:00 and you can find more details at the American Quilting Blog. Ice cream included!

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  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Wow, I'd love to know how many hours went into completing that amazing quilt! Great find!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Love that green!! So glad you found such a treasure!<br /><br />Blessings,<br /><br />KT

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 9:32 am

    That is just stunning! Use it in the best of health 🙂

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 9:38 am

    What a treasure you have there. Just beautiful! :o)

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I would have fainted! I&#39;m so glad that it is in the hands of someone who will treasure it! I would love to know the story behind it and more about the woman who loveingly pieced it too!Enjoy!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Lovely photos kiddo….but they don&#39;t let people know how truly HUGE that top is!! I know….I had the luck of holding it in person….it is HUGE…no way I would every attempt to make something like that and yes Amy….it was a steal!!<br /><br />Keep us posted on your quilting progress!!:)

  • Reply
    Aunt Spicy
    August 21, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Oh gosh A, those photos really do the quilt justice! What an amazing find…and I am so glad that someone who appreciates it found it!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Your quilt is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Wow – what a real treasure to love. Even more cool how you can REALLY appreciate it after doing so many hexies of your own.<br /><br />And the last photo is wonderful!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    What a find!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    What a great quilt – that is one lucky find 🙂

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    OH WOW, you lucky girl. Way to go!

  • Reply
    live a colorful life
    August 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! I love the green/white hexie border.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    So glad you didn&#39;t leave it behind! What a treasure – thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    what a great find……….I would have to buy it too………

  • Reply
    Stray Stitches
    August 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    What a treasure to have found!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Oh my goodness – what an amazing quilt!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    What a wonderful find.You have a real treasure there.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Hexie love! No wonder why blogland is loving the hexies. We come from talented stock! Thanks for the eye candy!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    What a truly lucky find! Was it very expensive? Antique stores tend to be, I find.. great that it&#39;s in good condition! Big plus 🙂

  • Reply
    Kim Walus
    August 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I think I would&#39;ve started hyperventilating when I saw the quilt. It must not have been terribly expensive or I&#39;m sure you wouldn&#39;t have bought it. Congratulations on your marvelous find!!!! WOWee!!!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    this is so beautiful…sometime last year i came across a quilt like this at a antique shop and fell in love, and got an amazing deal on it too!!! perfect condition but mine is all that nile green, no white. i love it, which makes me understand just how much you love yours.

  • Reply
    Mary on Lake Pulaski
    August 21, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    It&#39;s just gorgeous Amy! And guess what? I too found a Grandmother&#39;s Flower Garden quilt top last year at an antique shop. It too has mostly nile green and is all hand pieced. I am in the process of deciding how to finish it so I can use and enjoy it. I can&#39;t even imagine how many years it would take for me to hand quilt it. What are you going to use for a backing?

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Holy COW!! That is tremendously beautiful. You are so fortunate to have that quilt top! My grandma has one my great-grandma made, but it&#39;s yellow where yours is green. I l love your quilt! Good eye!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Wow – beautiful top. You are so right that it fits that someone who appreciates the quilt for it&#39;s level of detail be the new owner. Have fun hand quilting. It can only add to it&#39;s beauty.<br /><br />AnneMarie @ Gen X Quilters

  • Reply
    August 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Amy, that quilt is absolutely amazing!!! Even if you paid thousands of dollars it would have been totally worth every penny. Just gorgeous. I am sure it is something that you will treasure.

  • Reply
    August 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Just gorgeous!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Congratulations on having such a treasure. It is pretty special.

  • Reply
    Crafty Mama
    August 22, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    That is just gorgeous! Congrats on your find! ☺

  • Reply
    Papgena Made It
    August 23, 2010 at 4:53 am

    it&#39;s really beautiful!!! What a great finding!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Gosh I can&#39;t imagine how long it took someone to piece all of those hexagons! I swear I&#39;m going to make one that big myself one day. Good luck with the hand quilting!<br /><br />Nerys x

  • Reply
    a little bit biased
    August 23, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Oh, I&#39;m sad I have to work! I wanted to go to that quilt show! Well, I love this hexagon quilt. I&#39;m sure it was worth every penny. Good luck on your hand quilting endeavors!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

    the quilt is gorgeous! I also picked one up at an antique shop..I know what ya mean about wondering about the person who invested time and love into making the top to never finish it.I am considering hand quilting mine also.Thanks for sharing,Amy

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    beautiful beautiful beautiful! you&#39;re a lucky lady!<br /><br />corrie:)

  • Reply
    August 24, 2010 at 2:46 am

    What a lovely quilt i love the pattern not that i have ever done it lol<br />Hugs Janice

  • Reply
    Monica McNeill
    August 24, 2010 at 3:41 am

    I&#39;m going through the same process with a 30&#39;s quilt top I found. I absolutely agree that hand quilting is the only way to honor such lovely finds!

  • Reply
    Nanette Merrill and daughters
    August 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I love that it is a quilt top. Not quilted yet. It is perfect, beautiful, lovely, amazing. I too wonder about the maker. You can see how she planned it out. I&#39;m sure she used left overs from dresses. I love the fabrics. I would want to have it quilted. I guess hand quilted would be my preference. I think you should quilt it somehow and display it. Love it. Love it. I&#39;d love to

  • Reply
    August 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Amy Smart! Guess what….I went to my Aunt&#39;s house and she pulls out my GREAT-Grandmother&#39;s hexagon quilt! And I now own it! I was SO thrilled because of your love for hexagon quilts I know about them now! Thanks for being a quilting star!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Hello, I have a beautiful hexagon quilt in excellent condition made by my grandmother or great-grandmother. The flowers are on the inside row instead of the outside. Do you have any idea how much it would be worth? I&#39;m interested in selling it. It&#39;s for a double (full) bed.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    My breath is taken away as I have a metal box with hexagons that my grandmother put together and I had no idea how to finish it. Am thinking of making 6 (for her grandchildren) smaller items… any ideas?

  • Reply
    May 2, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this. I recently helped my grandmother who is now 85, clean out her storage and we found a dozen hexagon blocks in a box. It was stared bu her mother (my great grandmother) at about 1934 and was intended as a graduation gift for my grandmother. But she never finished it. My grandmother still remembers how much she was looking forward to it’s completion. Seeing the look on her face as she told me the story, I just had to take it and finish it for her. Thus starting my resurch into a pattern or pictures of a finished quilt similar to these blocks. I can’t tell you my delight in finding this on your blog! Not only do I have so many wonderful pictures to reference now, but how wonderful to see how many similar fabrics colors and prints these have in common. Now that I have an example to work from I’m realizing the hard part will be finding fabrics today that will fit well with those she has already used. Thank you again for posting this. You have made my day!

    • Reply
      Amy Smart
      May 4, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      What an wonderful find and a generous gesture to finish! If you’re looking for simpler way to finish than by adding hundreds more hexagons but with a similar look check out this post by Jodie: http://www.pleasant-home.com/2010/07/update-on-my-grandmas-flower-garden.html
      She appliqued the individual blocks onto solid white fabric blocks and then pieced them together that way. Still the same over all feel, but with a lot less work. Just a thought.

      Good luck to you with your wonderful labor of love!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2018 at 10:16 am

    I know it has been a few years since this last posting but I was searching for how to finish a grandmothers flower garden quilt and your link came up. I recently acquired a grandmothers flower garden quilt top that needs to be layered and quilted. The more reading I do the more I realize that doing this by hand is probably going to be the way to go. I am wondering if you have had a chance to work on yours and if so how is it going and what tricks or tools have you been using?

  • Reply
    November 24, 2020 at 11:53 am

    I have the same question as Kirstin! I have a similar quilt top (only done in blocks, not full hexagon) that my great grandmother made. I would love to see/hear an update on if and how you finished this.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2021 at 10:04 am

    I have the same question too Heather and Kirstin. I would love to see an update. I have an almost identical quilt top, including fussy-cuts, that was made by my aunt in the 30’s that I would love to finish. I think I will machine sew around each flower to quilt, but have no idea how to do the binding. Maybe trace the outline and face it? Has anyone done the binding on one?

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