This quilt was started in 2002 when I acquired an old Christmas card box filled with vintage hexagons. As usual, some of the pieces were dingy and most were not cut accurately. After soaking, pressing, drawing with a fresh template and re-cutting, they were good as new. I sorted them into color groups and decided to make single flowers in straight rows using yellow hexagons for centers and as the fill-in pieces. This set is slightly easier to arrange since it has two straight sides. After putting the top together, I decided to add the yellow hexagon border. It took me 5 years to complete this quilt because I worked on it sporadically. It’s entirely hand pieced and hand quilted inside each hexagon. I love working with hexagons, but I don’t enjoy the paper piecing method. Just a regular running stitch which is easy to do (with a little flip when you’re at a corner) and doesn’t require all that basting and the little papers. I use my tiny iron and a pressing board I made (a thin piece of wood covered with linen) to press the seams as I go.
One mistake I made on this quilt (and one other) was accidentally using two different muslins — one very white and one slightly off-white. Since I was piecing this quilt for a long time and switching back and forth between projects, I got my whites mixed up. It actually doesn’t bother me, but I’m more careful now to mark the muslin (or vintage sheet) I’m using for a particular quilt.
The quilt is an odd shape (wider than longer) because I added an extra row to the side after I bought a new mattress set that was huge. I don’t know why these new mattresses and box springs are so gigantic — my husband rigged up a way to lower the old brass bed because it was way too high with the new mattress. Anyway, I should have added a row to the bottom as well, but I didn’t and now I regret it because the quilt is a little short.
Grandmother’s Flower Garden
Martha Dellasega Gray, 2007
hand pieced, hand quilted
86″ x 77″