Friday, March 5, 2010

Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt, Part I

This is a picture of my grandmother, Lillian Fields Patton, in 1943. She was one of the many women who inspired and nurtured my love of quilting. Long before I was a twinkle in my daddy’s eye, Grandmother made Flower Garden quilts for all her children when they were freshly married. Each hexagon was hand cut, and no two flowers were the same. She used up every piece of scrap fabric she could find, and some of the neighbors’ too. Grandmother even made flowers from my grandpa’s old boxer shorts (3rd picture)!

Six months ago, my aunt, a Super Master Of The Quilting Universe herself, sent me her quilt, asking me to restore it. ACK! What an honor to refurbish something my grandmother made! Not to mention nerve wracking, anxiety producing, heart pounding, pressure filled... OK, I’ll stop. While I was marking the flowers that needed to be fixed, I noticed the binding needed a little TLC too. However, Grandmother bound each side of the outer hexagons with its own separate miter. Can you imagine hand sewing the binding to the quilt 1" at a time, then mitering 1” pieces of fabric together? My mind reeled. Before I fainted completely away, I asked my aunt if she wanted me to replace the binding too. Luckily for my heart, she said no because it would be too hard to match the fabric. What’s left of my sanity thanked her.

The other two pictures are of the quilt itself. It’s too big to take in one shot, so I just took a couple of close-ups to show the diversity of colors and fabrics used. I’ll be posting updates as I go along, or maybe pix of me in the loony bin. Stay tuned!


  1. wow, i love your grandmothers quilt and i love love the old photo of her too! My great-grandfather was a quilt and I am hoping to reproduce some of the ones he did :D shhhh dont tell my mom its a surprise, i just have to learn to quilt now

  2. Thank you for your kind words! Joann's gives quilting lessons if you're interested, and mum's the word with your mom (ha).