Have you ever wanted to make a Grandmother's Flower Garden, but couldn’t bring yourself to piece all those hexies by hand? Well, you are going to love this method! I can appreciate the work that went into vintage quilts, and I love the look of Grandmother’s Flower Garden, but I just can’t make the time to do one by hand.
This week, I made a couple of pillows with two different size trapezoids to see how I liked the scale of these flowers. Of course, I love the smaller scale, and that’s the one that took a little more time! Haha!
For the small-scale flowers, I used scraps I had and cut them into 1½” strips. From those strips, I cut twelve 2½” trapezoids for each flower and two more from 1½” plaid strips for the center of each flower. You can use either the mini diamond ruler or the large diamond ruler to make these cuts. You will align the 2½” dashed triangle line along the bottom edge of the strip and the little black star markings along the top edge of the strip. Cut on both sides of the ruler, then rotate the ruler 180 degrees to make the next cut.
For added ease of piecing, use the flat tip of the ruler to trim the two outside tips off flat. This helps and is absolutely worth the extra time it takes to do this step.
I made lots of piles of flower-colored trapezoids. You will need about 14 flowers worth for an 18” pillow. I cut way too much and had quite a bit left over, but I was happy to have the variety when laying out my flowers.
Here you can see my final layout. Notice how these flowers interlock with each other, instead of being stand-alone flowers surrounded by background trapezoids like a more traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden. I think that could be a cute look too though, so maybe give a couple of different layouts a try!
I sewed all the trapezoids together into horizontal rows. The first row is sewn here, and you can see just how much it shrinks up when you finish all those seams.
To sew these trapezoids to each other, line them up as shown, then fold the pink one down onto the left green one. Use those flat tips as a matchup point to get your pieces aligned and sew a ¼” seam. Press that seam open. Then, fold the right green trapezoid up onto the middle pink one and repeat the process. This way, your rows will come out even on the top and bottom.
Once you have all your rows sewn, the pillow top will look very skinny and long compared to your first layout. Then, sew the rows to each other in sets of two and press those seams open.
Finally, sew the sets of two rows to each other and press all the seams open. I also used spray starch at this point to make everything lay nice and flat. This pillow top is ready for quilting!
Single Flower Layout
I used 2½” strips and made a single flower 16” pillow top with similar colors. For this scale, you will use the 4½” triangle line instead of the 2½” to cut your trapezoids.
This single flower took (12) 4½” trapezoids for the flower, (22) for the surrounding background, and (6) for the center and corners.
Lay out your pieces, as shown, and piece them into horizontal rows in the same way as the smaller trapezoids.
I quilted these pillow fronts with a thin layer of batting and just look at that texture!
And here they are, a cute set of spring pillows that use up more scraps and are a nod to Grandma :)
Happy Sunday everyone,
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