One flower at a time!

Grandmother's Flower Garden WIP

Continuing my show-and-tell of slow crafts, my biggest slow project is definitely my 1930s Grandmother’s Flower Garden reproduction quilt. I first posted about this project last May, when I’d made just one flower. It’s going on a year later, and now I have ten finished, half of which are pictured above. (The other half came out blurry but I have a cold-ish thing and no energy to retake it, I’m afraid. They’re just as cute, trust me.)

Oh, dear. This really is a slow craft, eh? But I do love it so much. I was right in that post last year, it will probably take several years. But as long as I love the process and the project, that’s all that counts. Ever since I hurt my neck a few weeks ago (it’s much better now, by the way), I’ve been working on this project a lot and it’s made me really think about how much I love sewing by hand.

Grandmother's Flower Garden WIP

I know most people don’t have the patience for hand-stitching when you could sew by machine – and it’s not like a quilt sewn by machine is a very fast project for most of us anyway! But I do love the way sewing by hand takes a commitment; you have to really want it to spend so much time on it, and with it. I love how hand-sewn stitches are just that tiny bit more visible, how you leave a little more of a mark of yourself on the project.

Grandmother's Flower Garden WIP

I’ve always assumed I’d make this as a full-size quilt, to cover my double bed. I have a theory that the projects you put this much time into should be sure to never go out of style, and a reproduction quilt shouldn’t. But then a friend pointed me to a hexagon calculator, which told me I’ll need around 2500 hexxies to complete a full-sized quilt. I was a dummy and chose to use 1″ hexagons back when I started just because that’s what I had handy and clearly didn’t think about how long it would take with such small pieces. Well … I’ve got 190 sewn into flowers now, another 30 basted / partly sewn together, and 70 pieces cut and ready to baste. That makes almost 300 – not all finished, but in progress.


Grandmother's Flower Garden WIP

Yes, an extremely long-term project. But if you’re gonna do it, you might as well really do it, right?

(P.S. – My quilt is short a few specific scraps — on the off-chance you’re a 1930s reproduction fabrics fan too, and have some scraps in your stash that you might donate to a worthy project, would be you be so kind as to check out this photo and see if any look familiar? Thank you so much!)

5 Comments on One flower at a time!

  1. RMW
    February 27, 2013 at 14:51 (5 years ago)

    I too have been working on a quilt as a slow project. It is the slowest I have. Most of mine are 6 month (2-3 hours daily) average. I have been embroidering the squares for 2 years now. I have about three squares left, and then I will have to teach myself to hand quilt… sigh. Well, it will be beautiful… eventually. :-) I read your response to my comment on the previous quote. I will email you.

  2. Helen
    February 27, 2013 at 21:35 (5 years ago)

    I have my diamond hexies quilt that keeps me going every winter, I love your flowers, go big or go home I say :-)

    • julie
      February 28, 2013 at 11:07 (5 years ago)

      Thanks! I’m happy to live in a world where I’m not the only one ok with taking a half-lifetime to make one item. :)

      • RMW
        February 28, 2013 at 18:04 (5 years ago)

        I have emailed you Julie. Also, I did some math…. If you need 2500 hexes and have done about 300 in a year, then that means it will be about 9 years minimum (at current rate) to finish the quilt. I started mine in 2010, so I am pushing 3 years already…. Not that this is a race or anything. :-)

  3. Sherry
    February 28, 2013 at 18:31 (5 years ago)

    This is a project that I would love to try sometime. I have bee really slow about my dresden plate quilt, I think it has been over a year so far. I crocheted a bedspread over the span of 10 years and it is fabulous, I am so glad I didn’t give up. It is o.k. to take all the time we need on a project. I started the bedspread because we needed a new one, I am sure we did fine with whatever we had in the meantime.


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