Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grandmother's Flower Garden Tutorial!

This has to be my most favorite pattern of all quilts! You can read the history here on the famous Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern if you're interested. I feel very confident that once i finish my current Denyse Schmidt "Hope Vally", i will quickly pick another favorite line and start on another variation of this paper piecing pattern! they are MORE than addicting!
This is how i make my flowers... ( beware - MAJOR picture alert! ) I hope that you'll find just how easy peasy they truly are and you'll jump aboard the lovey hexie ship!

Choose your petal & center fabrics

Pin on your hexies to the Wrong side of the fabric

( tip: hold your fabric & hexies up to a window to get a great fussy cut/ centered design! )

Cut around each hexagon about 1/4".

Basting Time!

Take the first hexagon and finger press one edge of the fabric toward the pin.

Fold the connecting corner fabric over the first finger pressed edge.

Time for your needle & thread! Knot the thread at the end of the thread and insert the needle into the folded corner ( you will be going through the folded fabrics & paper template ).

Bring your thread through your hexagon again in the middle of the current folded edge.

Continue with this method until you reach the starting point.

Then knot the thread and snip!

One perfectly finished Hexie!

Now, make 5 more petals & one center hexagon for the entire flower!

Sewing Time!

Take one petal hexagon and the center, placing them Right sides together.

After securely knotting the end of your thread, insert your needle into the tiny fold-nook, corner of the hexagons.

Bring your needle back through from the other side of your stitch. It's important to backstitch the beginning and end of each hexagon to create a secure stitch that won't allow for seams to open later.

So, back through the initial stitch again!

Once you've backstitched your hexagons, continue with a ladder stitch through this side of the hexie. When you reach the end of the hexagon edge, backstitch again. Knot your thread and snip! One petal done! Time for the next, Grab another petal hexagon. Place the petal hexies Right sides together. ( tip: make sure you verify how the new petal placement will look before you stitch them together! ) And repeating the same method as earlier, sew them together. When you get to the edge of the hexie this time, you must be cautious to backstitch well, to insure your petals have no holes in them.

However... DO NOT KNOT or CUT YOUR THREAD after backstitching.

Flip your petal out.

Then by folding your original petal in half, the new petal and the center of the flower should line up perfectly, to continue with your stitching.

Starting in the fold-nook corner, backstitch again.

And continue your ladder stitch.

Securely knot and snip! getting the picture now... easy-peasy!

Two down and four more to go! Continue the same method through out the next petals!

Don't worry when you get to the last petal and there are 3 sides to stitch... it's just as simple!

Sew the first petal on just the same as the others and when you fold your petal in half (to sew the center edge) you'll make the center disappear.

Simply, fold the entire flower in half ( Right sides together )to reach your last hexagon edge to stitch.

Voila! a perfect little flower for your garden!!


  1. Aces! Nice manicure, too. Is your plan to piece all your flowers together or appliqué them onto a bkgd?

  2. You are awesome! I have been wanting to know how to make Hexies for a while now I know...guess I better get on it ^^)

  3. What method do you use for your paper pieces. Do you cut them, punch them or use pre printed? GMFG is on my to do list. Thanks for your tutorial.

  4. Great tutorial. Thanks. I have a GFG on my "someday" list.

  5. And the hits keep coming! I'm just working up the nerve to try your cathedral window pillow tutorial (in Ambrosia by Amanda Murphy, I'm so excited!), and now this! You keep adding awesomeness to my increasingly lengthy 'must do' list! Thanks for the terrific toot!

  6. I've been on the hexagon wagon and love the english paper piecing. It's nice to have handwork and I'm not a good crocheter. This is a really good tutorial - you done good! Why I never thought of sewing the edges in the order you do is beyond me. I'm always having to go back and pick up those little short edges between the hexies. The one other difference in mine is that when basting the edges I don't knot the thread at the end. I just take a back stitch - makes it easier to remove the stitches.

    Would you be ok with my forwarding a link to your blog entry to Judy Bellingham at About com? She sends out an email weekly that has links to really good/interesting / helpful patterns and tutorials/

  7. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I am forwarding this one to a couple of friends too.

  8. Wow! Thank you! This is the first tutorial I've seen that shows it from start to finish. Awesome!

  9. My mother taught me how to make these when I was about five or six. She still has the little tablemat I made ♥ I think a lot of people still think of hexagons as a traditional British way of quilting and I will be passing this method on to my girls to keep it that way :-)

  10. You've just demystified Becker AND paper piecing all in one fell swoop! Great tutorial, Heather-awesome pictures.

  11. You make this look so much less daunting! I may very well try some one day- maybe a great carry-along project to take poolside!

  12. I was bit by the hexie bug a few months ago, but have yet to finish a hexie project. I get inspired by blogs like yours. I use a lazy method of running my stitches on the wrong side so I don't have to go back and clip those strings. Looking forward to seeing your finished project.

  13. This is a GREAT tutorial!!!! Your hexies are lovely, much lovelier than mine!!

  14. Thank you so much for the great tutorial. I have been wanting to learn how to do that. Can't wait to begin!

  15. Nice tutorial but I have a couple of questions. Where dc the little hexie paper pieces come from? Do you cut them out? Punch them out? Buy them? Do you leave them in the hexie when it is done or do you take them out at some point?

  16. I have been hooked on hexies for several years. They are so addicting! I need to dig mine out of the UFO pile and get them appliqued on to the background. I also have a thread bare grandmother's flower garden quilt that my grandmother made. I am afraid to wash it. It must be 40 years old or so. Not sure of the age. It is the only thing I inherited from my grandmother except the love for fabric, needle and thread!

  17. This is the FIRST tutorial that has given me a complete understanding of making and sewing hexies together. AND, it made me want to try.
    You rock!!!!!

  18. Great tutorial your hexie flowers look fab!

  19. a perfect tutorial, my friend!! :)

  20. I am an avid hexaculturalist Great tutorial. May I post a link to our Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap Blog.

  21. Nice tute! There are several flickr groups for paper piecing, Grandmother's Flower Garden, and hexies, lots of great inspiration there to check out. I posted my GFG progress just yesterday, here:

  22. I'm totally intrigued by this project but I'm NOT allowed to start any new things right now. This means I may have to sit on my hands and fight the urge to go and cut hexagons.

  23. Okay I have a beginner you then snip the original thread that is holding the hexagon together and that is how you get the paper out?

  24. love hexies too!! I am currently (since the summer of 2009!) working on a quilt made entirely of hexies. While I usually work on my machine, i like to have something in my basket that I can take with me wherever I go. I love your choice of fabrics. Can't wait to see what you will do with them.

  25. I love your site,your tutorials and patterns thank-you so much.I agree with Kwilt Noob as she said...she was looking forward to the cathedral window pillow,I haven't done that yet either but looking forward to it.To work to work I go, because I love to sew...ok,I'm better at sewing,
    lol..Thank-you so much Ladies!!

  26. Hi,
    I'm following your tutorial and now, can you tell me how to get the paper out ??? Thanks

  27. I was wondering that too. And is the paper stitched in on all sides or just the first stitch that you take?

  28. When you have completed your flower, you take the seam ripper and remove your basting thread.

    Your paper pieces should come out quite easily (even if you have sewn through them).

    Tip: try not to sew through the paper pieces too far; as you'll see your stitches more on the right side of the flower!

    Hope that helps girls!! <3

  29. Wonderful tutorial! Thanks! I think I will try this very, very soon! :)

  30. Great tutorial!! Thank you so much, I have looked quite a bit to try and find out how to do hexies. So thank you again for taking the time to share this with others like me.

  31. Sheesh, I've been making paper pieced hexagons WRONG for a very long time. I have been using a whip stitch, which shows after the hexagons are laid out flat. Your ladder stitch appears to be hidden. Thank you for that. I truly like your blog and great energy you are sending out. xo Jan

  32. Hello, a beautiful work and fantástic tutorial.
    Thank you
    have a good day

  33. Don't you take el paper?


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