Grandmothers Flower Garden by Machine

We Carry
by Sara Snuggerud in Projects



To complete the classic Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt on a sewing machine there is a bit of learning to do. But following this technique devised by Heirloom Creations, you will feel so smart when you are done.

For this technique refer to the illustrations on the next page to mark the bed of your sewing machine with two sets of taped off hexagon shapes. The first mark will perfectly position the hexagons to start exactly 1/4” in from the corner. The second marked area will precisely guide you for when to stop sewing. This will also be 1/4” in from the edge. When working with Y-seams, it is key to not stitch past the 1/4” intersection.

Start by laying out a flower. This will consist of one center hexagon and six surrounding hexagons of a different color. The first step of this quilt is to make as many flowers as needed. Since no pressing is required throughout the entire flower process, is is easy to sew a couple blocks at any chance of a few spare minutes found within the day.

Once you have answered a few of the following questions, you can start setting up your work station.

Sue P. of Sioux Falls, SD says, “The Grandmother’s flower garden quilt is super easy. The technique that Cleo has makes it fool-proof! I was worried about stopping exactly where I needed to stop. I didn’t have to worry at all with this method. The marked method shows me where to stop exactly every single time. It makes it a no-brainer…which is awesome. I would not have tackled it without seeing how easy Cleo has made this technique”.

Grandmother's table runner

With the leftover flowers we made a table runner!

Things to decide prior to starting

  • Size of the quilt?
  • Size of hexagons to use?
  • Will all the flower centers be the same color or random color?
  • Will a border be added at the end or just use hexagons to the very edge?
  • Will you cut your own hexagons, buy a pre-cut kit or have Heirloom Creations cut them for you?
  • Will you use scraps or a planned fabric collection?
  • Sew flowers until you have enough or plan the final outcome from the beginning.

Laser Cut Hexagons
Heirloom Creations offers a 6” hexagon laser cutting service from YOUR fabric. A laser cut hexagon is measured 6” from point to point (not top to bottom).
Flower finish size: 14” $1.50 per fat quarter or $3.00 per half yard

  • From 1 fat quarter a laser can cut 11 – 6” hexagons
  • From 1/2 yard a laser can cut 22 – 6” hexagons

The quilt shown above is also available as a pre-cut 6″ hexagon kit. The kit includes 242 hexagons.

Grandmothers flower garden laser cut hexagons 1

grandmothers flower garden laser cuthexagons 2

A Note About the Hex N More Ruler
The Hex N More ruler will cut a variety of hexagon sizes noted by the 2”, 4”, 6” or 8” finished sizes. This ruler measures hexagons from top to bottom. The pre-cut hexagon shapes offered from Heirloom Creations and other fabric companies are measured 6” from point to point across a hexagon. This size is BEFORE seam allowances have been sewn. Read on how you can cut your own 6” hexagons using the Hex N More ruler with a folding method as well as watch the video.

Cutting 6” Hexagons with a Hex N More Ruler

new ruler art final-withupdate

Hex N More 6 inch hexagons 1

  • Cut strips 5 1/4” wide.
  • Gently press the strips in half lengthwise wrong sides together. (This fold will need to be pressed open later).
  • Using the 60 Degree Triangle side of the Hex N More Ruler, align the fold on the 6 1/2” Hexagon SOLID LINE. This line will be upside down on the ruler when it is positioned correctly.

Helpful tools featured in the video and pattern:

Quilters 1:4 inch tapequilter's 3-way sandboard


Q tools corner cut 60


 Hexagon and Sewing Machine Set-Up

Qtools triangle

1. Use the QTools Corner Cut 60 ruler and the (1/4”-) line to mark.

marking hexagon with pen

2. Draw a scant 1/4” on the wrong side of all six sides of one lightly colored hexagon.

Marked hexagon

Mark all six sides of the hexagon.

Needle in first corner

3. Position the hexagon under the machine with the needle down at one “corner”.
Align to sew the first seam but do not sew.

First tape marks

4. Using 1/4” Quilter’s Tape, tape the bottom angle and the right side of the hexagon shape on the machine base. Do not cover the feed dogs.

Needle in second corner

5. Next, move the needle position to the lowest intersection on the same side of hexagon. Again, tape the edges of the hexagon.

Taping second line

5. Next, move the needle position to the lowest intersection on the same side of hexagon. Again, tape the edges of the hexagon.


Start sewing

Stop sewing

This taping technique allows the positioning of the hexagons without having to mark every hexagon for sewing. Simply drop the hexagons into the marked taped off area and sew. Sew until the hexagon fits into the second marked hexagon shape. Do not sew into the intersections. Y-seams just meet and do not touch. If the seams cross, it will create a volcano type intersection. When the corner pulls (or erupts) the seam will not lay flat. Simply, gently “un-sew” a stitch or two. Plan to either using a locking stitch at the beginning and end of each seam or else leave long thread tails at the end of each seam. If leaving long tails of thread, do not clip. Since they are not locked, leaving them long will keep them semi secure through the entire process.

Sewing the Flower Unit Together

sewing pairs together
Layout one flower consisting of seven hexagons.
Sew top two hexagons together, sew only corner to corner.
Repeat for bottom row.
Join all three hexagons of the center row as shown.
To join the rows, align the rows and note where the units join. Match up edges and do not cross any thread lines.

Arrange flowers in the desired layout
Some rows will need 1/2 flower units at the top and bottom to fill in the edges.

Grandmother's layout

When the garden is to the desired size, press the quilt flat. Trim edges even along the top and lower edges. Add desired border(s). Quilt and bind.

Heirloom Creations…Making Sewing Easy

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