Grandmother’s Flower Garden is a very fun machine embroidery project because it goes so fast. Because of the size of the hexagons, I was able to use jelly roll strips for cutting the hexagons. I just fanfolded the strip across the hexagon die and cut six hexies at a time. (However, the new multi-hexie die came yesterday, so now I can cut more at a time. I hope it works as well with the jelly roll.
I’ll do a full tutorial as soon as I take some pics of the process, but will just explain it here. These are the steps.
1. Hoop fabric and stabilizer. (I used the Sulky Soft n Sheer cut away stabilizer – it is wonderful for light weight stitches for soft quilts). The fabric was hooped on point.
2. Stitch the placement line for the hexies onto the background fabric.
3. Use a glue stick or pen just inside the placement line of each hexie.
4. Place the center hexie first, then add the flower petal hexies. They fit together like a puzzle and go right up to the stitches and each other. You can use a cuticle stick or Purple Thang if needed to manipulate them. The glue softens the fabric and makes it easy to manipulate.
5. Put it back onto your machine and stitch away. The design will stop to use a different color for the center, but I decided I liked having a lighter/contrast center fabric and having the design stitch in the same color as the petals.
As for the design, I tried multiple layouts. My goal was to make the flowers sit together in the same layout as a traditional GFG. The only way I knew to do that was to set the blocks fairly close together on a solid background. After stitching nine flowers, I stopped. I had drawn a grid on the fabric and was aligning each grid on the hoop for each flower. The weight of the fabric was too much. I realized I could get the same effect with blocks set on point, so that’s when I changed to the current layout. Here’s what I have so far.
These blocks will finish at 7″ x 7″. They will be closer together by 1/2″ when the seams are finished. I think I like this. If they’re still too far apart, I may cut them down to finish at 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″. This is one time I don’t mind having an odd sized block if it makes the project work.
I tried multiple layouts in EQ7 to see what would work. You can see the options below. It was very difficult to get an alternate block with squares an even size when the finished block would be 7″.