Grandmother’s Flower Garden Options

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″.

gfg 9 patch gfg alt block gfg on point gfg sashed 

Grandmother’s Flower Garden

Just a hint of what I’ve been doing. This has been a lot of fun. I have always wanted to make a GFG quilt, but never had the patience for English paper piecing. This really works well. The more blocks I make, the more I love it.

IMG_4433 IMG_4435 IMG_4437 IMG_4439 IMG_4445 

Tips for Cutting with the Silhouette Cameo

I have been asked quite a few times about tips for cutting with ecutters (i.e., the Silhouette Cameo or the Sizzix eClips–or Slice, etc.). I found several posts in the blogosphere that I think may be helpful to those of you who own one of these machines or who are considering getting one of them. I know that Brother has a new machine that is coming out soon–not sure when it goes on sale, but of course, we’ll have to try it out.

Questions come up about cutting with ecutters, and the links below should take you to some different points of view and tips. And I’ll be writing more about this in the near future.

Silhouette Cameo review by SewCalGal

An article by me on the Craftsy blog

How to Create a Cut File for the Silhouette Cameo from an applique using a jpg

Project Using Felt Shapes Cut with the Silhouette Cameo

Step by step for cutting fabric with the Silhouette Cameo

Great overview of cutting all kinds of materials and other tips for the Silhouette Cameo

And this link has a chart about cutting software:

These articles will get you started thinking about or working with your Silhouette. And, I will have some more tips for you in the next few days.

To begin, here’s my 2 cents on fusible and whether to leave the paper on or take it off before cutting. I have tried it both ways. On both the Silhouette mat and the eclips mat, I found that with the paper removed, the fusible sticks to the mat in places. It is hard to clean that off the mat without running the mat under soap and water. And if you don’t clean it off, the mat doesn’t work as well for cutting or stickiness. So, I finally have come to the conclusion that I need to leave the fusible paper on until after the shape has been cut.

I don’t use the Silhouette fusible, but use WonderUnder. When WonderUnder is first fused, the paper sticks to the fabric so well it is very hard to remove–but it’s great for cutting with the Silhouette. After a day or more, it is much easier to remove. But that also means that sometimes the fabric will come loose on the paper while cutting on the mat. I need to do some experimentation with other fusibles to see how each of them works. For me, it’s easier to use the same fusible for all the different projects I do, so buying a special fusible isn’t practical.

This is a photo of the way I feed fabric shapes into the ecutter on a 12 x 12 mat:

2013-05-21 09.31.45