Many years ago, I made my first attempt at English paper piecing. I loved it. A bunch of scraps (from this quilt) were cut roughly to shape and tuned into little flowers; a little garden in memory of my grandmother. I had heard that grey thread was a great choice, so that’s what I used, and the templates were printed out and cut apart with scissors. In hindsight not such a great idea, but it gave me a lot of joy at the time. The sides of the hexagons measure approx 1/2".
The flowers were joined with filler hexies from a recycled duvet cover and the whole garden appliquéd onto a piece of white flannel. Why flannel, you may ask, and you can see why here. Anyway, I used one of those awful monofilament threads for the appliqué and have probably not used it since.
I drew some free form lupines, tried out a couple of different sizes, and appliquéd one flower with satin ribbon stem on each side of the garden.
Some free motion quilted flowers and leaves later, and it was done.
Then the story took a wrong turn. Not quite happy with the size, I chopped off a good chunk of the bottom of the quilt. Indeed I did, and with that one cut I made it too small. What I should have done, was to take the thing apart and start over, but I didn't. Instead I added a new quilt-as-you-go style “bottom”, leaving a rather noticeable seam. The stems were replaced;
new quilting lines added and the text “In my grandmother’s garden grew lupines” (directly translated from Norwegian; sounds terribly wrong; oh well) was rewritten right on the seam. Might as well enhance the horrid thing, right. You can see the ghost from the previous text right above.
By this time, all I wanted was to finish it, so I secured the edges with bias tape and put it in a frame. After a few years on the wall, it was put away to be forgotten. I was quite happy to see it again, and wanted to use it in a pillow.
The elaborate label which was stitched into the new addendum was unpicked to be saved (inside the pillow case for now), and everything around the garden was chopped off leaving only a ¼” seam allowance.
It looked better already! I kept one of the lupines though; it’s still hanging in the corner of my design wall.
Adding a simple zipper-closure back, and a new pillow was done.
Even with the grey thread and the little pieces of flannel showing, I think it looks awesome.
It makes me smile; it’s my grandmother’s flower garden.