Friday finish: Yaya’s flower garden

Ah, ok, I’m cheating a bit here. This isn’t really this week’s finish. It’s a quilt I finished just before I started this blog in July, so I missed the chance to photograph and share it.


So I hope you’ll forgive a little self-indulgent late sharing.

This quilt is a big one, measuring about 95 by 95. It required 575 hexagons! Crazy. Of course it wouldn’t have required that many if I’d known what I was doing. I machine pieced the flowers first, then surrounded them with white hexagons, then trimmed the blocks square. Unfortunately, that not only took forever but it also resulted in bias edges all around, making the borders… charmingly wonky.


If I could do it over again, I’d English paper piece the flowers and then machine appliqué them to nice, perfect squares. I’d also probably choose prints for the backgrounds and borders. The flowers have so many cute prints, but somehow the strong contrast between the white and melon sort of steals the show.

Here’s the back:


That’s one giant hexi flower (English paper pieced with humongous templates!) on navy stripes. I don’t know why stripes photograph so poorly from a distance. Here’s what it actually looks like:


Despite the things I think I’d do differently now, I’m tremendously proud of this quilt. It was a ton of hard work and I’m so glad I stuck with it. Of course it helped that it was for my mom (who my kids call Yaya). She richly deserved this labor of love.


I love how this medium-scale floral from Denyse Schmidt’s Shelburne Falls line looks as a binding. I need to branch out from dots and stripes and use florals for bindings more often.

2 reminders:

First, don’t forget to link up your Year in Review posts here:

Party closes on January 9! Be sure to come back then and visit everyone’s posts. It’s like a whole year of Friday finishes in one post!

Second, on Monday I’ll be back with the first post of the Barn door quilt-a-long! Will you be joining me?

Here’s the schedule:

  • January 6 – cutting
  • January 13 – assembling the HSTs and hourglass unit
  • January 20 – assembling the strips
  • January 27 – piecing the X
  • February 3 – adding the top and bottom borders
  • February 10 – quilting & finishing
  • February 24 – final link party celebration (with at least one giveaway, possibly more!)

29 thoughts on “Friday finish: Yaya’s flower garden

  1. Big hexies are the way forward – it’s fab! Much easier to sew than those 1/2in ones which seem like hell to me, but I’ve yet to try them. That isn’t meant to belittle your hard work, as you sewed your flowers to hexies, which must’ve been horrendous but you stuck to it and gave your mum a brilliant quilt filled with your love. I’m sure she loves it as will everyone else who sees it – the colours and patterns are really effective. Hexies are definitely on my to-do list this year, as are dresdens

  2. Wow Sarah,
    I’m glad you shared, I love your traditional but vibrant approach to this hexagon quilt. And I think they are even prettier in the snow, helps us appreciate the colors even more. Thanks for your great posts last year and all the best in 2014 and happy quilting!

  3. I love the melon against the white! I tho that Nelson picks up so much pink in the prints. Looks like it was seriously hard work (I avoid bias edges like the plague) and I swear I can’t see a wonky edge anyway! Thanks for sharing.
    E xx

  4. I find epp hexagons completely addictive, and can quite see why you persisted. One queensize hand pieced, hand quilted heirloom down, and I’m planning another. I must be mad… I love your brilliant quilt and am completely blind to any wonkiness.

  5. Beautiful! I have some of those early projects too that I would have done differently, but we do learn a lot from those. Amazing quilt and the back is Sooo cute!

  6. sarah, sarah, sarah! you know i am obsessing over this. heeeeey, girl. this is amazing. i am loving everything about it. everything. don’t be shocked if i copy this in 2014. obsessed.

  7. This is Yaya. Yes! I do so
    LOVE this quilt. I baby it but I do
    Use it. It’s made with such love.
    I’m a bit wonky too,so it’s all good. 😉
    Thanks again Sarah! Mom

  8. that is one fantastic and huge quilt! I’m glad you shared belatedly. you should do that with all your bb quilts. =) also, since there is epp, you should totally link it up to “in hand” next weekend . . . unless you have something else new to show.

    sarah, do you have a button for the barn door QAL? if not, you can get one here:

  9. I am joining you for the barn door quilt along; I even picked the fabrics and took a poorly-lit, stuck inside, winter shot of them the other night. I’m hoping to make a post today about my January and February quilting goals, so I’m going to give your quilt along a shout out then.

  10. Look at it this way: A quilt is really not finished until you take a picture of it . . . so this counts as a first finish for 2014!!

  11. What a phenomenal gift for your mother. It’s beautiful, and I agree completely about the binding – that print suits the quilt. I often think about something you said in one of your earlier posts: something like “that’s the quilt where I learned about THAT.” I now have a few pieces where I think I’d do things differently, but I can still think of them fondly with the lesson in mind!

  12. I’m glad you did share this. It’s so pretty! On my first quilt I did some funny construction things that were extra time consuming since I just didn’t know any better. Those type of things do show you how far you’ve come!

  13. Beautiful quilt! I love how it shimmers in the photo you took of the back. I am making a grandmother’s flower garden with EPP hexies throughout and am starting to realize it will be a ton of work. I’m figuring out ways I can cut down on the hexies….

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