Hello, and welcome to your tutorial for block #42: Grandmother’s Flower Garden, using English paper piecing! This traditional quilt block is one of the most recognized English paper piecing blocks and became popular in the 1920’s. If you love history like I do, and would like to learn more about the origins of the block, I found a wonderful post at the Red Brolly blog that goes into great detail and has some beautiful pictures to share.
One thing I adore about this quilt block is its simplicity, yet endless design possibilities. This is a great block for scraps, fussy cutting, playing around with fabric alignment to create visual designs, and for gaining confidence in your English paper piecing skills.
Block forty designed by Amy Harward
Fabric and cutting guide
 2¾” square from fabric one (Amy used a white solid)
 2¾” squares from fabric two (Amy used a variety of scrappy pink prints)
 2¾” squares from fabric three (Amy used a variety of scrappy green prints)
 9½” square from fabric four (Amy used a white solid)
Other materials needed:
- 1” hexagon template
- Water soluble glue stick, such as an Elmer’s glue stick or Sewline glue pen
- Hand sewing or quilting thread
- Thin needle for hand sewing
- Fusible web interfacing or other applique material
- hole punch (optional)
- pencil or crochet hook (optional)
Step one: Print  page of the hexagon template on cardstock and cut them out so you have a total of 19 hexagons. If you have a hole punch, punch a hole in the center of each paper hexagon for easy removal when finished. You can also use 1″ pre-cut hexagons or use a die cutter to cut your own templates.
Step two: Place a dab of glue on the center of a hexagon template and place it in the middle of a 2¾” square of fabric, wrong sides together. Cut a 3/8” seam allowance around each edge. This extra ⅛” seam allowance will ensure that you have plenty of fabric to go around each edge.
Step three: Glue baste each fabric hexagon to the template by putting glue on the edge of one of the 6 seam allowances on the wrong side of the fabric. Fold over the top of the template and press down firmly. Repeat with remaining five edges. Make sure to glue the corners to keep the fabric secure.
Step four: Lay out the hexagons into your desired block design.
Step five: With right sides together, place  hexagons from fabric two on top of  hexagon from fabric one. Make sure that the sides of the fabrics are the ones you want connected before you begin to sew. Thread your needle and knot the thread with a square knot. Hide the knot by pulling the needle and thread through the back side of the fabric’s seam allowance, exiting at the corner where you will start to sew the hexagons together.
Step six: Using a whipstitch, sew the seams together catching a few threads of each of the fabrics. Try not to stitch the paper template, but the little bit of extra fabric in the seam. Stitches should be about 1/16” apart. When you have sewn to the end corner, open the seam up. Repeat with the remaining  hexagons in the first ring.
Step seven: Piece the sides of the hexagons from fabric 2 (first ring) together by folding one on top of the other with right sides together and whipstitching, starting nearest the center hexagon and working your way out. Finish all sides.
Step eight: Continue sewing the  hexagons from fabric three to the rest of the unit. Make sure you sew the fabric three hexagons to the edges of the fabric two hexagons first. You will sew across the top of one of the hexagons and then down one side of that hexagon and up the side of the adjoining hexagon, in a “v” shape. Then sew the sides of the fabric three hexagons together, working from the center out.
Step nine: Remove the hexagon templates by putting a crochet hook or pencil through the hole in the back and pulling them out. If you didn’t punch a hole in the back, you can remove them carefully by gently bending the cardstock until you can remove them.
Step ten: Press the block, making sure the unfinished seam allowances on the outside edge of the hexagons stay pressed to the back. Press the 9½” square of background fabric in half lengthwise, open up, and press in half widthwise to find the center of the square. Align the center of the pieced hexagon block with the center of the square and pin in place.
Step eleven: Applique the hexagon unit to the 9½” square using your favorite method. I used stitch witchery (a fusible web interfacing) to adhere the seam allowances to my background fabric, then I stitched a ⅛” line around the edges of the outside hexagons.
To make a finishing knot, loosen your last stitch and make a loop. Put your needle and thread through the loop twice and pull tightly to create a secure knot.
General instructions to complete your Project 48 quilt blocks
- Remember to always read the block tutorial in full before starting
- Seam allowances are ¼” unless stated otherwise
- All blocks are 9” finished. If you need to square your blocks once they are completed, trim back to 9½” using a square ruler.
- Always press your fabrics before starting
- Press your seams to the dark side or to reduce bulk (unless otherwise noted) at each stage.
About Amy Harward from Sew In Love Handmade
My name is Amy Harward from Sew In Love Handmade and I am a quilter, doll maker, and sewist. I am a wife and mother of 3 lively children and I love to make things! I love being able to stay home with the kiddos and play all day! I am a Mormon and love being involved in serving my friends, neighbors, and community. I started quilting in 2010, after my second child was born. I had never even touched a sewing machine before, but I was determined and eager to learn. It started there as a fun project, and it quickly turned into love! I have an Etsy shop where I sell my quilt patterns, dolls, and handmade gifts, and it is very fulfilling to share my love of quilting and making with others. I love learning, growing, evolving, and challenging myself to try new things!