MCM #118 – Hexies for Days

I am always so grateful and honored when a client hands me a quilt and trusts me to quilt it for them. Occasionally I am given one that also overwhelms me a little. Such is the case with this beauty:

Grandmothers Flower Garden Hexie QuiltThis one is special. Well, all quilts are special, but this one has an unknown history, an untold story. It was given to me to quilt by a lady in our guild. It belongs to a friend of hers who found this quilt and a wedding ring quilt. I don’t know where she found them, in fact I don’t know anything at all about the quilt and that allows my imagination to run wild while I’m working on it.

I do know that it is exquisitely hand-pieced and that many of the fabrics are old. Several look and feel like feedsack prints.

Hand pieced hexie quiltWhen I look at this piecing it amazes me. Even though I don’t know the age of the top I am sure all those hexies were cut without some of the tools available to us today. They all fit together so beautifully. The most surprising thing to me is just how straight and square the quilt is. When I loaded it on my longarm, I was floored to find that it was so straight and there are no puffy blocks and no wavy edges. I mean, we’re talking a lot of bias edges people!

When I’m given a top like this to quilt I always get so emotional. I know that may sound a bit over the top but I can’t help it. To think that I get the privilege of finishing a quilt that someone so long ago took the time to piece always gets to me. It’s like I’m connected to the maker over time somehow. Does this make any kind of sense to you? (Because I admit – it sounds a bit loony to me when I read it back to myself!)  You can read about another quilt that had a powerful effect on me by clicking here. 

My initial quilting plan (before really looking at the top) was to do a quick, edge-to-edge design. After looking at it I just knew I couldn’t do that to this quilt. Instead, I am using some modern quilting motifs to bring the flowers to life. Kinda like mixing the new with the old.

Free Motion Quilting on Hexie Flowers

Pebbles to suggest the center of a flower, loops to create a petal affect, and meandering in the background to allow the flowers to pop have all been fun designs to stitch. I still haven’t figured out what I’ll do in those green sections, but hopefully inspiration hits soon!

My goal is to have this finished so I can deliver it at the next guild meeting on Wednesday. Since I have to work Monday and Tuesday, I might be dreaming. But I agree with the saying ‘if you’re gonna dream, dream big’ so I’m dreaming big!

Now it’s your turn to share. What are you working on that has you excited to be in your sewing space this week? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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About Beth

I'm a wife, mother of two, and lover of all things crafty. I love to cook up new things in the kitchen and in my craft room, and sometimes get "licking the spoon" mixed up with "licking the fabric"!!
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29 Responses to MCM #118 – Hexies for Days

  1. It’s wonderful that you got to finish this special quilt. Your quilting complements the top so beautifully. I really like the way you quilted the flowers.


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  3. Beautiful quilt top, and it feels like there is a history behind it. You are doing an excellent job with your quilting!

  4. Shasta says:

    Wow that was a beautiful quilt already but your quilting really brings it to life.

  5. kaholly says:

    Very well written! Your quilting choices are perfect for this beauty!

  6. Your quilting is making an incredible difference to this quilt. And you don’t sound cuckoo to me. 🙂

  7. That’s such a sweet quilt. It’s absolutely stunning that the maker was able to keep it flat and square with the old methods of cutting and sewing. And your quilting just brings it to life!

  8. Rochelle says:

    What a wonderful quilting job you are doing. It definitely complements the flowers and gives such movement to the quilt. Your friend will be thrilled.

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  10. Lisa says:

    This quilt is a stunner and I love how you are quilting it. It really brings the flowers to life. Beautiful

  11. Totally, wholeheartedly ‘get’ you (you are NOT loony) and the feelings you’re experiencing quilting this quilt and THANK YOU for doing this beauty justice; an all-over would have been a disservice. It’s exquisite piecework, just gob-smacked here. Great choices for quilt designs. What about leaves in the green? I love quilting leaves, no pressure as Nature’s leaves are never the same right?

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  13. Rebecca Grace says:

    Oh, WOW — those perfect hand piecing stitches stopped my heart for a split second!! I would be tempted to quilt this one upside-down just so the hand stitches would show!! I’m glad you’re giving this top the loving care it deserves. What about quilting a cluster of leaves in those green patches? They look like leaves to me.

  14. Bernie says:

    I think the fact that you connect strongly with your work makes it that much better. I love the motifs you are using with this quilt. Also, I think densely quilting it will protect it – it is an old piece of art and it seems like the quilting will reinforce all of those lovingly hand stitched pieces.

  15. Wonderful job so far. I’m sure it will end up being fabulous. I’m going to grab a screen shot of the quilting incase my daughter ever asks me to quilt her hexie quilt. Although she probably isn’t doing it as a grandmother’s flower garden. I enjoy working on old tops. But, most I’ve gotten are not straight. I’ve done a few all over designs hoping to ease the waves in. But the owners were thrilled with the end results. I’m always pleased to see folks who take old tops have them finished. It’s nice to see that some one will enjoy the quilts.

  16. Jocelyn Thurston says:

    Hi…such lovely hand stitching. I think it is so sweet that you are aware of the valuable quilt in your hands now to finish and it looks like your wonderful quilting will be doing it justice.

  17. I love what you decided to do for the quilting, Beth, and I hope you can meet your goal this week. Good luck!

  18. Jayne says:

    Oh my gosh! I would have hid under a table if I had to quilt this!! It would freak me out to no end. You did a beautiful job of bringing the design and quilting together. I cannot believe all those tiny hand stitches…a full quilt…Wow! I’ve been painstakingly hand stitching my first large quilt using EPP diamonds, but for some reason it doesn’t compare to this one! It must be because of the age and time period.

  19. It is a beautiful quilt! Love how you are quilting it now!

  20. Well, you are definitely connecting with this one. You are quilting it beautifully. I can only imagine the original maker would just gasp and say “Oh how pretty!”

  21. Oh, Beth! I LOVE how you’re quilting this! The flowers are truly coming to life under your needle. It’s wonderful that you’re adding this modern touch to a beautifully pieced quilt. How about doing a leaf motif in the green areas, as if the flowers are nestled into greenery?

  22. rl2b2017 says:

    Hi Beth,
    Oh, I am so glad this quilt found its way to you and that you are able to give it the attention to really let it sing. I absolutely under the overwhelming feeling of connecting with the past when working on this quilt!! I can feel it just reading your post, and it is so very, very COOL. You picked the perfect quilting designs I think, and you really listened to the quilt tell you what it needed. {{Hugs}} Another case of too bad it doesn’t have a label to record its beginning anyway. Maybe you can add a label now so going forward its history is recorded?! Happy Monday! ~smile~ Roseanne

  23. Bambi Pearson says:

    That quilt top is absolutely beautiful. I love the way you are quilting it too.

  24. Kate says:

    It’s a gorgeous quilt! The handwork is really, really incredible. It’s pretty awe inspiring to see one that old done so perfectly. Puts us to shame doesn’t it with all our modern approaches and we still don’t get piecing that nice. Your approach to the quilting is working so well. It’s going to be a wonderful heirloom.

  25. How enigmatic! So great that you got a chance to quilt it. Your quilt complements the quilt and I love the way quilted the flowers.


  26. How enigmatic! So great that you got a chance to the finish this special quilt. Beautiful piecing and your quilting complements the quilt. Love how you quilted the flowers.


  27. No, you do NOT sound loony at all! I TOTALLY get that emotion, You are doing a wonderful job on the quilting for this. That quality of piecing totally deserved some custom quilting. I get a little misty eyes thinking about what would have happened if someone hadn’t rescued this quilt and given it to you to finish. What a near tragedy! Loved this post.

  28. Tu-Na Quilts says:

    This is one of my favorite posts that you’ve written. Maybe that is because I just love hexi quilts. Maybe it’s because I’ve been wanting to start one of my own. Maybe it’s because I sense how much work has gone into the making of it and now the quilting of it. Maybe it’s because I just love how you are quilting it. No matter what the reason, thanks for sharing.

  29. That is one beautiful quilt. I’m with you–I like to imagine who might’ve made it and where they were living. I really like the quilting you’re doing in the flowers. I’ll be interested in seeing what you come up with for the green medallions.

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