Grandmother's Flower Garden
Bozena Vilhelmina Clarke
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Top made in 1933, quilted in 1935
72 3/4" x 90"
MSU Museum Accession 6119.25
Photo by Fumio Ichikawa, all rights reserved by the MSU
Quilts in the "Grandmother's Flower Garden" pattern were especially
popular in the Depression era. Versions of the hexagonal-based block,
known at first as "Honeycomb," "Hexagon," or "Mosaic,"
date back as far as the early nineteenth century when it was typically
created in the English paper-pieced method. Pieces of fabric were basted
over paper templates, whipstitched together and, once the quilt top was
completed, the papers were removed. Later, hexagon-block quilts were usually
pieced together with a running stitch.
This "Grandmother's Flower Garden" quilt, presented to Harriet
Clarke as an eighth-grade graduation gift in June 1938, is a classic example
of its time period. The centers of every flower are made with a single,
solid yellow fabric; the petals of the flower are of various multicolored
prints; and the final ring of each flower is of solid green fabric. The
flower blocks are separated by sashing of off-white hexagons, also arranged
in a flower design with solid green centers.
By Mary Worrall, excerpted from American
Quilts from Michigan State University Museum.