Grandmother’s Flower Garden

I recently unearthed a quilt that came from my grandmother, that was tucked away and forgotten (translation: I cleaned out a bedroom closet :-)

 The hexagon pattern is known by several names. . . French Bouquet, French Rose Garden, Hexagon Flower Garden, or more commonly, Grandmother’s Flower Garden.

The quilter’s identity is uncertain~ but it is thought to have been quilted by neighbor and friend of my grandmother.

My grandmother, Lottie, was born in 1901. She was one of nine children and raised her three younger brothers after her mother died. She married at the age of 26 (an old maid in 1927!) and attended Elon College (now University) for one year. She passed away in 1993.

While I’m sharing this table now, I brought my Grandmother’s (x 2 :-) Flower Garden Quilt outdoors to set this table back in May~ in honor of her birthday and to celebrate my reunion with her quilt~

 The little hexagons of calico are breathing a deep sigh . . .

. . .  enjoying the fresh air and mingling with the other blooms & flower prints on the teacups & china.

My Grandmother’s favorite flowers were roses. I can remember her filling vases after cutting them first thing in the morning.

There are no roses in my garden, but rose-folded napkins are tucked into tea cups along with roses climbing across the china, that once upon a time, belonged to her sister.

A demitasse spoon, disguised as a silver leaf, is tucked into the rose folds of the napkin~

You can find an easy-to-follow & beautiful tutorial for these rosette folded napkins from Yvonne at StoneGable here.

I piped frosting onto little brownie bites I picked up from Target’s bakery and added some edible (organic!) violas to embellish them for a quick, sweet treat~

 My grandmother confessed she always wanted a tea set growing up but never had one, which prompted her to buy one for my sister and me to use when we visited her.

We have fond memories of her making our breakfast. . . she would serve our juice and scrambled eggs on our little plates and cups.

It’s hard to say who enjoyed it more . . . my sister & me eating off of it, or my grandmother playing with it as she prepared our breakfast and served it :-)

And remarkably, after 40 plus years, it is still intact except for one missing saucer and one plate that was painstakingly glued back together many years ago.

 Hexagon quilts made in the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, contain a center hexagon~ traditionally yellow~ to represent the flower’s center. The flower center is circled by six colorful printed or solid hexagons with another row of 12 hexagons surrounding the six. This quilt pattern blossomed in popularity in the thirties~ it’s easy to see how the calico prints forming cheery garden flowers would brighten one’s day in a depression-era time.

 I was thrilled to have found lilacs sold in bundles at Trader Joe’s back in May when I set this table. . . a surprise as delightful to me as their fragrance . . . and the only way to enjoy them here since our climate is too hot to grow them.


I stacked two plates with an inverted tea cup on a pedestal to serve these little flower bites~

 Open Face Cucumber Sandwiches are decorated with more edible violas along with parsley & basil~

“Collecting can start with the jog of a childhood memory—perhaps a swirl of rosebuds recalls some long-ago cup in which an adored grandmother offered you a bit of sweet, milky tea scenting with cinnamon.” ~ The Essential Tea Companion

Flower Garden Table Details:

Dishes~ G. Demartine & Cie

Portmeirion Botanic Garden Flatware~ HomeGoods

Leaf Demitasse Spoons~ Two’s Company~ Tuesday Morning

Assorted Tea Cups & Tea Pots~ HomeGoods

Napkins~ Pier 1

White Plates (as chargers) & Pedestal~ Maxera Cora Blanca~ HomeGoods

Vintage Chintz Pitcher~ Gracie China~ HomeGoods

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

  79 comments for “Grandmother’s Flower Garden

  1. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    August 17, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Absolutely gorgeous Mary! I can’t believe the amount of detail and work that went into the quilt! I love that each group of 6 are solids and the 12 are calico! The plates, rose folded napkins and munchies are equally beautiful-enjoy:@)

  2. August 17, 2011 at 7:32 am

    One of my favorite quilt patterns! Beautiful table, Mary!

  3. August 17, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Such a beautiful setting and what a wonderful way to remember your Grandmother! I have been away from the computer a great deal this summer (a good thing) and have missed your gorgeous posts!

  4. August 17, 2011 at 9:30 am

    What a lovely post, Mary. I love lilacs and pansies. I love the way you used your grandmother’s photo as part of the dish display. Everything is just beautiful. xo

  5. August 17, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Mary, this post has it all ~ treasured vintage quilt, gorgeous lakeside setting, lilacs, cucumber sandwiches, brownies, childhood memories ~ it is full of special details. Calico quilts offer a touch of nostalgia for me, and this pattern has long been favored here. My grandmother had a beautiful garden of her own and was also a quilter. Thanks for bringing back sweet childhood memories for me too this morning with this post. ~ Sarah

  6. August 17, 2011 at 10:06 am

    This one is beautiful! The women of that era must have all loved roses as so many dish patterns featured roses. My Grandmother’s china had roses too. My son has it now. But you have given me an idea. I have a collection of tea cups ans saucers from my favorite Aunt and could do a tribute to HER! I love your quilt, the colors and pattern are spectacular. You incorporated the perfect pieces on it too. The use of the spoons as leaves was genius!! You are SO good at this and I swoon every time I see that VIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could just sit there and weg for hours. XO, Pinky

  7. August 17, 2011 at 10:40 am

    on mornings i am home, and get to read my dashboard, i swoon when i see you have posted… its like that special new book i have wanted showing up at the library, that thrill of something new to sink my teeth into… and you never EVER disappoint, it’s always a 5 star affair for me.

    the details, the details, the details… they are never lost on me. i catch ALL you share… because i am a simpleton that sits and drinks it all in like a fresh spring morning.

    no, i am not ashamed to say i am always enchanted and lose track of time on your blog…

    with that said, oh my freaking goodness… the cup, rose and leaf are my covets this week. and you old tea set… and your view, and table. and flowers. and food. and just plain ole damn talent!

    we are so lucky you blog, you can let us all dream the good life :)

  8. August 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Good morning, Mary! It would seem that both you and I are feeling sentimental this week. Tributes to loved ones are always so special to create. I fully understand your affection for tea sets. It is so nice that you have a collection that dates back to your childhood. It is a magnificent quilt with a lot of time and love stitched into it. I wish I knew more about quilting to identify the pattern in the quilt I have that belonged to my great-grandmother. Your grandmother’s photograph on the late is a super touch. She was so pretty…and smiling!!! Not a lot of women smiled for their photos back in the day. With the depression going on, probably not that much to smile about! I love the abundance of flowers, especially the lilacs. They grow here in the Kansas City area and smell wonderful, but they don’t last long. Your table is beautiful!

  9. August 17, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Simplesmente lindíssimo e mágico. Expressão maior de beleza e luz. Amei. É u verdadeiro encanto para nossos olhos. enche de paz nosso espírito. Parabéns!!!!!!!!!!

  10. August 17, 2011 at 11:35 am

    How I wish you had been closer a couple of weeks ago when I had Salvation Army pick up ALL of my mother’s belongings. She had some beautiful cups and saucers, including a fine china set with pansies which she wanted my daughter to have. In any case, no one felt they had a place and I just felt a need to get everything taken care of so off everything went. I know I will have regrets when I stop and think about that.

  11. August 17, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I’m fortunate to have one of these beauties myself, made by my mil. Love the fresh colors and sweet design. what a lovely table you’ve set. thanks so much for linking up to VIF! xo Debra

  12. Carolyn
    August 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    The Quilt is truly a work of art and unfortunately, quilting may be a lost art as well. Today’s women are working outside the home and hardly have the time it takes to create a masterpiece like this quilt. The detail on it is beautiful and it appears to be in real good condition.
    Thanks for sharing your talents with us. Carolyn NC
    PS: I have missed Lilacs since we moved from NY State in 1979. Will look for them next spring at Trader Joes.

  13. August 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.

  14. August 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    An exquisite table and exquisite post. Mary, you never disappoint… When I see an e-mail in my in-box letting me know there is a new blog post from you to enjoy, I save it for last….I get rid of all the spam; reply to all the e-mails; check the links and stuff people send me; check my groups and do all the stuff I need to do to start my Internet morning….all the while building excitement and savouring the anticipation of finally being able to click on your post and lose myself in the enchantment…. sigh….
    The quilt is so lovely….the china is perfect and as usual, your words and photos transport me to another place and time. I had several beautiful quilts made by my greatgrandmother and a mishmash collection of tea cups and saucers that belonged to my grandmother, mother and aunt….unfortunately, they were all lost, along with many other family heirlooms when we had a fire in summer of July 2000…..Thank you for this lovely moment……….

  15. August 17, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Your table setting is absolutely beautiful, love the quilt. Love the mix of dishes, so nice that even the new dishes have a vintage feel, beautiful!!!

  16. August 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Looking at that quilt makes me think of old fashioned quilting bees. That is one of the most fabulous pieces. I loved seeing it up close. Your table is a lovely tribute. The china and other pieces are perfect with the quilt as a backdrop. exquisite. xo marlis

  17. August 17, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    This was a lovely presentation, and reminded me of my Mom, who has always loved pretty china. I got my collecting bug for dishes from her! I loved seeing these pretty floral dishes from the past used with things from ‘today,’ and I especially enjoyed the quilt and the cucumber sandwiches! I shared this blogspot with both my sisters & my Mom, and we all enjoyed it! Thank you for putting such a lovely table together and sharing it!

  18. August 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Hi lovely lady.
    I also reminded my Mom putting a Table together for family dinner, she would use her lovely Haviland china. You did a Beautiful job with this presentation for this Tablescapes just lovely. Thank so much for sharing this with as all. I hope you have a great week with your lovely family.
    I miss you on my Blog. xxoo Diane

  19. August 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Your grandmother would be so proud! Such a beautiful quilt, and I am always amazed at how you are able to bring out the colors in whatever you do. This was a beautiful tribute. The china is so sweet, the vase is beautiful, and I adore your little tea set. I enjoyed my visit. Question: where can I purchase organic violas??? They really added such a nice touch to the brownies and cucumbers. Love that!!

    • August 19, 2011 at 7:31 am

      Thanks for everyone’s kind comments! Our violas reseed, but you certainly could start some from seed to ensure they are organic, which is what I do with nasturtiums :-)

  20. August 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Mary, what a beautiful tribute to your grandmother! I am sure she would be so pleased with your memories of her. You did such a lovely job. These photos just make me happy in so many ways. Thank you.

  21. August 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    What a lovely table! So much thought and planning had to have gone into that. The quilt is just over the top gorgeous!

  22. August 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Stunning quilt…beautiful table setting and beautiful view!

  23. August 19, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Such a lovely setting, but WOW, I’m in awe of those wonderful open-faced cucumber sandwiches. I can’t wait for my next get together so I can make them.


  24. August 19, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Oh Mary!!! This one took my breath away! Your sweet Grandmother must be smiling down from HEAVEN still today. What a beautiful table, menu, flowers, the touchstone quilt… I too loved my Paternal Grandmother as a mother & I miss her sooooooooooooooo to this day. What a beautiful gesture & THANK YOU for sharing it with us. WOW! I think I have to go back & look at this one again! HUGS!

  25. August 19, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Those are the prettiest cucumber sandwiches on the planet… gorgeous job!!

  26. August 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

    So beautiful I love the way you cut the cucumbers for the tea sandwiches.
    As always, your post inspire me so much.

  27. August 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Wow, how pretty and inspiring everything is! The cucumber sandwiches are too beautiful to be eaten.

  28. August 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Just beautiful, what time should I arrive? LOL! I love your setting, and the china is just glorious. You always do such a good job with these tablescapes – inspirational for sure!

    Listen, I have a new series on my blog called: “A Picture is Worth …” I’m trying to get back to posting pictures about my house, and I’d love it if you’d come by and see the bar in the dining room! :)


  29. August 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Everything looks great such an amazing table.

    Have a good weekend.

    Karin Şen Cankan

  30. August 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    This is such a gorgeous table setting! I love everything about it but especially your grandmother’s quilt! It’s stunning!

  31. August 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Hello dear Mary . . . where to begin?
    I am in AWE . . . I love and appreciate all of your gorgeous posts and this one particularly grabbed my heartstrings. I love the history and the way that you brought this all together so beautifully. Your grandmother would be so happy to know you appreciate her gorgeous quilt, you brought it to life one more time ~ lucky you (and lucky us, that you shared!).

    Must excuse myself to go back and just admire each one of your beautiful images a few more times! You are so talented. Thank you so much for all that you share. xo

  32. August 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I am in heaven just viewing this post. Besides being so beautiful there is also something so calming and peaceful about it. It is beyond gorgeous.
    I think I have told you that I also have a collection of quilts that I use on my tables…but you do something so unique and so beautiful that always makes your quilt posts spectacular. What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. Everything is sublime. You have created the perfect summer day.

  33. August 20, 2011 at 9:17 am

    What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. She was a very pretty and talented lady. You would have made her proud with this special table.

  34. August 20, 2011 at 10:08 am

    This is such a lovely post. I am not a big quilt person, but this one is spectacular….I love the soft colors and this is a pattern I really love. They way that you combined it with the other items for the vignette is beautiful.

  35. August 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. The quilt is beautiful and such great colors to go with lilacs. I love everything about this beautiful table, Mary.

  36. Pondside
    August 21, 2011 at 10:22 am

    That was as lovely as always. You are so fortunate to have sweet memories of your grandmother. It seems to me that she must have played a role in your flair for creating a beautiful setting. The quilt is a treasure and is set off so very well by all your special touches – especially the rose-in-a-teacup!

  37. bj
    August 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    My mom was such a good quilter and she wanted to make a Flower Garden Quilt but just didn’t live long enuf. :(
    This is such a beautiful one
    Your photos are awesome…
    Come by ..I am having a giveaway you might like.:)
    xo bj

  38. August 22, 2011 at 7:43 am

    What an exquisite post all round. the quilt is amazing and I adore the cucmber sarmies to bits!!!


  39. August 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Thank you for sharing a beautiful tablescape. I do love the quilt, I’m in the process of making a Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt. It has 100’s of hex shaped pieces all sewn together by hand, one stitch at a time. I have been working on mine for to long, I do find it quite relaxing. Your quilt is beautiful, what a great tribute to a wonderful lady.

  40. August 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I am a quilter and collect antique quilts, your Grandmothers Quilt is such a beautiful treasure. The colors are so bright, the quilt has been preserved well. I love your Chintz Tea Pot, I have cups that match. Just stopping by from OTMM, thanks for sharing!
    Miz Helen

  41. August 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    What a beautiful quilt…and such a lovely memorial post!

    This was really gorgeous. I’m a beginning quilter but one day I hope I can make something similar.

    Charming, elegant and joyous!

  42. August 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Dear Mary,
    I so enjoyed your tea table! Everything is a delight to the eyes as well as the tummy, I’m sure! The quilt is a treasure as are the china pieces and I know your grandmother would be pleased. Lilacs are stunning and make a gracious tea table. Wish I could join you. The water off in the distance makes it very appealing. Absolutely lovely post! Thank you for joining me.


  43. August 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    What a gorgeous tablescape!! That quilt is so special to have & your pictures are stunning!!

  44. August 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    A perfectly beautiful posting, in every way…the quilt…the china… and the food, not to mention the beautiful surroundings!

  45. August 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Beautiful post! I love the colors and the feel of this table. The quilt and the tea cups and saucers are so girly! What a gorgeous tribute to your grandmother. Thank you for the shout-out.
    Your little cucumber sandwiches adorned with those sweet pansies are perfect for the occasion. Thanks for bringing your by-the-water tea table to ON THE MENU MONDAY! You have inspired all of us!

  46. August 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    What a gorgeous table…those sandwiches look fantastic…and the quilt is stunning!!

  47. August 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I’m glad you found your Grandmother’s quilt again, it’s beautiful as is the background for your tea table.
    I’m visiting from Rose Chintz Cottage.

  48. August 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    What a gorgeous setting! You Gma’s quilt is awesome. The background is totally breathtakingly beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  49. August 23, 2011 at 11:35 am

    A beautiful, sentimental, and touching post. I love quilts as table coverings, and the napkin folds are wonderful.

  50. August 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Oh my!

    What fabulous photos of such lovely teatime vignettes!.., Yum!

    Happy Tuesday Tea Time In Blogland!

    Hugs from Wanda Lee

  51. August 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Beautiful, Beautiful! Oh, I must set a table with my daughter’s tea set for my granddaughter. I’m wiping a tear from your touching story. Everything is so lovely each and every detail. The chocolate bites are so pretty and everything is inspiring.

  52. August 24, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Beautiful vignettes. Thankyou for taking the time to set it all up, take the photos and then post. Appreciate it all.

  53. August 24, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Mary, this is the second time looking at this post, after TTT link up.A beautiful display of such treasures. I realise on the second take, with your styling it’s those finer details that you don’t leave out. The beautiful photo on the plate with delicate pansies at each corner, the upside down cup, between two plates giving a tiered effect, the touch of beautiful folded napkins, as roses, all these and many more give your posts that personal refined look. Just lovely, Mary.Have a wonderful day!

  54. August 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Teatime heaven… You have prepared a grand tribute and I even invisioned your grandmother in the kitchen having a teaparty with you, your sister and those sweet little teasets… I love the open- faced cucumber sandwiches and the addition of the violets on the cupcakes too …It sort of transports one into the Victorian era… AH>>>> Everything is so eloquently detailed. I truly enjoyed reading your blog and sharing your heartfelt teatime tribute to your beautiful grandmother. I can smell the lilacs from here !!!!…Hugs

  55. FABBY
    August 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

    First of all, you had a beautiful grandmother! Such great memmories with that beautiful quilt and you’ve set a stunning table, full of beautiful details, I’m so impressed on how magazine perfect is. I love the chintz cups and tea pot, the flowers are so sweet, the cucumber sandwiches, yummy!, and the cupcakes with a violet in each, awesome! I wish I could have tea in that lovely setting. Thanks for sharing, just came from TTT at Marty’s. Hugs, FABBY

  56. August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Oh, how lovely! The quilt is beautiful, and the rose napkins are a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. I can almost smell those lilacs on the air.

  57. August 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    you are such a perfect grand kid, she is blessed to have you share her favorite flowers and tea sets.

    love those tender colors.

  58. August 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    You set such a lovely table. :)

  59. August 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Exquisite tea party! I love the pansies as edible ornamentation!

  60. August 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I love this post!

    You are just totally terrific and creating teas!

    And everything else!

    Thanks for linking.


  61. Riet
    August 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    What a lovely tea party and I lo
    ve love that hexagon quilt. So gorgeous. Great T word

  62. August 31, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Such a sweet thing to do for your Grandmother.. her quilt needs to stay out of the storage closet!
    love the photos

  63. August 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Lovely photos! Soooo Southern!
    My favorite tea is Earl Grey, because the bergamot in it gives one a sense of well-being.

  64. August 31, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I would absolutely love to have tea with you!

    how fun would that be?

  65. August 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I love that you used the quilt as a table covering at a tea to celebrate your grandmother. What a tribute!

  66. August 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Your Grandmother’s quilt is one of the loveliest I have ever seen in that particular pattern. Her use of colors made for an exquisite look and the blue edging really sets it off. You have a real treasure there with beautiful memories to go with it. I enjoyed all your photos but really sat up when I read that your Grandmother had attended Elon College…it was still “college” when I was there too!

  67. August 31, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I am stunned at the beauty of the quilt! I love all your gorgeous tea things! What lovely treasures you share! Thank you and I enjoyed stopping by. Hugs Anne

  68. September 1, 2011 at 12:27 am

    really lovely teaset and table setting.. visiting from alpha thursday

  69. PJ
    September 1, 2011 at 6:19 am

    This took my breath away!!!!

  70. September 1, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Oh I love that quilt! It’s so beautiful :) This is a wonderful tribute to your grandmother’s memory. I love the colors and the story that you shared :)

  71. September 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Oh, that quilt!

    And those lilacs…

    I’m in love.


  72. September 2, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Such pretty pictures!!!

    :) stopping by from Jenny’s

  73. September 3, 2011 at 10:59 am

    What a pretty table — thanks for sharing! :)

    Greetings from Germany,

    PS: See my T post here! :)

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