Alternate Piecing Method for Flower Garden Path

Earlier this morning, I posted a tutorial for the Flower Garden Path as part of the Summer Sampler Series (on the left). I had tried alternate piecing methods (32 half square triangle pairs in a 12.5 inch block is a little bit intimidating) and I didn’t come up with any that I was satisfied with. This morning in the flickr group, Rachel and Jessica asked the same question–isn’t there a better way? When I read their plan of how they were going to piece their blocks, I had the aha! moment I had been looking for this weekend. Thanks, ladies.  I was lucky (?) that I had lost a few hst pairs when making the previous block and had a few others left over from a different block, so the second time around, this block was pretty fast for me. I have posted an abbreviated tutorial below. [Note: I sat and sewed and took pictures in the same place, in an attempt to finish this before nap time ended. I almost made it!]

If I was going to make a third block in this pattern, I’m not sure if I would use this alternate method or the hst method–there are tricky parts to both. So, go with your gut on this one. They both work. They both ended up being a bit imperfect (you know, user error on my part). Have fun, and let me know if you liked the method you chose :)

Cut pieces according to the table below.

Note: The tutorial calls for 10 squares that measure 2 7/8 inch. Four of these will be sewn into hst pairs. If you aren’t completely comfortable with the thought of accurately piecing 2.5 inch finished hst pairs, I suggest cutting these four blocks in 3 inch squares, both the background print and feature print. It will give you a little more wiggle room in accuracy; you will want to square up your hst pairs to 2.5 inches regardless.  This would mean you would cut [4] squares of your background & [4] squares of your feature print/solid that are 3 inches, and [6] squares of your background print that are 2 7/8 inches.
Block Pieces
Inside Square (kona snow)
Background (kona snow)
6 1/8 inch square
2 7/8 square
Outer Diamond (brown flowers)
rectangles: 1 7/8x 6 1/8 inches
                 1 7/8 x 10 inches
Corner pieces (multi color)
2.5 inch square
Triangles (multi color)
2 7/8 inch square
4 [or 8, if you want a scrappier look
 [Tutorial assumes 1/4 inch seams, pressed open. Make sure to press pieces on the front as well to cut down on stretching/wonky seams]
2. See picture below. Take your center square (1, on point) and sew the two smaller rectangles to alternate sides. Press seams open, square up if necessary. Sew your two longer rectangles (4 &5) to alternate sides, press seams open, square up block. Make hst pairs (see instructions below if necessary), cut remaining background squares into hsts, and lay out as shown.
3. [Sewing hst pairs] Draw a diagonal line (mechanical pencil works well) from corner to corner of each of your printed background squares. Match background squares with colored squares and sew 1/4 inch on both sides of the line.

4. Cut the square in half along the pencil-drawn line, which results in two hst pairs. Iron seams open and trim pairs to 2.5 inches. (To trim, line up the seam with the 45 degree angle marking on your ruler and trim blocks to 2.5 inches, as shown below). You should have 8 hst pairs.

5. Lay out corner pieces as shown below. Sew A to B and B to C; sew D to E.  Press seams open and be sure to press the front side as well.

 6. Sew A to B and B to C. Match seams (pin on both sides of seam). Press seams open, press the front as well.

 7. Lay out according to the picture below.

8.  Find the center of your pieced large corner triangle, match it to the center of one of the sides of the diamond. Pin well and sew with the pieced side facing up; it is easier to make sure you sew accurately near the triangle points this way. Sew a different pieced triangle to the opposite edge. Press seams open, press front of block.
Center, pin, and sew the other two pieced triangles to the remaining sides. I would suggest using spray starch or spray starch alternative here; sewing the pieced triangles on the bias edge is tricky.
 Tada! You are done with the Flower Garden Path block. And if you aren’t trying to rush through it like I was, hopefully you will lose some of the give on the bias edges.

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  1. Posted July 18, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Im going to do the alternate method as it means my fabric for the outer diamond will look better – being in one continuous piece. Im glad I held off on the block while you came up with this! well done

  2. Posted July 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I think I’m going to sleep on this and decide which approach to use but I’ll probably go with the alternate method. I like HSTs, but not that much! Plus, I just finished the first three blocks today. Will blog them tomorrow!

  3. Posted July 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    I do prefer this alternate method because, like Merran says, it keeps the inner square one solid piece. Thanks for doing the work for us, Kate. You totally didn’t have to do that!

  4. Posted July 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Permalink


  5. Posted July 18, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! This is a great approach.

  6. Posted July 18, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    much better method…
    really the first one isn’t that bad..more tedious…I will probably try this one later on too…thanks

  7. Posted July 19, 2011 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Kate are you sure the rectangle should be 10″? Maybe I have made a mistake somewhere?

  8. Posted July 19, 2011 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Could you also use the first method but replace 16 of the HST with 8 flying geese? So C/D, I/J, M/R, N/S, P/T, Q/U, X/Y, and dd/ee become flying geese instead of 2 HST sewn together. This looks beautiful but adding the triangles around the square looks very intimadating to me. :)

  9. Posted July 19, 2011 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    So, if the centre square is 6 1/8 cut (5 5/8 sewn) and the side rectangles are 1 7/8 wide that makes 8 7/8 not 10. I have done one corner of triangles and they are a bit big for the 8 7/8 but not big enough for 10. At this stage if I kept going the finished square would measure roughly 12.5. Anyone else doing this at the moment?

  10. Posted July 19, 2011 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    I am in awe.

  11. Posted July 19, 2011 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    This is great! This totally is an a-ha moment – it’s so simple, yet I wouldn’t have thought of it! I’m glad I didn’t have time to make my block earlier today. : ) It’s on the list for tomorrow.

  12. Posted July 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. I LOVE this way much better.

  13. Posted July 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    I just finished this block using the alternate method and it worked beautifully. I am so impressed with how it turned out that I think it’s now my favourite of the first four!


  14. machen und tun
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    i just did this lovely block the alternate way and it turned out very nice! maybe a bit small (i still have no idea where i lost that 1/4″ :-) but i can disguise that with a border/frame when i sew the blocks together.
    thanks so much for the second way of sewing this one, i am not too fond of hst and was very happy that i could reduce the amount..
    take care,

  15. Posted July 28, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Wow, that wasn’t exactly difficult, just a beast to keep track of all of those little triangles. I’ll upload mine in the morning, I’ve got to go turn my brain off for the night. 😉

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