Garden Maze

Have you ever made a Garden Maze quilt? I’ve always loved their airy suggestion of lattice. The traditional way of making them uses a cross-over in the corner stone, and simple rails in the sashing. Look at this example of the block by Jinny Beyer:

jinnybeyer.com

Using two different colors for the lattice really makes the design stand out. She offers free downloads of this design in three different sizes.

But that cross-over in the corner stone is a little fiddly to get just right, both for sizing and for placement. I was never convinced I wanted to try it. Fortunately I found an easier way. At least, it’s easier for me!

Here are the basics:

  • unpieced corner stone
  • sashing with star points on each end
  • block with framing — the framing should be half the finished width of the sashing

And here is my first attempt at a Garden Maze quilt:

Garden Maze

Garden Maze

I counted this quilt as an EXPERIMENT from the beginning, which is good because several things went wrong. First, I had less of the green I’d chosen for lattice than I expected, so I couldn’t make it as large as planned. Second, I didn’t make the framing half the width of the sashing, making the the cross-overs broad and rather clunky. (Frames are 1″, sashing is 3″.) Third, the whole thing was too small, so I bordered it with white. That gave the lattice a rather abrupt end. Fourth, some of the color showed through the white after pressing seams.

Overall I rate this as a good learning experience! I do love the Asian-inspired fabric in the centers of the blocks. It would be especially effective for a larger quilt.

Here are pictures I drew in EQ7 showing it with pre-planning (rather than winging it, as I did above):

54" square. Blocks are 9" finished, 6" center, 1.5" frame. Sashing is 3".

54″ square. Blocks are 9″ finished, 6″ center, 1.5″ frame. Sashing is 3″.

One thing I learned just playing with EQ7 is having decent contrast between the lattice and the rest is important for effect.

Here’s another example with 6″ variable stars in the centers of the blocks:

Same sizes as image above.

Same sizes as image above.

And finally, a king-bed quilt with 12″ blocks. This also has 3″ sashing. I removed the piecing lines from the image so you can see a more realistic view of the lattice effect. Beautiful, don’t you think?

111" x 96". 42 9" Ohio Star blocks in centers of 12" blocks, 1.5" framing. 3" sashing.

111″ x 96″. 42 9″ Ohio Star blocks in centers of 12″ blocks, 1.5″ framing. 3″ sashing.

This is still on my list of quilts to make. It would be a pretty easy project, even though largish.

Have you ever made a Garden Maze? If not, does this information make it any more likely that you will?

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18 thoughts on “Garden Maze

  1. Quilt Musings

    Looks great! The Japanese print is really good in the center. I have never made a garden lattice quilt, but it is a block that appeals to me, and I have thought about using it. It’s on the list!

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  2. Dee Augustin

    That is wonderful! I saw that technique on another site and also on a quilt in the SB photos and it is a must for me to try. After a test sample I can imagine fussy cut flower blocks with the garden maze setting. Dee in NE

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  3. TextileRanger

    It was not on my radar, but after reading your tips, I would love to make one. I would put big blocks of color in the centers, and shades in the sashing to make it look three-dimensional, like the mosaic pavements of Saint Mark’s in Venice.

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  4. KerryCan

    I like the a lot, too! I think this would be a perfect quilt to work on in mid-winter, with gorgeous spring colors. If I did it, I’d want to work slow and make it last until we got a hint of real spring!

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, I have some pretty pale yellows I’d like to use for center backgrounds and sashing. Not sure what I’d do with the rest of it. Probably soft green for the lattice. Blocks? Still thinking… 🙂

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  5. zippyquilts

    I like both the oriental fabrics and the stars as centers! You could paper piece those corners to make them easier if you decide to go Bach to the original at some point. Meanwhile, I think your modification is a great idea 😊

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks, Mary. Not my original idea. I think it’s been done by a lot of people. But it sure works easily. And in fact, if you wanted to do lattice of 2 colors, like the first example, it would be pretty easy to modify to do that, too.

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  6. denmck

    I like your little quilt and also like the larger designs. Here’s a tip I received for stitch and flip blocks. If you sew about 2 thread widths inside your drawn horizontal line (closer to the corner) it’s suppose to help it fit the corner better. Does that make sense?

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  7. Thread crazy

    The garden maze pattern has always been a favorite of mine but I haven’t had chance to make one yet. Guess it’ll get added to my list now!! I do like the last garden maze with the Ohio star in center block, but I can also see the center block as Texas wildflowers or appliqued Iris’! I do like the one you made – love those colors together – you did a great job.

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    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Thanks. Yes, wildflowers either appliqued or from a great fabric would be fun. Colors: thanks! Actually I didn’t fuss about the colors at all, just tried to get good contrast and have it not be ugly. 🙂

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