Flipping through a favorite quilt book, I came across the Garden Maze design. Though
I'd seen it many times before, this time inspiration struck. What a great design
-- those big open spaces crying out to frame something special! How about "fussy
cut" blocks of a beautiful large floral print? Or paper pieced blocks in flower and
other garden-related designs? Better still, much of the Garden Maze itself can be
paper pieced, and the rest is easily strip-pieced.
Click image to enlarge
The main foundation pieced unit for Garden Maze is a skewed rectangle or diamond
shape. It forms the "X" blocks and the horizontal lattice strips of the Garden Maze
when several units are placed end-to-end. Two smaller units "square off" the ends
of the completed and joined main units at the quilt's edges. I've provided paper
piecing patterns that will accommodate 3" finished size "feature squares." If you
are using plain fabric squares instead of pieced blocks, remember to cut them 3-1/2"
square to accommodate the 1/4" seam allowance all around.
The vertical lattice strip blocks are easily strip pieced and sewn to the "feature
squares" (foundation pieced blocks, other applique or pieced blocks, or plain fabric
squares). For 3" finished size blocks, cut the lattice strips (shown above in dark
blue) 1-1/4" wide, and the background fabric strips (shown above in medium green)
2" wide (includes 1/4" seam allowance). Alternate rows of foundation pieced units
and strip-pieced blocks with "feature squares", with one additional row of the foundation
pieced units to complete the Garden Maze design.
Create a stained-glass look similar to the quilt above by choosing glowing hand-dyed
fabrics for the foundation pieced flower blocks and background, with solid black
for the garden paths. (All the flower block patterns shown above are available in
my Etsy shop, though my free flower block patterns would work equally well). For
an entirely different effect, alternate the colors of the garden path octagons to
create an interlocked ring pattern, as at right.
Because the length of the main foundation piecing unit is nearly 3 times the size
of the feature squares, foundation piecing the Garden Maze is best for feature squares
measuring about 4" or less, unless you have access to printers/copiers that accept
large paper sizes. For another approach more suitable for a larger-scale Garden Maze,
see Debby Kratovil's article Don't Be Dazed By The Garden Maze. Personally, I'm looking
forward to trying a micro-miniature Garden Maze – but without the paper pieced flower