The technique of forming small hexagon shaped cloth
pieces and then sewing them into units that would form
the patch-work ground for a quilt, was extremely time
consuming and difficult to master. Nonetheless, the so-called
Honeycomb quilt (later known as Mosaic or
Grandmother’s Flower Garden) was a popular quilt type
in the 19th century. Its roots go back to English pieced
quilts of the 18th century. The following is quoted from
the instructions in Godey’s Lady’s Book for “Fancy
Perhaps there is no patch-work that is prettier or more
ingenious than the hexagon, or six-sided; this is also called
honeycomb patch-work. To make it properly you must first cut
out a piece of pasteboard of the size you intend to make the
patches, and of a hexagon or six-sided form. Then lay this model
on your calico, and cut your patches of the same shape, allowing
them a little larger all round for turning in at the edges.
Of course the patches must be all exactly of the same size. Get
some stiff papers (old copy-books or letters will do) and cut them
also into hexagons precisely the size of the pasteboard model.
Prepare as many of these papers as you have patches. Baste or
tack a patch upon every paper, turning down the edge of the
calico over the wrong side.
Sew together neatly over the edge, six of these patches, so as to
form a ring. Then sew together six more in the same manner,
and so on till you have enough. Let each ring consist of the same
sort of calico, or at least of the same colour. For instance, one
ring may be blue, another pink, a third yellow, &c. The papers
must be left in, to keep the patches in shape till the whole is
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