Chantal Guillermet – Botanics – Hydrangea Macrophylla



Hydrangea has its origins in Japan where it is called “Morning Glory”. The city of Nagasaki took it as its symbol.

Coming back from Brittany  where they were in full bloom, I decided to choose  a variety of hydrangea called “Hydrangea Macrophylla” with a crown of flowers around a flat center with small buds. I also wanted to work with the laguage of flowers (19th century or Victorian period) and use its symbolism

I have at home vintages plates using the language of flowers as a decoration and I also ordered Sheila Pickles’ book “The Language of Flowers” as an inspirational source.

Recently, following Hilary Beattie on her blog I discovered she was using the same theme working on a series of small quilts. They were on display at Festival of Quilts.

I have used her technique to organise my fabric and create the background.

Technique & material :

I started to fuse a light bondaweb on the batting (a thin cotton one). I removed the paper and started to arrange my fabrics on the batting, layering, folding, making inserts when necessary.

When satisfied with my arrangement I ironed everything in place.

All my fabrics are vintage pieces of bed sheets and pillow cases from  my family that I have hand dyed. It is a heavy cotton.

Then the background was heavily quilted. I have used text explaining the symbolism of hydrangea, lines and grids.

I have made a rubbing with a real leaf and stencils from real flowers. The main drawing (head of flowers) is a copyright free image from internet. I have used thread sketching  with black cotton thread for both the leaf and flowers working directly on the tracing paper.

On the left, the flowers are stencilled with inktense pencils and fabric medium.








  1. Chantal this quilt is absolute perfection – the design, the colours, stencilling, leaf rubbing and of course the quilting and the machine writing. Thank you for the photos of the detail and process. A truly beautiful piece.

  2. Chantal I really admire the way you designed this piece and how you used so many different techniques to come to such a beautiful result.

  3. Chantal, this piece is wonderful, really a quilt of your hand.
    So many different techniques and beautiful colors. I like the way the blue comes thru the pink on the left side.
    Hydrangea is my favorite flower too.

  4. Chantal, your rendering of the flowers and your stitching are exquisite! What a lovely piece!

  5. Very delicate and very you! Lovely piece and great colours.

  6. Chantal, a beautiful quilt, thank you for taking us through your technique. some day I will try more to add different coloured fabrics in panels, it gives your quilt a very unique look and a way of breaking up your design when using the different parts of the hydrangea. Bravo

  7. English quilter

    Thank you for the detailed explanation of how you created this piece. I love the delicacy of the images on the right. The photo with fresh hydrangeas on it is wonderful. The background quilting looks beautiful. You were clever to put in the meaning of the flowers.

  8. What a great piece just love the different techniques you used especially the black stitching.


    Chantal, this is really beautiful. The way you arranged your background, with all the stitches and details, the colours and the thread stitching, it is amazing how you managed it. And a nice explanation on how you did it and what brought you to this flower. A very serene piece.

  10. I also love hydrangeas and this is a wonderful piece. I think that the technique you have used for arranging and composing the fabrics has worked well, and is something I will definitely try. I love your quilting and the colours you have used. I think it is a beautiful quilt

  11. A lovely quilt. The colours are so delicate and there are so many techniques too.

  12. Love the layout and subtlety of colours

  13. Chantal, a beautiful quilt for a beautiful flower. Your meticulous drawing is wonderful. And of course, the colors are, too.

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