I'm on a fool's errand - categorizing hexagons. But it keeps me entertained.
The basic way to repeat a hexagon is in the form of a rosette of 7 hexagons,
1 ring around the center
Here it is in my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns as #160g.
A Honeycomb Patch from Hearth & Home magazine about 1910
Charm from Wallace's Farmer in 1929
and Simplicity's Delight in the Kansas City Star in 1946
Part of the repeat is how those rosettes are set together.
You can just set one next to another...
or set one hexagon between them, in this case a black hexagon.
Or use two white hexagons as in this example from Laura Fisher.
Or applique them onto a background.
Here's a tiny scan of page 41 from
Godey's Lady's Book in January, 1835,
reprinting a picture from Eliza Leslie's
American Girl's Book in 1831.
The pattern was given 3 names then:
"Perhaps there is no patchwork that is prettier or more ingenious … than the hexagon or six sided: this is also called honey-comb patchwork."
This picture is so far considered the earliest picture of a patchwork pattern published in the U.S. Rosettes of seven hexagons set with a ring of white hexagons,
which is a common set.
In the 19th century white rings probably were the most popular,
although that setting ring could be another color.
#160k = 19 hexagons
More names from my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns
Quiltmakers were likely to add another row to make 2 rings around the
center hexagon, 19 hexies in all.
This is #160k in my Encyclopedia
You see it in 1826, as in his dated example from New Paltz Deyo house
and the mid-20th century
This may be the most common rosette
About 1910 Hearth & Home magazine called it the Hexagon.
But in the 1930s there's a trend to call it a garden in the agricultural magazines and pattern catalogs of the day.
1931 - Oklahoma Farmer Stockman called it Old Fashioned Flower Garden or Aunt Jemima's Flower Garden and advised yellow centers, with a ring of plain, a ring of prints and white paths or rings between the flowers.
The next year the Rural New Yorker called it Grandmother's Rose Garden or the French Rose Garden.
About the same time the VerMehren pattern company in Des Moines called it Martha Washington's Rose Garden or the Martha Washington Quilt.
These various flower garden names evolved into Grandmother's Flower Garden, probably established by designer Ruby McKim who showed the rosette design with 4 rings ( 37 hexagons) set with a ring of white.
McKim's set was not a new idea. Above a date-inscribed quilt,
1807, by Abigail Hunt in the collection of Old Sturbridge Village
They actually have two of these, indicating the first
burst of popularity of the design.
One reason it was called Grandmother's Flower Garden over a century later when
the granddaughters of the original makers rediscovered the pattern.
Carrie Hall's blocks labeled Grandmother's Flower Garden
in the collection of the Helen F. Spencer Museum of Art
at the University of Kansas.
She set the rosettes with a single green hexagon.
Above and below-20th-century versions.
From Vintage Blessings
Early 19th century? English?
You can go on and on, adding rings. Although we won't.
At least for today.