Thursday, October 1, 2020

Hollyhocks Finish

It's been a year since our last proper vacation. Sigh. I realized this yesterday because I have a long-awaited finish to share--my Hollyhocks quilt! 

I tried straight-on photos on the garage, but the breeze kept blowing the quilt, so the driveway will have to do.

I started this quilt back at the end of July in 2017. It took me a month to piece, and then I set it aside as my vacation hand quilting project. And my daycare trip quilting project. By March this year, we realized that it would probably be a long time before we would be traveling again, so I decided to try to finish this quilt in the evenings over the summer. Last night I went through my old blog posts about my progress and had a sweet armchair vacation as most of the posts show scenes of our vacations as well as some fun bike rides. If you feel the need of an armchair vacation (or want to see how this quilt came to be), just click on the Hollyhocks label on the right side bar or at the bottom of this post. For today, let's just enjoy the finish.

Work over the summer went slowly. For some reason, I had trouble getting my needle eye to pull through the batting. I don't remember that problem before. I tried all the types of needles I had on hand and ended up using a rubber band to pull it. In recent years, I had been using polyester batting for hand quilting, but I think this batting is cotton. Maybe that was my problem. It was annoying, but I kept at it. I also started to get tired of quilting on the busy fabrics on the front and discovered that quilting from the back side was much more satisfying. In fact, I love the modern back of this quilt in contrast to the cottage-y vintage look of the front.

I had some bright blue Grunge fabric that I wanted to use for the binding to represent a summer sky, but I didn't have enough. I found two cottage-y print blues in the drawer that fit nicely with the Grunge for a subtle scrappy binding. You can see them in some of my close ups.

Sorry about that loose thread. 

Okay, back to the front, and some stats:

Pattern: Hollyhocks blocks from Ruth B. McDowell's Pieced Flowers. Freezer Paper Piecing technique (like puzzle piecing).
Fabrics:  Scraps from my supply for the leaves, flower centers, scrappy border strip, and binding; 3 purchased Grunge fabrics for the flower petals; purchased background fabrics, and 6 fat quarters purchased from a sidewalk sale for the backing (one, a Kaffe Fassett, yes?). 
Batting: I'm pretty sure it's Quilter's Dream Cotton Select.
Thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing. Several different threads to match the flowers, leaves and border. I used a hot pink Aurifil for the stipple quilting in the interior of the background, and a variegated blue Superior Treasure hand quilting thread for the border and hand stitching the binding. You really can't tell the difference in those colors unless your nose is a foot away from the quilt, but it was fun to use both. The overall quilting was meant to add texture without detracting from the flowers. 
Binding: 2 1/2 inches cut, double layer, machine sewn to front and hand stitched on back. 
Finished Size: 22 5/8 by 55 5/8 inches. Not washed.
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer Treadle 115 for the machine work on the binding.

The wind did that.

I don't grow hollyhocks. The impatiens will have to do.

This project went on way longer than I meant it to, but I am so happy it's finished. I plan to hang it in my living room in the summer, but I think it just might hang in my quilting room the rest of the year along with the floral theme in there and the antiques. Its cottage vibe will fit right in. When I complete a hand quilting project, I'm always a bit lost because I need more hand work for something to just pick up, but to get to that I need to think up and prepare another project. I'm toying with the idea of some hand piecing. We'll see...

This week I'm linking up with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday, Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty for Beauties Pageant, Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Wendy at Wendy's Quilts and More for Peacock Party

Have a good quilting week, and I hope you get a chance to do some handwork, too!

(Just a reminder: I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services, or stores I'm just documenting what I used or liked.)