It's finished!!! I missed August by just two days, but I put the last stitch into the dogwood border of this quilt THREE YEARS after I finished the top. Yikes, that's a long time. I started this as part of an online class ('Handstitched' from Stitched in Color) in June 2012 and finished the top by the end of August. It sat for a time until December when it was basted, and then hung around for hand quilting until last February when I was in Sacramento. I stuck to my resolution to take my time and work on the quilting when I felt like I'd enjoy it instead of feeling like I had to get it done. After all, this one's for us.
All of these fabrics were pulled from my fledgling fabric stash, and include some non conventional bits and bobs: corduroy, toile, lightweight canvas, linen, even an old shirt. I like the texture from all the different fabrics and they turned out just fine when I washed the quilt (after an unfortunate run-in with Newton mid-quilting).
For the back, I used a single piece of linen print I got at IKEA. It's busy enough that I wasn't concerned about my quilting stitches being perfect on the back -- wise for a first attempt, methinks.
I'm tickled with how the dogwood quilting in the border turned out. The colors stand out nicely against the blue linen and the puckers from the stitching add more texture. This part was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Similarly to the rest of the quilting, I didn't use a hoop. I felt like I could get into a pretty good groove and had better luck loading the stitches evenly without one.
There's a bit of straight line quilting in the other parts of the quilt -- though I left these Storm at Sea blocks in the corners alone. I fussy cut a few of the fabrics for these and I didn't want to quilt through the little vignettes.
These little appliquéd dogwood blossoms are one of my favorite parts.
The blossoms are second to this amazing embroidery setting off the center medallion. That was super fun to do and I love the design.
In the sprit of hand stitching I even hand stitched down the binding on the back! That's a departure from my usual zig-zag sewn on bindings, but it seemed appropriate here. I used the same blue linen as I used in the main border round. It was a pain to put on but should be pretty sturdy.