Sunday, August 7, 2022

Rhododendron Trail--A FINISH!

Quilting pattern
It took some time; but, I finished Bonnie Hunter's 2021 Mystery which she named Rhododendron Trail! Last March, I quilted it on my friend's computerized longarm using an interlocking meander pattern. I used a variegated gold thread made by Superior Threads in both the needle and bobbin to quilt it. I like how the pattern looks on the fabric that reads as a solid. The pattern gives the texture that I wanted the quilt to have.

Using the machine tray to guide the binding
I used a wool batting. It has a nice soft drape. I am so thankful to have been able to quilt this project on my friend's longarm. 

When I returned from London at the end of June, this was the second stitching project that I tackled. I was thankful that I had made the binding when I had finished piecing the top. I often make the binding and determine the sleeve when I finish the top. It is so nice to have those parts available when I'm at that point of the quilt process.

Since I had trimmed the quilt after I finished the quilting, it was ready to stitch the binding. I've been trying to improve my binding by machine technique. 

Some tips that have helped me follow. First, pay attention as I'm stitching the binding to the quilt to ensure that I'm stitching a consistent seam. Second, press the binding away from the quilt top. The pressed binding is easier to consistently stitch close to the edge on the second pass. Third, use the lines on the bed of the machine tray to help keep the binding feeding smoothly and accurately. This was the best and quickest binding I have applied!

Pieced back
For the sleeve, I had to figure out what I could make into the sleeve. Unfortunately, when I pieced the back, I had to use the fabric I had earmarked for the sleeve. My goal was not to purchase additional fabric to finish this quilt. I pulled my project scraps. I found the largest pieces. These weren't large enough for the sleeve. I pieced  the two largest chunks together along with a strip. Had I a little more fabric, I would have incorporated it to make the sleeve a couple inches wider. I used what I had and it will work.  

The label came from my stash. A second label will join this one. From the moment I decided to stitch this project, I also decided that the quilt would be destined to be a Quilt of Valor (QOV). I have the recipient in mind. 

He served in Vietnam. A number of years ago, there was a documentary on our local public broadcasting station about the Vietnam war. He was one of the veterans that was interviewed. I learned he was a bronze star recipient. During the making of this quilt, I learned that he has four bronze stars. He lives about a mile from us. I had no idea. 

Finished quilt.
 I have the name of the QOV contact person in my area. I know that generally, there isn't a quilt made specifically for the recipient. I hope that this quilt will be awarded to the person I have in mind. I will add the official QOV label when we get to that point. Now that I'm finished with the project, I'll start the next steps.

I will contact the vet first to make sure he is on board with receiving an award like this. But, I'm getting my ducks in a row for the next steps of this quilt's journey!

I used about 23 yards of fabric for this project. This brings the total of fabric used year to date from my stash to 59 and three quarter yards. Materials cost about 445 dollars. I estimate I spent about 390 hours to finish the project. It measurers 89 inches wide by 103 inches long.

I did wash the quilt. There was no fabric bleeding. Because I used a lot of scraps in this project, I'm linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting is More Fun

This was goal number two on my August list. This was goal number on my third quarter list.


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Rhododendron Trail is beautiful in red, white, and blue, Terry! Your quilting looks wonderful, and I'm really impressed with your machine binding, too. I hope it works out for you to give it to the veteran you learned about. That's so kind of you!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Beautiful quilt, well done! Generous gift too, I'm sure the recipient will love it.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Wow, what a fabulous finish!!! Any BH finish deserves a standing ovation!!!! And it's wonderful gift for a QOV. I hope your plans work out.

Chantal said...

Was it your intention all along to have a QOV while doing Bonnie's mystery? I'm so lame at picking colours for mystery quilts that I don't play but you sure do know how. Gosh! This is an amazing quilt! Love how soft the alternate block is. It lets the other one shine full blast. Love the borders too. Everything matches. Great job! Congratulations! ;^)

Janice Smith said...

Wonderful quilt! I hope you are able to arrange to have it go to your intended recipient. It’s a treasure for sure.

Ivani said...

Of the many Rhododendron Trail quilts I've seen, yours is one of my favorites, Terry. It is gorjeous! You knew how to choose the colors with perfection. It is certainly a beautiful tribute. I hope your plan works.

Preeti said...

Congratulations on the fabulous finish. Unlike any other Rhododendron Trail, for sure. Love the binding. Importantly, if you finished it before the 2022 QAL begins, you are well within the time limit.

Diane-crewe said...

Well done for a finish … no Matter how long it takes to get there x

Anonymous said...

Love your quilt! Absolutely gorgeous!