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Holly Hobbie: A Finished Quilt 30+ Years in the Making (and a Free Block Pattern)

Hi everyone. I’m still in Omaha spending time with family, but wanted to take a few minutes to share with you the quilt that I’m presenting to my niece while we’re here.

While I was in Omaha last year, my niece Holly handed me a bag of blocks that were made by my mother-in-law (her grandmother) back in the ’70s. Holly found the blocks tucked away in a closet after Mom passed away a few years ago. I knew my mother-in-law did some quilting, but never saw any of her finished work.

The block looks to me like a variation of the Holly Hobbie patterns that were introduced and very popular during the ’70s. (This would be reasonable guess as they were made to be given to Holly.) I took the twenty hand-appliquéd and embroidered blocks home with me with the goal of presenting Holly with a finished quilt when I returned this year.

Unless you have a stash of older fabrics, it can often be challenging to find a current print to work in with the older blocks. I was delighted to find this adorable Flower Sugar print by Lecien Fabrics. I love how the sweet flowers complement the delicately hand-embroidered garden.

With so much light background fabric, I needed to find a quilter who would add just the right amount of design without overpowering the charm of the appliquéd blocks. Laura Jansen of Butterfly Quilting did exactly that.

This was such a fun project to work on! So often we find unfinished blocks or quilt tops that were well-intentioned but, for whatever reason, never made it to completion. Do you have some of these in your family? If so, why not make it a goal to put them together so that you or perhaps a friend or family member can enjoy the finished quilt?

I have traced the pattern for this design and added it to our Pattern Library. It is simply an outline of the shapes, no instructions. For those of you with some appliqué experience, it will be easy to reproduce.

I’m heading to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum tomorrow and hope to have lots to share with you when I return.

Happy June everyone!

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