Barbara Harms Fiber Art red holly hocks art quilt

That’s a Wrap, Hollyhocks and Ladybugs

BarbaraHarmsFiber Art Red Hollyhock Quilt



I’ve been working busily on my hollyhock quilt and now it’s finished. I’m a bit disappointed that it’s over, it was a really enjoyable project. I need to catch up on a few things and then officially start on my next commissioned quilt. I say “officially”, when in reality, I’ve been bouncing ideas around in my mind , long before today. I’ve done a few preliminary sketches, playing around with possibilities. I can already tell that I am going to find this an interesting project.

This red hollyhock art quilt was a commission. Commissions present an interesting challenge, I think it’s a beneficial to take a step back, and work on a theme that may not be your usual approach or subject matter. It might be stepping out of what has become your comfort zone.  For a commission to work, you need to translate it into your own interpretation of the subject. This was an easy quilt to capture my interest and spark my own enthusiasm.  It is a theme I enjoy working with. I love doing stylized flowers, and hollyhocks? Well goodness yes! That was a bit of a coincidence. My client loves hollyhocks, she even has their images on her business cards. When she received her quilt, I enclosed in the paperwork one of my older business cards, it also contained a wonderful image of hollyhocks . When this fact had first occurred to me, I had to  laugh, we were a good fit, my client and her artist.
I’ve posted some pictures of the progress along the way. Now it’s finished, here’s the finished red hollyhock quilt. It has it’s title now, “A Bug’s Eye View”. As I worked on the finishing touches,  my husband stood there looking at  the nearly finished quilt. He decided it needed a little bug in it. Humm…

It is a floral art quilt, I added a slightly contemporary spin, a little non traditional approach to a floral theme. I chose to give the flowers and stalks a disproportional profile. As my husband observed, this is how the large would appear, seen through the eyes of a tiny bug, dwarfed by it’s hugeness. I thought it might work, a cute little ladybug, that you would barely notice. But first, I needed to run the idea by Karen, the lovely lady who had commissioned the piece, how would she feel about this? She liked the idea and so my little ladybug became a part of this quilt. And that is how the red hollyhock art quilt came by it’s title “A Bug’s Eye View”.

You’ve seen the progression, here is the finished version. You may notice that the ladybug is missing, she truly was a last minute addition. I had already taken the final photos.

But after she was added into the picture, as I stared at the quilt, evaluating it, I realized that she was indispensable. She needed to be right where she is, looking up at the great big world from the ground, viewing a group of red hollyhocks.


I added texture to the leaves, they are not just visually dimensional, but have actual texture and dimension.

Barbara Harms Fiber Art a art quilt A Bug's Barbara Harms Fiber Art finished red hollyhock quilt top


Barbara Harms Fiber Art contemporary floral art quiltBarbara Harms Fiber Barbara Harms Fiber Art detail of the quilting on the hock art quilt


Barbara Harms Fiber Art a fiber art quilt with thread painted hollyhocks
Closer view of quilting





Barbara Harms Fiber Art red holly hocks art quilt

IMG_Ladybug quilt, landscape quilt, lady bug, hollyhock quilt


Barbara Harms Fiber Art modern art quilt
One of the thread painted hollyhocks



4 thoughts on “That’s a Wrap, Hollyhocks and Ladybugs”

    1. Thank you.And yes it can be hard to part with something so personal. But on the other hand, I generally have been able to “meet” their new owners, even if it’s only online or the phone. I try to have some opportunity to connect with them, I often get sense of their personalities.I can honestly say that I like my customers.some have even become friends, we keep in touch. When one of your works goes to someone you genuinely like and you can see how happy they are, it’s a bit like sending one of your puppies to a good home, if you felt they wouldn’t be loved, well, you wouldn’t do it. That’s one reason I enjoy Etsy feedback or feedback on purchases here.It’s gratifying when they see it in person, and they love it.One example of all these factors is the sweet lady, Karen, who commissioned this art quilt [feels odd to describe her as sweet, she’s very competent & professional, but she is sweet, a nice person.] I think her choice of profession, says a lot. It would take a special type of personality to able to connect with a client, to the point where they felt comfortable enough to open themselves and share deeply personal things. That’s good example of my customers, nice people that I like.Funny, interesting, kind and warm, all different, yet enjoyable to form a small connection with. Sure makes it easier to part with one of my puppies.


  1. Your Hollyhocks are breathtaking, so real. I love thread painting and you do it justice! Very lively. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing more of your work.


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