HQAL ; Down the Rabbit Hole

I’ve been itching to write this post for the last two weeks!! It’s three weeks since I last showed you my Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt, I was still stitching the never ending vines…Down the Rabbit Hole

Over the following few days I made a concerted effort to finish the hand applique. I stitched the vines, leaves, flowers and bees on the last two borders, stitched them onto the main quilt and appliqued a vine around the corner to meet up with the running rabbits. This is mainly because my rabbits didn’t jump high enough to have any flowers underneath them and I didn’t just want a couple of stalks at the end. I’m pleased with my corner vines and I was so happy to finish stitching them.Down the Rabbit Hole

All I had to do now was stitch on the final border…

I had made the individual blocks for the border earlier, it’s squares on point and triangles, not the easiest to adjust if there is a problem! The first two sides (opposite) went on fine but when it came to the last two sides…you guessed it, I just couldn’t get it to fit. I had several goes at pinning it but it was about 0.5cm out, which doesn’t sound much, but when you are looking at diamonds that don’t meet, it’s huge!! Although this photo is before I stitched it, it does show the problem…Down the Rabbit Hole

In the end after much muttering, cursing and just generally chuntering, I decided I would have to fudge it. After even more thought on the best way to fudge I made a corner square of the purple floral fabric of the previous border. This nicely echoed the corner square of the earlier pieced border when I used the passionflower grey fabric of the previous border. I then appliqued the squares  of the block onto the corner-squares. I’m as happy as I can be with a fudged border, though I am tempted to see if I can applique it on the point instead. Before any of you think it wasn’t that far out, this is the best corner!Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

With hindsight I think the issue was a mixture of the length of the border and also the size of the quilt. As it got bigger I found it harder  and harder to accurately measure the finished size of each section, if it was .5cm out on my rabbit borders then the diamonds wouldn’t fit.

So it was time for a bit of a happy dance as the top is now finished! I haven’t managed to get a photo of the whole quilt yet as it is so big, I need assistants and good weather, this is a photo taken the following day at my LAQ 🙂Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

…all I have to do now is quilt it! I’ve decided to hand quilt it, it’s too big for me to machine quilt it (about 96″ square) I also wanted the quilting to be sympathetic to the medallion design, which ruled out an all over machine pattern and pretty much just left hand quilting. I haven’t hand quilted since I was about 18 years old, I’m hoping I’m a bit quicker!

Before quilting can start it all needs sandwiching and basting. I decided to take it to a local long-arm quilter to get it machine basted. I just have nowhere big enough to lay it out flat and baste it successfully. Christine Marriage is an award winning long arm quilter, she quilted my stained glass window quilt several years ago. She used to live about 15 minutes away, convenient! Five weeks ago she moved to the other side of West Yorkshire, by bus and train it would take me about 2 hours! It was worth it, there’s no way I was going to trust my quilt to the postman!

I managed to get a lift to Mirfield off my OH, I caught a train to Huddersfield and a bus to Honley, walking the rest of the way it took two attempts and a phone call to finally arrive at Christine’s new abode!Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

Christine is going to sandwich the layers together and baste them using a long stitch in a meander all over the quilt to hold it firm. I can snip and pull lengths out as I go, rather than risking stitching through the threads. She’s a very busy lady, my quilt is booked in for 21st May, which seems ages off, but actually isn’t that long!

As I was over that side of West Yorkshire I decided to make a day of it, I caught a bus to Huddersfield and then another bus to Halifax.

There’s an excellent fabric shop in Halifax called Fabbadashery, so I had a good perusal and a few things came home with me!Piece HallI then went to Piece Hall. Piece Hall is an amazing, beautiful historical place,  I remember visiting 30 years ago, there were lots of independent craft shops there, it slowly slipped into decline but over the last few years there has been a big effort to revitalise and renovate Piece Hall. It was reopened on Yorkshire Day last year, I was a bit worried it would be full of trendy wine bars and cafes. I needn’t have worried, it has still got lots of small independent art and craft shops. This is what the website says about it’s history;

The Grade I listed Piece Hall, Halifax is a rare and precious thing, an architectural and cultural phenomenon which is absolutely unique. It is the sole survivor of the great eighteenth century northern cloth halls, a class of buildings which embodied the vital and dominant importance of the trade in hand woven textiles to the pre-industrial economy of the West Riding of Yorkshire, from the Middle Ages through to the early nineteenth century.

Dating from 1779, when it was built as a Cloth Hall for the trading of ‘pieces’ of cloth (a 30 yard length of woven woollen fabric produced on a handloom), The Piece Hall was the most ambitious and prestigious of its type and now stands in splendid isolation as the only remaining example. It is one of Britain’s most outstanding Georgian buildings.

Just to give an idea of the importance of the wool trade here in Yorkshire, I have a facsimile of Daniel Defoes Tour Through the Whole Island of Britain, written in 1726.He describes Leeds twice weekly cloth market;

Early in the morning there are trestles places in two rows in the street…The clothiers come early in the morning, they go into the inns and set it down. At seven a clock the market bell rings. Within a few minutes the whole market is filled, rows of boards covered and clothiers stand ready. The merchants and buyers walk up and down…you cannot hear a word spoken in the whole market by the persons buying and selling, tis all done in a whisper. By half an hour eight the market bell rings again, immediately the buyers disappear, the cloth is all sold…Thus you see ten or twenty thousand pounds value in cloth and sometimes much more, bought and sold in little more than an hour.

This astounds me, that is £20,000 in 1726!!!

I need to find another hand quilting project for the next couple of HQALs as I won’t be able to show you my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt again until the end of May!

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

Kathy, Lori, Margaret, Kerry, Emma, Tracy, Deb, Connie, Susan,  Nanette, Sassy , Edith, Sharon and Bella.
Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

I’m also linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, a weekly celebration of all things hand-stitched. Why not follow the link and see what everyone else has been stitching.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
This entry was posted in Down The Rabbit Hole, Quilt-a-long, Quilting, Serendipity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to HQAL ; Down the Rabbit Hole

  1. katechiconi says:

    Well done! I think I’d have done the same sort of thing with the corners in your position, and I feel it looks just fine and I’d never have known if you hadn’t told us. An excellent plan to get the quilt basted if you don’t have much space. I’ve become a big fan of spray basting, and am fortunate to have a 3.1m table I can work on, so long as I do lots of covering things up. If I didn’t have that, I suspect I’d do the same as you.
    Why don’t you find yourself a piece of a nice printed fabric and hand quilt the design on it as a wholecloth piece to get your hand in before DTRH comes home? I don’t know if you recall my ‘sitting up in bed’ cushion with the big floral print. I did that all in hand quilting and it really made me faster. Plus you’ll end up with a nice piece of quilting you can do something with!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow £20,000 in the 1700s? That is like £500,000 now I bet!
    Your quilt looks amazing 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Holy Heck. That’s an awesome quilt top. Cannot wait to see it finished. I would love to visit the Piece Hall some day. Thanks for the peek into it’s history.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gail says:

    Gorgeous! I have done something different in the corners to make the design work out too. If you don’t tell anyone that you had to do this, no one will ever know. Your secret is safe with me!!!! LOL! That was an interesting field trip you took! Your quilt is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice finish! It is a trick to make some of the quilts go together as they are supposed to do. Anytime there is a pieced border it is crap shoot to get it right! A lot has to do with having to check each and every piece and section that is sewn together, thereby – long time in making a complex top such as this! But yours is very pretty and will be admired for many years to come!


  6. CathieJ says:

    Oh my goodness, Down the Rabbit Hole is gorgeous! I like that you will be hand quilting it. I hope it doesn’t take too long to do. I think Piece Hall would be a wonderful place to visit someday.


  7. Laura says:

    You have done a terrific job with your lovely quilt…it will become an heirloom, I’m sure!

    Thanks for sharing Piece Hall. The architecture is fabulous and the history was fun to read!


  8. Spectacular comes to mind…I was blown away seeing the full photo’s of the quilt. I feel like a ‘closet quilter’ I am learning so much from joining the group – long arm quilter to get it machine basted, I never thought or knew I could do that – TY for the tour and history, I went down the rabbit hole and went on an amazing journey along with you.


  9. Congratulations on a marvellous job! Such a huge challenge and what a puzzle to solve in figuring out those borders! So happy you are going to hand quilt and we will look forward to following your progress!


  10. Crazyqstitcher says:

    I have never seen a more charming quilt than your DTRH. There’s a lot of effort put into placement alone and I imagine it hasn’t been easy. May is not far away to wait for the basting to be done. How pleased you’ll be to say ‘It’s Done’!


  11. kathyreeves says:

    Happy dancing with you! What a monster project this has been, and how beautiful it looks.😍 You did some first class fudging on the corners, no one looking at it would ever know!


  12. nikkibnb says:

    Oh wow that looks wonderful!
    I’m sure no-one will ever think the corners weren’t always meant to be like that!


  13. Deb says:

    💃 💃 💃 a marvelous piece of art! I think your corners are just fine,wished I had been a mice in the corner to hear you mutterings!😁 what a beautiful place ,I can just imagine beautiful colorful lengths of cloth being displayed….


  14. anne54 says:

    I have loved following the progress of this quilt, and what a beauty it has turned out to be! I can understand why you are annoyed by that little imperfection of the corners, but the quilt will be admired and loved.
    And Piece Hall! what an amazing building! It is enormous!


  15. dezertsuz says:

    I love your finish. I like the changes you made and the uniqueness of your bordering. The stems going round the corners look absolute right, and I actually like the break in those corner-touching squares. All’s good! I have an online acquaintance who lives in Halifax, and shows pictures of Piece Hall quite often. It is so gorgeous at night! I didn’t know, though, that it was filled with shops! I thought it was offices or something governmental, or maybe a concert hall. So good to know!


  16. KerryCan says:

    I’d love to have been at Piece Hall in its heyday, to see that spectacle of fabric! Every time I see your quilt, I’m amazed anew at the detail and how much work has gone into it. And, yes, having it machine basted is definitely the answer! I’m glad to hear you’re hand quilting, though–this quilt deserves it!


  17. ecsokmay says:

    GORGEOUS quilt. So much work. But just beautiful.


  18. JJ Crafts says:

    Congrats on the happy dance!


  19. rosejasm says:

    Stunning ❤️


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