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.
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…
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!
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 🙂
…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!
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!I 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.
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.