It’s been three weeks since I last shared some hand quilting for our HAQL, I had just finished a little practise piece called Spring.
I have finally started quilting my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt. This was a monthly quilt-a-long by Sarah Fielke last year which I finished in spring. As there was so much hand sewing anyway and it was a medallion quilt, I rather rashly decided to hand quilt it! It’s big!! Like 96″ square big!
I finally managed to get a decent photo of the whole quilt too!
I’ve had the quilt machine basted by a local long-arm quilter called Christine Marriage, she’s quilted quilts for me before so I was very happy to see she offered a basting service. I have no where big enough to lay out the quilt flat to sandwich it, she has basically quilted lines of very large stitches all over the quilt. She suggested that I unpick them as I go along, rather than waiting to the end.
The backing is a double width quilting cotton in a soft purple sort of floral design, it coordinates beautifully, which was lucky as I bought it off the internet! The disadvantage I have discovered (or it may be an advantage!) is that it’s quite busy so the quilting doesn’t show up much on the back.
I’ve set up a corner on the landing to be my designated quilting corner, I’ve got my comfy purple chair I reupholstered a few years ago, a decent light, a big window just above for natural light…and a dog at my feet!
I started in the middle as I understand you’re meant to do and I must admit to getting a bit disillusioned at first. It’s a heavily pieced Dresden circle in the middle so despite cutting away fabric behind there is still a lot of thicknesses in places. I decided to do a daisy design with lines going up the centre of the plain wedges and circling over the top of the pieced wedge.
I quilted in the ditch around the edge of the circle first and then started the daisy. I chose a thread which co-ordinates nicely, in fact it co-ordinates so well I struggled to see where I’ve stitched the first evening. It looked better in daylight, but when I turned it over there were more stitches missing than I would have liked.
There was then a few days hiatus whilst I mulled it over, not helped by the fact that my thread has gone missing!!
I realised I was starting at what is probably one of the harder areas due to the thickness of fabric. So, I’ve moved out to the next border, the flowers on stalks, whilst I get the hang of man-handling this quilt and stitching it.
I started quilting next to the ditch round the circles, I’ve then stitched another row about half an inch out with the idea that I’ll do ‘echo’ quilting up to the edge of this border. It’s going much better, most stitches are coming through and I’m getting better at feeling them underneath.
I’ve just used a very light purple / silvery grey variegated thread for this area. I toyed with the idea of using darker threads to make a feature in themselves, but I decided the quilt is busy enough as it is without adding extra colour.
Hopefully in three weeks time you will see a bit more progress, but at least I’ve made a start!
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, please follow the link to see more hand-stitching.