Dancing Down the Rabbit Hole

It’s time for a very happy dance! I have finally finished my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt!

Getting ready for the great unveiling!!

I started this quilt back in January 2017, it was a BOM by Sarah Fielke, my main aim when I signed up for it was to learn how to do needle-turn applique. It was great for that, Sarah gave excellent instructions and videos on how to do it. It’s a gorgeous design and I finally finished it in about March 2018. This is the quilt just as I had finished piecing it, it’s lying on the frame of the long arm quilter.

Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

I had decided mid way through the quilt that there was too much hand sewing on this quilt to turn round and send it off to be machine quilted. It’s a big quilt, about 96″ square, so there’s no way I could quilt it on my machine either. I decided I would hand quilt it…

….there were several times over the last 18 months when I questioned that decision!! However, I did take it to a long arm quilter to be machine basted, I just didn’t have the floor space to spread it out on, so at least it was securely tied for the months I took to hand quilt it. She used a very fine quilting thread and although you can still see the lines at the moment, I’m happy they will disappear after a wash or two.

Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

I’ve learnt a lot over the 18 months it’s taken me to quilt it, to be honest if it wasn’t for Kathy’s Hand Quilt-a-long then I think it would still be in a heap somewhere. Just knowing I had to write a post about my progress meant I at least spent an evening working on it, so huge thanks to Kathy!

My quilting has improved a bit during the 18 months, I’m very glad I chose a very busy backing fabric as you can’t actually see very easily where I’ve missed stitches or they’re not very even.

Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

I tried various tools – I tried metal thimbles, leather pads, wrap-around thimbles, I eventually settled on a Clover silicone thimble which Kate kindly sent me, together with some Birch needles which also saw me through the project. My final bit of quilting having finished the big border, was to return to the centre, I’d not finished the Dresden circle in the middle. I quilted a daisy sort of shape along the spokes.

Having finally reached the end of all the quilting, I still had to bind it. My original plan was to bind it with the backing fabric, I knew I had enough left. When I laid it next to the quilt though I felt it was too busy. I started playing with pieces from my stash, in particular the pieces left from making the quilt. I felt it would be better with a green binding, I tried the mid green first, which wasn’t quite right, then I found a small amount of a dark sage green. It looked perfect and there was just enough.

Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

It took me a couple of evenings to stitch the binding down – I use 2.25″ strips, folded in half. I machine stitch the front and then hand stitch the back.It takes a while to hand stitch the back but it’s the only way I get a neat finish.

I also remembered my plan to use buttons for the rabbit’s eyes, instead of trying to applique tiny circles…

Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

The last thing to do was a label. Last year Sarah Fielke (the designer) came over to the UK for some workshops. I went to one of her talks and asked her to sign a piece of fabric. I then back-stitched over her signature and added my initials and the date before stitching it to the back of the quit.

Down the Rabbit Hole Quilt

I’m really pleased with my quilt, I love the design and the colours have worked out pretty well. It’s a learning piece when it comes to hand-quilting, there’s good bits and not so good bit’s! I can’t say I’m a great lover of hand quilting at the moment, but perhaps it was too big a project for a first time in 25 years. It’s so big that my family couldn’t actually hold it right out without fear of it trailing on the ground! What I can say is it hasn’t put me off and I’m already considering hand-quilting another quilt!

I’ve already planned my next project- but you’ll have to wait another three weeks to find out. All I will say is I have show it before πŸ™‚

Hand Quilt Along Links

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, MargaretEmmaTracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrinGretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy and Connie

I’ll also be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, please follow the link for more hand-stitching inspiration.

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.

48 Responses to Dancing Down the Rabbit Hole

  1. Faby Reilly says:

    What an amazing piece of work!!!! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    This quilt is one to be proud of. It is such a beauty. Congratulations of actually finishing such a large piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gretchen says:

    This is beautiful! Hand quilting is a slow process, I commend you for stick with it for 18 months. There is a lot to quilt on an applique quilt. Enjoy looking at it and the sense of accomplishment you have. Looking forward to seeing what your quilting next, happy stitching!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. claire93 says:

    oh so pleased to see you’ve finished this gorgeous quilt – hope it’s going to be in pride of place on your bed?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gail says:

    Well done! It’s beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kathy S, says:

    It’s stunning! You definitely learned how to needle turn applique! I love the colors you picked. The little structure in the photo is adorable! Enjoy this quilt for years to come!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. suemreed says:

    Congratulations! I would never have attempted it. May be now…..
    Have a lovely Christmas. Suex

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laura says:

    Congratulations, Margaret! You have done a terrific job! I never would’ve taken on such a project! Hand quilting isn’t for me! Is your next project smaller? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Deb A says:

    Congratulations! It has been so fun watching the progress on this and what a beautiful finish you have. Love the green binding.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. tialys says:

    Having just finished hand stitching down the binding on a similar sized quilt (as you know) I can’t even imagine actually hand quilting it so I am full of admiration for your efforts and you have ended up with a beautiful quilt which you will enjoy for years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sharon says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! This was a huge undertaking, you pressed through and the result is stunning. This is an award winner for sure πŸ™‚ Dancing along with you ~ Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pauline says:

    A beautiful quilt, gorgeous colours. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Susie Q says:

    Wonderful write up about a very special quilt!!!!! Besure and print a copy to stay with the quilt where ever it goes in the years to come. The label is icing on the cake…….. Bravo!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kathi Clower says:

    Congrats on your completion… love the quilt and quilting and the label is genius too ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Gorgeous!! Stitched with much love and care. Such a wonderful label too, fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful – I have been following you the whole time and I bought the book, but have not started it yet along with 100 other projects! LOL Excellent job and know you are happy!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sandra Croley says:

    What a lovely finish! I’m so glad you decided to hand-quilt it. Even though I am a longarm quilter, I also hand-quilted my Down the Rabbit Hole πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. dianne says:

    truly stunning!!! i’ve been watching your progress from the beginning, and have been blown away every three weeks … so so SO GORGEOUS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Connie says:

    Congratulations!! This is such a huge accomplishment! The quilt is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. endrickwater says:

    That is a magnificent crafting tour de force. Congratulations on its completion.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jane M says:

    Well done for sticking with it, you have made a fantastic quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Congrats on your finish! So glad you decided to hand quilt this large quilt, I am sure it will now always have a special place in your heart! Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Absolutely beautiful, outstanding work. I love the idea of getting the designer to sign fabric and then stitch over it – brilliant idea. Look forward to your next project.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Jenny Benton says:

    Wonderful!, Congratulations on your finish. We had only seen pieces of this while you were diligently working away, so it’s great to see it call now, so nicely quilted and bound.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Karrin Hurd says:

    What a gorgeous finish! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Congratilations on your amazing achievement! The quilt turned out wonderful

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Sherrie says:

    Hi,
    Awesome Quilt! Love the colors you used…have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. kathyreeves says:

    Such a happy, happy post Margaret! A vet hearty congrats on the finish of this heirloom!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. katechiconi says:

    There! I always knew you could do it! A big piece like this is always so intimidating at the start, and about halfway through you wonder what possessed you, but by the end, there’s *such* a sense of achievement. And you won’t be afraid to do it again – time will pass, and you’ll forget stages 1 and 2 and just remember stage 3! (A bit like childbirth, maybe?). It’s a beautiful quilt, very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Alcea Rosea says:

    I love your quilt. A beautiful design and brilliantly appliqued and hand quilted. It was definitely worth hand quilting.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. magpiesue says:

    What an accomplishment! Very worthy of a week of happy dancing! I can’t believe you got all that binding sewn down “in a couple of evenings!” I don’t use a thimble though, so maybe that’s the difference. I have to stop to give my fingertips a rest so it takes me a couple of days to get a much shorter binding sewn down. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Deb says:

    I’m so proud of you! It’s a beautiful work of art! Well done!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Steph says:

    Congratulations! Wonderful early Christmas present!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Robin Booth says:

    Thanks for showing us the whole process. It was definitely worth it!!! What a treasure!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. tinaor says:

    Congratulations on finishing. It is lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Lynda says:

    This is an amazing quilt and I am so happy for your finish. Aren’t you glad you persevered and and made it to the end? You have almost inspired me to give it a try… but perhaps on a much smaller piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Yes I second all the comments – congratulations and that is amazing! It was fun to follow the progress of this piece on your blog. You are definitely one of the most talented people I follow in the blogosphere!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Margaret, this is just fab.u.lous❣️❣️❣️
    Your efforts are incredible and so deserving of all our praise multiplied by thousands. 😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  39. nanacathy2 says:

    WOW, WOW, WOW. So good it needs three wows, but I shall miss it. A real heirloom for certain sure, well done you.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Oh my goodness… in the Christmas busyness I missed your grand finish… it’s amazing!
    It must be in quilt shows for people to enjoy in 2020!
    Congratulations on all your hard work and perseverance… very inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

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