Sunday, 1 June 2014

Thorngrove quilt almost done!

I look back at the blog and see that only one week ago the Thorngrove Manor quilt was ready to be quilted and I can now report that the quilting is complete! I am shocked that I have managed to do as much as I have but I do know I have put in very long days starting on March 24th. My wonderful friend Jude is an angel sent from heaven and she worked her machine quilting magic, by not only basting around the appliqué but also stitching some stunning cross hatching which I think is perfect. So here is the quilt on her mega machine……

Jude lives over 4 hours from our home but she drove up to Adelaide on Monday for an appointment and to pick up the quilt and then and we met her halfway on Friday afternoon. Such incredible progress and I have put in about 20 hours since Friday night! First up I needed to complete some missing machine appliqué that Jude found…..I often find missed bits when I start quilting!
 I have to tell you this is a very large quilt and as time has gone on it is getting very heavy, so Larry caught me with it draped over the shoulder trying to support it while I stitched!
So glad it is the cooler months!…...
 I decided to do feathers between the two borders of crosshatching. All I mark is the spine in a chalk pencil and then my method of feathers comes from watching the DVD's I purchased with Karen McTavish's two machine quilting books. They are fabulous and I watch them frequently for inspiration - I love how Karen does her feathers…..even I can do them and I do not enjoy machine quilting one bit!!
 In fact I loathe machine quilting - it is the one part of the entire process that I dislike the most. Give me the drawings and the appliqué every day and I am happy! The cross hatching that Jude has done is superb and I hate to think how many weeks it would have taken me!!
 Our days have been a little gloomy with the first day of Winter today so lots of lights were needed  - but I won't show you the floor lamp I had standing precariously on top of the sewing table! (We are looking forward to down lights being installed very soon!). I needed an extra table to the side of me to support the weight of the quilt……...
 I never used to use gloves when I quilted - perhaps an association of why one wears gloves from nursing days??!! But several friends have encouraged me to and I have not looked back. It eases the joints and grips the quilt….I should have used them years ago!
 My preference for the free motion foot is a closed clear one - it doesn't catch any threads and I get better vision of the quilt…..
 Statistically I have put in over 170 hours on this quilt and that includes regular cleaning and needle changing - in fact I used 9 needles during the process and over 24 kms of thread - almost 15 miles and that doesn't include the bird's nest of basting thread from Jude! (or her quilting thread and hours)….
 The final process was attaching over 400 inches of binding! I cut my binding 2 1/2" wide and attach it to the quilt with a little wider than a 1/4" seam. I find a little more that 1/4" allows me to have the preferred "fat and full" binding. This is where your quilt will wear out first so it does need to be firm….
I stitch the usual mitred corners with the first fold up and second fold down…...
 And then I join the two ends with the 45 degree angle as was used to make the long binding strip. To join the ends I found this formula years ago and it works well for me. You need about a 6" end to play with at the beginning and end of your binding strips. You then fold these ends so they meet and then fold back as pictured……..
 Trim each end from the fold a little less than half the finished cut width of your binding. So mine is 2 1/2" so I trimmed a little less than 1 1/4". With the bulk of the quilt closest to your body you then open the strip and pin right sides together…….
 Now you are ready to join the ends by stitching the 45 degree angle as you did before. Trim the seam….
 and then finger press the seam open. Continue to attach the binding to the quilt and voila….it fits perfectly and no-one will know where you started or ended!
 So today was a full day of more feather quilting between the two rows of cross hatching…….

 And tonight all the trimming of threads and finally trimming back the binding ready for hand stitching…...
 I was thrilled to find this extra wide backing fabric from Widebacks……...
 So all that is left is to hand stitch the binding (and attach a label), to the back of the quilt which I envisage will take another 8 or so hours. Here it is tonight on a double bed…….. 
 and I will be pleased to see it in all its glory in this room on this bed …….
 So the sewing corner is cleaned up and resting for the next project which should have been finished weeks ago for a workshop in just over 8 days!!
 This is a small portion of the project all hand stitched this time and I think William Morris might be happier that I am back to some more hand work (but that is after the Thorngrove binding!). Here you can see a little of it - my version of burden switch which I am loving…….
 So thanks for sharing in this journey and next time I hope to share photos of the quilt on the king sized King's chamber bed! Take care wherever you are x


  1. Wow! Wow ! Wow! everything about the Thorngrove quilt is perfect. Are you going to be able to "show" it? I can't see me ever getting to stay in "The Kings Room" but i would love to see it in the flesh , so to speak.

  2. so beautiful, thank you so much for showing the process. I like the combination of the cross hatch with the feathers - amazed that you hate machine quilting but can do it like that. I really do not care for machine quilting at all but try to do the straight lines so I can get done with more quilts then if I would just stay with hand quilting. I am really amazed at how fast you finished this quilt - to me it really was done fast.

  3. Truly an amazing quilt. You should be proud and enjoy the accomplishment of this quilt in a way you have never done before.

    By blogging the process you can have one of those "blog" books made of this quilt process !!!!!!

  4. So amazing. Thank you or sharing the progress

  5. I am impressed that you do such fine quilting, if it is your least favorite part of making a quilt! The feathers look great with the cross hatching. Thanks for the binding tutorial.

  6. That is so amazing looks wonderful. Love the hand embroidery too.

  7. Oh my gosh Michele, Thorngrove is just amazing. I cannot believe how much you have achieved in just 170 hours. It looks just stunning laid out on the bed. Loving the photo Larry caught of you with this beauty over your shoulder!You are a true inspiration and I am looking forward to seeing more of the next project as the handwork looks very intriguing thus far. :-) Rae

  8. Beautiful! Love the centre panel.

  9. Oh my Michele - have you slept??? Your work is truly amazing, you provide so much inspiration. The quilting is stunning as always. Linda x

  10. Wowsers Michelle, that is a stunning quilt, lucky for you that it has been cooler weather as draping the quilt around you is one of the best ways to keep it nice and loose for the machine quilting.

  11. Just beautiful. A remarkable quilt. thank you for sharing!


  12. You are getting paid for this I hope Michele. Such a huge project shouldn't be done for goodwill only.
    And look at the amazing quilt they will be getting.

  13. Stunning, Michele!!! Makes me want to go to see it on that bed. Thank you so much for the process - it makes us appreciate it all the more.

  14. Truely magnificent!!!

    Your feathers are stunning!!

  15. Marie Galloway5 June 2014 at 17:16

    This is beautiful! I'm not a fan of machine quilting either but you have done a fantastic job!

  16. Wow that is awesome and I love your quilting.

  17. your quilt is so "over the top" wonderful. thank you for letting us see this beauty!!!!!


Thankyou for dropping by and sharing in my journey. And thanks especially for your lovely comments….I may not always respond (especially if there is no email address) but please know you are appreciated x