Last fall I attended my first quilt retreat at Mary Koval’s Retreat Center in Bedford, PA.  I had such a great time!  The facility has been recently renovated and is really lovely, from the big kitchen and common areas to the beautiful antique quilts on the beds.  I had a really fun group of companions, and Mary herself was to be found down in the quilt shop.  She did not seem to mind my fangirling and dug out all sorts of treasures to show us, and eventually sent me off with a Palampore and a challenge to quilt it however I liked.  I planned to do it over Christmas but about a year ago I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that I have yet to get under control and by December I was not in very good shape and didn’t manage to accomplish much of anything.  I decided to stop taking any new custom work, and have worked through most of the queue that was in place before Christmas, and so finally got a chance to load the Palampore a few weeks ago.  I like to try new things when working on my own quilts, and this time I played with all sorts of thread.  I have been longarming a good ten years or so now and have accumulated quite a few different kinds but haven’t had a chance to try them all out.  Here are some of what I used, everything from monopoly to metallic.  The background was all stitched with Superior Thread’s new Microquilter which I really liked, none of that thready look that you can get sometimes when backtracking.

Here is the full Palampore:

As always, the quilting is tough to capture on this scale, but here are a bunch of closer shots.  I really have to say it looks much better in person!  I did the birds mostly in different metallics and the flowers in many different colours and thicknesses of threads.  The background is pretty dense, with lots of little feathery fronds along with some McTavishing and pebbling, and the border is larger feathers.  I did a class years ago at MQX with the wonderful Linda Taylor and one of the things that has stuck with me from that is “When you’re in doubt, feather your way home”  🙂


Finally, here my first Palampore.  I started the quarter square triangles at the retreat but had to stop due to my featherweight not cooperating.  They are mostly from Mary Koval’s fabric line Tree of Life ca. 1830, which came out at the same time as the Palampore and I added enough to make it fit nicely on a queen size bed:

I quilted it with a couple of different pantographs and really like how it turned out.  I hope to get the binding on soon.

I still have one more Palampore left, it is reserved for broderie perse but I need to decide on what project(s) I will make with it!