Lost Feathers of an Angel

Looking back through the history of my blog posts, I’ve realised I haven’t spoken much about the creation of this quilt. You have to know though that I certainly didn’t pull it out of my bum! (Ouch!) That being said, I could have done better documenting the process for you along the way. It was sort of like drowning in feather fluff though, once you see one, do you need to see the other sixty-six blocks I made? Trust me, I may be a fairy, but I ain’t no magical quilting fairy who transcends time and space. I spent about fifty hours just making the blocks for this queen size quilt. They’re initially deceptive; you get the strip sets done and you think, “Oh, what’s everyone complaining about, I’m almost done.” Uh, yeah. Someone slap the silly out of me when I start talkin’ like that.
Thankfully I purchased the acrylic templates from Sunset Seams to alleviate some of the pain of cutting those awkward shapes. If you’ve made a feather block with paper templates, I know you’re feeling me. Hey, it’s all part of the process, so no complaints, but if you’re in it for the long haul, get the acrylic templates! This and the t-shirt quilt are really the only large quilts I’ve been spending dedicated moments of time on this year. I’d forgotten how much large quilts really take it out of you.
Would I love to have one for myself, oh sure, but I’m not putting myself through that again! Thankfully, this gem was a custom order for my work colleague, Guy. He’d been asking me to make him a quilt, and when he saw Jennifer Sampou’s Shimmer range, he was as smitten as me. I only hang out with people that have divine taste, dontcha know? He’d also seen some feather bee blocks I had made as part of the #NGAQB, so we put all that splendidness together … and BAM. Guy is moving to Los Angeles next month (tear), so that was the inspiration for the title: Lost Feathers of an Angel. What’s that saying about birds of a feather? 
Originally, I was going to take out the golden colour way, but I’m glad I didn’t because I like the extra  edge it adds to balance out the blues, especially now that this baby is headed to Cali. Oh, and for all you batik crybabies out there, look, that stem is a batik. Guess what, the world didn’t break when I used it, either! I think it is all shades of perfect and I reiterate that most of you should be challenging yourself to use batiks more. Yes, you over there standing next to the bolts of Tula Pink: yes, you especially.
The edge to edge quilting was done by the always fabulous, Jane Davidson. I said to her, “I’m a bit stumped, and looking to you for guidance. The client is an English guy who has been here for 18 months and is now moving to the US for work. He wanted something to symbolise his time in Australia without being too kitschy (e.g. kangaroos hopping) which is why we were thinking about swirls which could be water/winds. Do you have any suggestions or ideas about an all over pattern, or a custom design (that would accommodate the stripe on the back)?”
Jane fired back with a half dozen designs that fit the brief, but ultimately this one had the most movement. I also enjoy how this one panto has varying scale, which gives the quilting more depth amongst so much negative space. The background is Art Gallery Pure Elements in Linen which has of course given the whole quilt a luxurious feel. You’ll see I’ve included my signature glitter-flecked binding, using the same fabric that wraps over to the back.
Oh Mother Mariah, I think I love the back even more than the front! I knew from the beginning there would always be extra feathers (what kind of diva would I be otherwise!) This simple setting across the back allows for just the right amount of gay display foldage on the bed. Yes, that’s a real term, feel free to use and abuse it. At first I thought the lighter shade of the Pure Elements in Linen contrasted too much — leave it to me to think that white on cream was too high in contrast! But now, I’m digging it like an old soul record.
That’s about it really. Oh wait, one more thing: I got paid for making this quilt. I even got paid what the quilt was worth. I promise you, it can be done! I’ll share my costing sheet in another post (<– check it out), so you too can see how I did it. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how much I (we) should be charging for this quilt though! Go on, take a guess. 
Title: Lost Feathers of an Angel
Size: 90″ x 108″
Pattern: Feather Bed Quilt, pattern by Anna Maria Horner
Fabric: Jennifer Sampou, Shimmer
Piecing: Templates by Sunset Seams, and Aurifil 2024 White, all the way baby!
Quilting: Pantograph Bubbles and Swirls by Judith Kraker, using Aurifil 2026 Chalk, by Jane Davidson
Binding: Shimmering Netting in Earth, hand stitched with Aurifil 40wt, colour 2620 Stainless Steel
Backing: Damask in Ivory, with stripe of feathers
Favourite Part: The check’s in the mail.

43 Responses

  1. memmens says:

    There are no words. Ok it's awesome and beautiful and he's a smart guy to commission you, I'm thinking about the price…

  2. salamanda says:

    Beautiful quilt and I love the specially designed gay foldage for bed display. I get what you saying about batiks, all fabric has its place and the quilt police are just way too anal.

  3. This is just divine Darling. How happy Guy will be. My guess for the cost? $650 but if it was more I wouldn't be surprised.

  4. Heather J says:

    Stunning! Love the fact it is reversible and you can choose what side will be up. Your colleague has a fantastic momento to carry forward with him to his next continent.

  5. Amy V says:

    Great fabric, fifty + hours of piecing, long arm quilted and hand sewn binding. I would hope you got at least 1000.

  6. Dawn says:

    Your usual awesomeness! Aaaaand with especially designed gay foldage chuckle chuckle too too much…. but I like it!

  7. Paula says:

    What a quilt. I remember seeing snippets of feather creation from time to time but I really love that you haven't shared much about it's creation because I think that gives the finish much more impact. I love that it's reversible there are I would say there are two fronts and no back to this quilt. So glad you got paid what it was worth. If I had to guess a price I would think it would be at least 2,500, but probably more – it's a big quilt, those feathers are a lot of work and the fact that it really is two quilts in one…

  8. Totally Lovely Jubbley!! You did a fantastic job, not that I'd expect anything less. 😉 As for pricing, I'd be inclined as Amy V to say a minimum of AU$1000 but imagine that it's probably even a good bit more. When I saw the title, I thought the quilt must have been made from someone's clothing, in remembrance. Would make a stunning memory quilt, though I'd definitely be investing in the templates. Did 2 of of those feathers with PP and it nearly did my head in! Beautiful work that I'm sure Guy will be happy as a clam to take to Cali. Just in case he's not completely over the moon about it, besides having his head examined, please send it to Switzerland. It would look swish in my new place. 🙂 xx

  9. Kymberly says:

    Very amazing quilt. Considering the cost of fabrics, the 50+ hours of piecing, and the long arm I'd guess you should get at least $1000 for labor, another $100-$200 for fabric, and $100-$200 for quilting, and with the little extras like thread, templates, and what not I'd probably round it up to $1500. (However those are what I'd pay for quilting and fabric in Iowa, US. Not sure how the prices relate to Australia.)

  10. Jo says:

    The photos won't load up tonight. Damn Internet. I would love to know how you work out your costings as to what to charge… I have been asked so many times for what to charge and don't know where to start. I give so many quilts away and wouldn't know where to start to calculating prices. Any help would be appreciated

  11. Anja says:

    Awesome finish!! You should be proud.

  12. Leo says:

    ohh throwing around numbers … it's for a friend so maybe so we probably end up with 1250 for the time guesstimating the fabric we end up with another 150 at least (if there is only American fabric involved it will probably closer to 200 or a bit more) … and then of course there is the quitling … we end up with at least 1.8000 but more along the lines of 2.000 easily (we need to add the thread and batting and all the other "standing costs" like machinery, pattern [don't know but the pattern creator might charge fees itf the pattern is used commercially even if it'S free for "personal use"] etc)… which as google tells me equals roughly 2.500 to 2.800 Australian $ … and at that point you can decide how much you really like the person and offer a discount or not … but we already threw in a discount with the hourly wages, and we haven't added any profit margin and the tax office hasn't gotten any money from us (if we are lucky it won't want any …)

  13. pennydog says:

    Awesome for you getting a big commission. Pretty pretty fabrics, yey for touches of batiks hither and thither.

  14. What a fabulous quilt! I've worked with that fabric so I can imagine what a challenge it was to make those feathers. It's so beautiful that it makes me want to make one too – maybe just a mini. Your creativity, as usual, just amazes me.

  15. Laurelle says:

    $1800 to $2000 ? ish I guess. One day I will be brave enough to charge what the work is worth . You are inspiring me.
    I think because I love to quilt my quilts myself I am very critical and a bit of a perfectionist. I only want to charge top dollar if I think they are perfect. I am still learning so this is my dilemma as I put a lot of time and practise into each quilt. 🙂 Cannot wait to see your costings on this one.

  16. Sheryl says:

    I love the visual movement from the block placement. So stunning. And it's so refreshing to see a more neutral color palette without going into scrappy low volume territory.

    The batik definitely works as the stem. For all the flack they get some batiks really are stunning.

  17. Leigh Anne says:

    This really is stunning, although that really isn't surprising 🙂 Based on what I remember from your costing sheet I'm going with $2750 as my guess for cost. And well worth it!

  18. Such a great use of that Shimmer fabric – I have a charm pack that I'm yet to use … you may call me Mrs Chicken Sh*t (just this once) … I'm thinking a giant patchwork Elk silhouette at this stage … but that thought could change in a nano! How lucky is your client by the way?? Not sure on cost, but my eyes usually love the most expensive thing in the shop and I love this so …

  19. Auntie Pami says:

    Priceless. I have three layer cakes. Maybe I need some templates…

  20. Beautiful and congratulations on a fantastic commission piece! My guess for the cost of the quilt is in the $2500-$3000 range. Large quilts really can take it out of you; I'm finishing up my 3rd queen size quilt for the year and while I love getting paid well for my work, hopefully I'll get a break before I make another bed size quilt…

  21. This is really beautiful, Molli. I remember the few glimpses you've shared, and when I saw the Shimmer fabric I just knew I had to have it. It's been one of the lines that as soon as I bought it, it just begged for me to cut into it, and it's perfect for the Timber quilt I'm (very, very, slowly) working on. My guess for the price of this quilt is $1500-$2000. Oh, and I want to thank you for posting your pricing template up ages ago. I've been able to use it a few times. A few times it's frightened the customer away (I like to think of it as educating them, since they obviously didn't have an idea about how much a hand made quilt cost), but I have gotten a bite from it, too, and it was really nice to be able to send that to them all broken down so they know exactly why the quilt cost what it does.

  22. ~Diana says:

    Damn you Molli Sparkles~now I MUST make this quilt…at least a few blocks anyway. Yours is STUNNING~love the colors & the quilting is gorgeous too.

  23. Carol Q says:

    that's so beautiful. I don't know how you can bear to pass it on. lucky Guy

  24. You know I love that you put all the work you do on the true pricing out for the public to appreciate how much it really does cost to make! I'm looking forward to your costings and the big reveal but I'd hazard a guesstimate based on hours, fabric, quilting,etc of around $2800-$3500

  25. Brenda says:

    Only the estimates on the high end are close, I would wager, and they may not be high enough. Beautiful quilt. I know my sister bought that complete line — I wonder if I could steal it. All's fair in love and fabric, right?

  26. Kim Todd says:

    Absolutely love this quilt!

  27. LynneMcL says:

    Tasteful and sparkly – it's spectacular!

  28. Kirsten says:

    Such a stunning quilt – really love the fabrics and the strip of feathers across the back!

  29. I'm not going to even guess at the cost, but I will cheer for batiks! The right ones, with the right compliments, work amazingly!!! There's a lot of them that give a nice subtle pattern touch without detracting from the design at all. Well done!!!!

  30. Sue says:

    I absolutely love everything about this quilt. Congrats on a great job! And I'm with you on the batik thing. I love the soft painterly effect they have. They definitely have their place.

  31. Clumsy Chord says:

    It looks great – very good match of fabric to pattern and it looks beautifully executed. (For price, I'd guess in the 2000-2500 range, without cross-checking your costing sheets for all the details I'm bound to have forgotten since.)

    I like the back of this quilt a lot, but I think the danger is less that it's too high contrast, and more that it's too low contrast. Which can make it look like an unintentional bad match. You know,. when you see someone out in cool white trousers with a warm white sweater and you just think, Oh, girl, no. Matching whites only. Sometimes if something is too close, then the difference is just emphasized so much more. I think on the quilt it looks worse in the first photo because the light has caught that white stripe with the feathers so much more and gone Hey Look! Bad Colour Matching!, but then in the second photo you can see the white shimmer on the cream and then it makes a lot more sense.

  32. Salley says:

    All of the above.
    . . . . however its impossible to value the **wow** factor.
    Its not just about x metres plus (y/50 = time) plus thread plus Jane……yaddah yaddah
    Its how you wow us, Molli.
    How much did that Picasso go for last week??

  33. Very handsome quilt. You'll never be forgotten. Love the layout and the quilting. And the choice of fabric used in your GF binding is a smart finish. Nicely done!

  34. Awesome Quilt Molli!! Now I have to try harder.

  35. Renee says:

    I love everything about this quilt! You and Guy have wonderful taste.

  36. This quilt is one for the record books, those feather are just divine! Super jealous of the front and the back. Your friend must have been over the moon excited to receive this beauty! Since you have those snazzy acrylic rulers it would be worth making one for yourself.

  37. Heather A says:

    What a beautiful feather quilt! A real treasure!

  38. Amy says:

    Absolutely stunning! May I ask what are the back ground fabrics. I’ve been wanting to make a quilt that’s been stuck in my head forever but could not find the right back ground fabrics or colors until now. Please share the color and fabric choice. Oh, and I think you quilt is worth more!
    Thank you!

  1. December 31, 2015

    […] got paid an honest amount to make this beautiful AMH Feathers quilt, Lost Feathers of an Angel. Make sure you do the same because […]

  2. January 8, 2017

    […] using Jennifer Sampou’s Shimmer 1 & 2 fabric ranges. I’ve used these previously in several quilts, but I think they really found their true calling here! The back is constructed entirely from the […]

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