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
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.