Friday, October 9, 2015

Purple Surprise: A Finished Quilt

I am thrilled to say that this quilt is finished, because now I have reached my goal to give a quilt to each parent and sibling.  Fourteen quilt total over 2.5 years.  This quilt is for my brother.  He requested a purple quilt, his wife's favorite color.  It is pieced using the jelly roll race method using my calculations for a 6 inch strip.  I talked more about the piecing and quilting of it in my last post.

I have named it "Purple Surprise."  Cheetah had suggested "Flower Surprise" due to the flowers on the back and then Vicki Suggested "Purple Surprise."  I guess you can see which suggestion I liked better.  ;)  Thanks, Vicki!

The strips finish at 5.5 inches wide, so I decided to quilt them with feathers.  I used a ruler for the vines and the plumes are all freehand.  I am so glad I did this because after quilting feathers for 6+ hours I can see and feel a marked improvement.  Something clicked for me after it was 75% quilted.  I liked how my feathers looked at the outer part of curves, but it felt a little choppy in the inner part of curves.  I have marked what I didn't like as much with little arrows in the following picture.

I was coming in toward the vine at an angle.  The angle matched the outer part of the curve on the other side.  Then instead of coming in at an angle, I decided to curve into the spine.  The spine became part of each "petal."

It is a very minor change, but I like how it looks so much better.  I don't think many people will notice.  However, I will notice.  :D

The back of the quilt has a pink, purple, and blue flower print with a purple/mauve print added in to make it big enough.

One nice thing about having a busy backing fabric is that I was able to empty 12 partial bobbins with colors ranging from pink to blue to purple.  I don't think anyone will notice unless it is pointed out.

I did make sure to use only pink bobbins where the leafy stripe was.  The pink blended better than any of the other colors.

All the bobbin threads I used were a light to medium color similar in value to the purple I used in the needle.  I just made sure I had good tension on a practice sandwich before starting on the actual quilt every time I changed the bobbin.

I was originally going to use a scrappy binding, but the quilt felt more formal with the feather quilting, so I used the same fabric as the stripe on the backing.

I am thrilled with how it turned out, and enjoyed making it every step of the way.

Quilt Stats #168
Name:  Purple Surprise
Pattern: Race Quilt Variation with 6 inch strips
Fabrics Used:  Dusty pinks and purples from my stash
Amount Used: 11 yards
Size: About 72 x 88 inches
Batting: Frankensteined Hobbs 80/20
Date Finished: October 2015
What I learned:

  • I can piece battings together even for large quilts.
  • I really love fast piecing so I can play with the quilting.
  • I can still quilt large quilts on my small domestic sewing machine with a 6 inch arm.  
  • I love quilting feathers and like it better when I curve the petals into the spine.  

Here is my attempt at draping it elegantly over the fence.  The colors in the quilt are very accurate.  But I wonder if they teach classes on how to drape quilts for pretty pictures.  Even after 5 attempts it still looks a little awkward to me.

I look forward to giving the quilt to my brother and sister-in-law, but until I do I am enjoying it on my sofa.  I love looking at the feathers every time I walk into the room.

This really was a fast fun quilt, and I plan on making more stash busting quilts in a similar manner.  I already have a couple kits made for a slightly smaller quilt.


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out to see what other quilters have been doing.


  1. It's a wonderful quilt. I love the feather quilting.

  2. This is beautiful! I hadn't thought of doing the jelly roll quilt with strips this wide but I love the effect. And your feathers are amazing!

  3. You and I are on the same feather, er, wavelength this week! You, as always, are faster than's been the bane of this little quilt's existence but mainly with the ruler work and not with the feathers...frustrating times. This is a great combo of purples and not too feminine for your brother! And what a sweet husband he is, using his wife's favourite colour. :-) Good call on the binding; the eye needs a place to rest.

  4. Such an elegant finish, Jasmine! The feathers are simply gorgeous. And the purple lends to the regal feeling this quilt exudes. The binding was a perfect choice. Congratulations on accomplishing the final family quilt in your goal!

  5. Your feather quilting is beautiful! I was happy to hear I am not the only one that uses up older bobbin threads on backs of quilts. I never seem to have enough empty bobbin!

  6. Really great and the feathers are wonderful! I prefer to stitch them spineless also. You are so right about keeping the angle right, as it gives a smoother effect. But believe me that once it is washed, no one will notice those spots you didn't like. I love the simple lines of this overall. You proved that practice makes perfect!

  7. Beautiful, Jasmine! Your feathers are great! What a lovely quilt!

  8. Love your feathers! I have been piecing batting together lately. I don't like to do it, but it isn't hard. I've made enough for 4 quilts and still have some left over.

  9. Your feathers looked good before, but I agree that curving with the spine made them even better. It's a very pretty finish. If you find those lessons on artful draping of quits for photos, please let me know where to go! I need help in that department :) Your effort looks better than mine...

  10. Wow! Your quilted feathers look amazing and add great texture throughout the quilt. Well done!!

  11. I'm terrible at quilt draping! I'd love lessons too :) You're right that the change you made to your feathers is small, but it makes them look more elegant. I piece batting together too...every penny counts, right?

  12. Wow! Your quilted feathers look amazing and add great texture throughout the quilt. Well done!!

  13. The feathers look awesome, Jasmine, and I like your description of what you changed along the way. I think the feathers class and all the practice you have done quilting them really shows and shines in this quilt!

  14. I am thrilled with this quilt!!!! I like the ideal of using your stash, and the pattern in simple....but quite lovely. And ......I adore the feathers!!!! I hope you don't mind if I do something very similar soon?????

  15. This is beautiful and looks so elegant with your feathers!
    You are so inspiring

  16. I really do admire your feather quilting - you are certainly very accomplished!

  17. Your quilt turned out beautifully. Why did you quilt it on your domestic machine instead of your big one? (Maybe you already said - I will have to check back and see if I've missed something.)
    Finishing a quilt for every parent and sibling is quite an accomplishment when you have such a large family - well done!

  18. OMG I am totally surprised you liked my name for you quilt better!!!! I feel so honored ;-) I think you are too hard on yourself about the feathers, they look wonderful and the best part is that they will disappear into the mix and you will never see them. You took a simple looking quilt to a whole new level with the feathers.

  19. It's gorgeous, Jasmine. Only you can see the 'minor' flaws and there is so much of this quilt to admire, no-one else will notice. Love your feathers ... still haven't tried them but I will :)

  20. I totally agree artful draping of quilts for photos is so hard to do! The photos look great and show off your beautiful quilting really well. Love the thicker strips - really will be gorgeous laid out on the bed!

  21. Beautifully done, Jasmine! Congrats on getting all of your siblings 'covered' :D

    I am happy to see that I am not the only one that empties bobbins for quilting on busy backs ;) As for the quilt drape - I totally agree! I have tried several times to artfully drape quilts and they never seem to look as good as I see on other people's blogs. I think yours looks great!

  22. Lovely!! The draping picture looks great but, I agree it 's hard to do. Love your feathers!!


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