Figure and Flock – complete!

It’s done! It’s done! Hoorah and huzzah!

Figure and Flock -  art quilt by Anne Heidemann

I’m so happy that I finally finished it! I had so much fun and learned so much while putting this project together and I’m anxious to move on to the next one. Figure and Flock turned out to be 32×43.5″.

Figure and Flock -  art quilt by Anne Heidemann

Learning how to use the free motion quilting foot was quite fun and I know I’ll use it a lot in the future. I’m so pleased with the texture of her hair. I also love the dragonfly-inspired fabric I used for her eyes.

Figure and Flock -  art quilt by Anne Heidemann

I love the way these thread-painted birds came out. The look of thread painting is so pleasing, especially on a bird where it can mimic the texture of feathers. I wanted the birds to appear to be disturbing the air around them, so I did some free motion quilting around each one. My goal was also to have the birds appear slightly menacing and I think that the button and bead combination I used for their eyes helped this come through. Birds have often been used as symbols in paintings and other works of art, and I drew on that here. Sparrows are sometimes used to represent the souls of the deceased and robins symbolize change and new growth, both of which I was thinking of here.

Figure and Flock -  art quilt by Anne Heidemann

I’m quite pleased with the way the quilting worked out, too. I did free-hand grass-esque shapes in the grass and radiating curved lines in the sky. To me it feels effective in conveying the difference between the two areas.

Figure and Flock -  art quilt by Anne Heidemann

In the interest of adding more dimension to the piece, I also added some thread-painted birds that I sewed separately and then fussy-cut. They’re a little rougher around the edges, purposely, to carry on that subtle sense that all is not quite right with them.

Figure and Flock -  art quilt by Anne Heidemann

I’m still very pleased with my Dresden Plate-inspired dress, too. The sections radiate out from the figure’s heart, where a bird also lives. In designing this figure, I was inspired by Blythe and I feel like my interpretation of her came out effectively. You can tell (if you’re familiar with Blythe) that it’s her, but it’s not so literal as to scream, “I’m a doll!”

Figure and Flock -  art quilt by Anne Heidemann

I chose a wood-grain-esque fabric for the binding (it’s not the same fabric as I used for her hair – you can tell the difference better up close), which I finished by invisible stitch on the back. I thought that the wood grain look seemed apropos to frame on a piece of art. I also added a channel so that it’s easy to display (that channel is in the same fabric as the quilt back, which is lilac with tiny white polka dots). I used only fabrics that were in my stash to make this quilt, with the exception of the bird fabric which I purposely selected and purchased with this intention. In case you wondered, I didn’t even make a dent in the stash! I probably need to do some really big projects in order to achieve that. 🙂

I haven’t figured out yet what my next project will be, but I think that I will rely more on piecing than on applique for that one (though of course I always change things around a lot during the process of making a project, so we shall see). Another art quilt is for sure on the docket, though I may opt for something smaller this time. Having made a lot of very-small-scale doll clothes, I’m interested in the applications for very-small-scale in quilting. In the future I’d also really like to make a useful quilt for our bedroom, though I will probably wait for that until we find our next house, so I can use the room as inspiration.

Now I need to find some quilt shows in which to enter Figure and Flock. I just missed the deadline for the big one happening in Grand Rapids later this year, which is a bummer, but I’m sure there are other shows out there.

Share

Scarf it up

That’s right, I’ve made some more Blythe scarves. Those little bits of yarn keep existing until I turn them into something, so here we have two more scarves.

First is the Jimmy Scarf, which uses up more of this awesome rainbow yarn.

Jimmy Scarf for Blythe

There is something extremely satisfying about a basic garter stitch, even though it’s not particularly technical or difficult. Seeing the stitches so even and the edges wrap around in their pretty, consistent pattern is really happy-making. I also love seeing color variation develop in garter stitch.

Jimmy Scarf for Blythe

And then the Toby Scarf, which can also be worn as a wrap, since it’s wider.

Toby Scarf/Wrap for Blythe

I found these felt birds at Michael’s recently and I adore them! I thought it looked really nice with this yarn, too. And if you haven’t heard, if you want something to be art, just put a bird on it.

Toby Scarf/Wrap for Blythe

Share

great blue heron

I took a walk around Heritage Park at lunch today and as I was circling the lake, I saw a hugongous bird.

Grey Heron

There are usually a bevy of ducks around and occasionally a goose or two, but I’ve never seen a heron in the park before. I definitely haven’t seen any creatures this large.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

I couldn’t believe how close he was to me! As I walked around the corner (he was near the short end of the lake) I kept taking photos and he didn’t even flinch. He was busy listening carefully and then stabbing his beak into the water to eat whatever it was he was listening to, so I got a bunch of photos. I really like the reflection in the one above, despite the not-so-prettiness of the algae. After awhile, though, he decided to move on and flew away. His wingspan was easily four feet, probably larger (I’m terrible at estimating).

Grey Heron flying away

More photos on flickr.

*edited: turns out it’s a Great Blue Heron, not a Grey Heron. Thanks, @redcrew!

Share

Bird by Rita Murphy

Bird by Rita Murphy

Bird by Rita Murphy is the story of Miranda, a wisp of a girl who is easily carried away by the wind. When she’s caught up and blown far away, she is left with little recollection of where she came from or who she is, so when Wysteria Barrows finds her in the branches of an elm tree and takes her home, Miranda willingly comes along. She soon learns that Wysteria is hardly a caring guardian but does provide Miranda with food, shelter, and a sense of routine. Wysteria is the widowed wife of a sea captain, a harsh woman who brings Miranda to live with her in the cliff-side Bourne Manor. Wysteria is less than talkative and the Manor seems to keep just as many secrets as its mistress.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’m going to leave the summary at that. This book completely sucked me in and didn’t let go until I was done with the story. It’s got that timeless quality that makes the spookiness and mystery resonate deeply with the reader. I definitely recommend this one.

Share