Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sometimes I Dream of Flying - Time to vote on Project Quilting

"Sometimes I Dream of Flying" 38" x 41" Project Quilting, Season 2, Challenge 2: What's in a Name, Jan. 2011

Quick recap of the challenge "What's in a Name":
1. Choose the name of a place, any place with a name that tickles your imagination.
2. Make a quilt using that name as your inspiration.
3. No restrictions on colors, sizes, materials or shapes.

What a great idea for a challenge! I immediately did a search for unusual town names and quickly amassed a long list of possibilities (listed below). I slept on it and woke up Monday morning with a clear favorite, using “Birdseye, Indiana” as my inspiration.

I’ve always loved maps and have been wanted to make a quilt looking down at the earth. I wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenge, so I “drew” out my idea on the computer to make sure I could get the perspective that I wanted.

Close up of the "Birds in the Air" block, also known as: Birds of the Air, Flock of Geese, Flying Birds and Flying Geese

I’ve also wanted to make a quilt that had some traditional quilt blocks but also had elements of an art quilt. I strip pieced the background, piecing the blocks at slight angles to give the perspective of distance. Using some of the same yellow and tan fabrics from the background, I pieced the “Birds in the Air” blocks a light blue background to represent the sky.

I wasn’t completely happy with the way the blocks faded into the background so I decided to add a small dark brown border between the background and the pieced blocks. Then still not satisfied I decided to add the dark brown border to the sides of the background only, to frame it like a picture.

I quilted the fields in the background 1/4" inside of each rectangle and also inside the small, yellow triangles in the "Birds in the Air" blocks. In the larger green parts of the blocks I quilted the echo of the "Birds in the Air" blocks.

Close up of the bird and feathers

I created the bird on a separate piece of fabric, fusing many small dark brown feather-shaped pieces of fabric. I did thread painting on top with both a dark brown and a tan-colored thread to help hold all the pieces down and to also give more definition to the feathers.

Once I decided on the right placement of the bird, I machine appliqued the bird to the background. I pieced together a dark brown fabric with a dark green fabric, cut out a smaller bird-shape and fused it to the background just behind the bird for the bird’s shadow.

The back of the bird before it was attached to the quilt

Aside from the literal having one eye on the hawk, I also made a quilt that was from the perspective of a bird. The working title was “Birdseye” but once I finished, I decided to call it “Sometimes I Dream of Flying.” For some unknown reason, the song “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” from the musical Oklahoma kept running through my head while I was making this quilt, even though I don’t know all the words to that song!

Some of the other town names I considered:

Toad Hop, IN; Frog Pond, NC; Mystic, CT; Harmony, CA; Hourglass, DE; Tie Plant, MS; Walls, MS; Tippecanoe, IN; Big Sky, MT; Checkerboard, MT; Cheesequake, NJ; Zig Zag, OR; Moon, PA or Moonlight, VA; Red Shirt, SD; Echo, TX; Imalone and Ubet, WI; Eight Square, OH; Snowflake, AZ; The Bottle, AL; Sisters, OR; Constellation, AZ; Bat Cave, NC; Triangle, ID; Lightning, ID; Shy Corner, ME; Tree of Knowlege Corner, MA; Two Dot, MT; Gypsy, OK; Black Jack, TX; Zebra, NC; Peacock Crossing, NC; and Frostproof, FL. And in related note of “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" there is a Romeo, CO and a Juliette, GA.

More about Sometimes I Dream of Flying

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Click on any of the photos to see them larger.

To see the other entries, go to the What's in a Name page.


Pamela said...

What a wonderful quilt! I loved reading your inspiration and process, too.

Holly U said...

This turned out great Pam! The bird details are wonderful and the using angled pieces for the perspective of fields from the air really worked well.