Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It is amazing how much they control you...

I started my parrot piece at the Spring 2010 Country Quilter Retreat. I spent most of the weekend creating the bird and thread painting him, creating his background of leaves in the forest setting.  I was in love with the progress I made. The colors were gorgeous, the thread work a joy. I was really proud of myself.  He is thread painted with Superior Masterpiece thread.  Masterpiece is fine enough that it allowed me to layer on the color without adding bulk.  Plus the colors were a perfect match for the underlying fabrics.

Well the joy faded shortly after I got home.  I put my lovely parrot up on the design wall and I couldn't figure out what to do next.  I didn't think he was ready for a border, but what?  It hung there for months, eventually getting taken down to make way for other projects.  I must admit, I took him out of hiding every once in a while and starred, but I had nothing.  Not one real clue of what to do next.  Then it dawned on me.  I really didn't like the piece, him yes --- the piece no.  Yes he was colorful, yes I loved the thread play.  But something about the piece just didn't work.

So back on the design wall he went, just to be starred at for months all over again. I figured it was the background, but ughhh....  I had spent a lot of time making those leaves and doing all the thread play on them as well.  Did I really want to cut the parrot out and start again?  No, I just couldn't bring myself to do that.  So away he went....  again.

Then last July I took him with me to Quilting On the Lake.  I figured with all the creative juices flowing in that place, something would shake loose and it did.  Philipa Naylor saw me staring at it and asked me what was wrong.  Quickly we realized that I didn't need to rip it out.  I just needed a place for the eye to rest.  It was so busy that although the parrot was gorgeous, you really couldn't see him with all the leaves going on.   So I decided to take the plunge.  No one believed I was going to do it.  I cut out a section of the leaves and off I went shopping in the vendor mall :-) for a hand dyed green that had movement but at the same time, allowed the parrot to be truly seen.  What a difference it made.  I didn't do any sewing or fusing there, I was too busy in class, but I fixed him up quite nicely when I got home.

Well I made a vow to work on UFO's this year, so last week out he came.  I found the best hand dyed brown in my stash for a boarder and over the last few days added trapunto and got him all basted.  I even made a 3D bird of paradise that will be added to the side once it is quilted.  Friday evening I sat down and didn't think I would ever get up!  I am so enjoying quilting him.  He is finally coming together.

I spent some time over the weekend quilting.  The parrot is done, as are all the leaves.  I should get the piece totally quilted this week.  Can't wait! 

So far 98% of the quilting has been with Aurifil 50wt cotton.  I like the way it adds to the piece with not being too flashy,,,,  dimension and texture for interest, but not in your face :-).

He will also be accompanied by butterflies and a Bird of Paradise flower that I will add after the quilting is done.  Both will be 3D, to add some additional interest to the piece.

Oh and I have submitted him to New England Quilt Festival (MQX East).  I hope he gets accepted!

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