Monday, May 17, 2010

The Lure of the Indigo Bunting

Why did I select the indigo bunting as the subject for my bird quilt challenge - simple, because it is the most beautiful bird I have had the opportunity to see in person. Despite my close-up interpretation, this is a demure songbird. The coloring of the mature male is an exquisite cobalt blue.

When I started this challenge I had no true emotional connection to the indigo bunting, it was simply a "physical attraction". In the process of designing my quilt I investigated my subject and discovered facts about the indigo bunting that quickly became the basis for my emotional connection and the layers of meaning to the design concept. Little did I know that this quilt was would surface as a reflection of my feelings of being an empty nester - how appropriate a phrase, "empty nester", in light of the aviary focus of this challenge.

Indigo buntings are migratory birds. However unlike most other bird species that migrate during the daytime hours, indigo buntings migrate at night using a form of celestial navigation to guide their travels. They possess a unique ability to find their way home no matter where they are relocated to, simply by following the night sky - yes, this fact is what guided me to create my emotional tie to this simple "bird quilt".

The stars are made of map fabric hexagons of many of the places I've traveled with my family, the cities where my daughters attend college, and of course, home.

The globe is another reference to home - we have a healthy collection of vintage globes, a passion of my husband.

Every globe in our collection includes the country Tannu Tuvo - now part of Russia, but existed as an independent country from 1921 - 1944. Why you ask is this important - not really sure other than it helps to date the globe. This is my husband's collection, and the globe represents him, and his many quirks.

Next to the globe is a thimble-full of forget-me-nots with map centers; I put them there to represent me. Can you say EDIT - I do not like them in the overall design concept of the quilt and in hind sight wish I would have edited them out. If you remember from my posts during the design phase of this quilt I had 75% of the quilt designed and 25% without a design element - well, the globe and the thimble of flowers filled that nagging un-designed 25% - I'm happy with the globe, but not the flowers. That's what happens when you try to rush things.

Tomorrow I'll be discussing the many different techniques i used in this quilt, and more specifically, how I created my birds - it's a labor intense process.

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