Sometimes I Dream of Flying
“Sometimes I Dream of Flying”
Made by Pam Geisel of For Quilts Sake in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Jan. 2011 for Project Quilting Season 2, Challenge 2, What’s in a Name.
38” x 41”
My creative process and how I made it:
What a great idea for a challenge! I immediately did a search for unusual town names and quickly amassed a long list of possibilities. 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.
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.
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 appliquéd 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.
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!