Several years ago I made an unfinished quilt, my first actually, which was rolled and stuffed into many places, and dragged out every so often. I gradually realised parts of it weren’t worth putting any more work into, but when I started my bird book I thought about this quilt, actually still a large embroidery, and the Ravens on it. I always liked those chaps, and even though I put it on the studio wall I thought they were too big to use.
But, a couple of weeks ago I cut them out, trimmed tails and some feathers, and have mounted them on a double page spread of their own, so they have a new life as sentinels. As they were mainly constructed from black felt, and as I now work more with machine stitching, I did some work on them using small straight and zig zag machining, so the felt has a lovely low relief sculptured effect. I’ll be investigating that technique in future work.
Here are some work in progress images.
In the foreground is one of the pages, with the cut out Ravens on the table.
Here they are by their words. The birds look a bit worried for some reason.
A crafty view, similar to the first, just facing the other way, to make it look as if I do lots of work.
The Ravens on their backgrounds. One is finished, ie machine and hand stitched, the other will be soon. Both pieces are around A 2 size.
One finished Raven. The text will be going onto the previous page with some suitably Baroque leaves.
A close up, he’s not worried now.
This part became a little Klimt like, not by design, more because I was responding to the mosaic line in the text. The eggs were part of the old quilt so they were used too.
When the Ravens are done, next it’s fun with a giant Hornbill and some bird skulls. Only a few more pages to go before the great bordering and putting together begins, then I’ll have to see if it can be lifted without some sort of mechanical aid. After this I’m going to do much more sensible work.
All images and text copyright Stephanie Redfern. All rights reserved.