This quilt is 18 1/4 inches by 18 3/4 inches. A very inconvenient size really, but that's just how it ended up.
I began this piece because I needed some more organza quilts for a class I was running. At that time my other samples were in the middle of the ocean, being posted back from when I was teaching in Canada (they arrived just the other day). When it started, it looked like this:
It's three layers of fabric. There is a salmon-coloured hand-dye underneath a layer of multicoloured silk organza. The bird is cut out of the salmon fabric, as are the unfolding fern fronds, and there is a yellow fabric under the bird and white fabric under the fronds.
The cut out bird ended up on another composition.
But I wasn't happy with the dominance of the bright fern fronds. So I took the yellow fabric away from behind the bird and replaced it with white. Then I replaced the white that was behind the fern fronds with a dark, rich purple (and got rid of the flax stalk).
I really liked the way the purple fabric extended the composition beyond the edges of the salmon fabric, so I cut them in a hill shape and included it in the design.
The feathers came last. And I played around with different layouts to get the feel that I was going for.
For me, this quilt is about the spirituality of dawn, that beautiful, sacred, quiet time. When we can look at the sun rise and be thankful for a new day with all its potential. The feathers are a symbol of what the bird is leaving behind to rise towards and celebrate that new day.
I added a little red hill off to the left for balance, some paint to define the main hill and highlight the bird, and then quilted the whole thing. You may notice the peaked window shape quilted in, which is another nod to the spiritual feel of the quilt.
It's finished with a facing so there are no edges to confine the bird.