by Barb Forrister
It seems like it has been ages since I last blogged about a new piece that I have completed. I very rarely get to say this but I have been travelling abroad and when I returned home, I broke my left arm. Good thing, it wasn't the right arm as I am right handed! I had been working on a piece for the juried invitational, Rituals, curated by Jamie Fingal and Leslie Tucker Jenison. In fact, I took my piece to Israel and worked on it in the evenings at the hotel. I decided to change course, when I happened to come across this very unlikely pair. Sunrise Serenade was inspired by a photo taken at the Haifa Educational Zoo in Israel, this last February. While there, my husband and I stayed at a hotel that happened to be located across from a park. Deep within the park, there was a zoo nestled in the farthest corner, hidden from view. The first morning, we awoke to a rooster crowing, his voice accompanied by an unidentifiable, "caw caw" sound. Later in the trip, I discovered the zoo and these two marvelous creatures within. They were the best of friends and their contrasting colors were quite exquisite next to one another. Each morning, I would hear them practicing their daily ritual of greeting the new day with their delightful sunrise serenade. Thinking of them, brought a smile to my face and I just knew that I had to create this piece. When I returned home, I began drafting the pattern for this piece. The format required it to be 24"wide X 60" high, a somewhat unusual size. It took three tries but I finally came up with a useable pattern. I transferred my pattern to fabric and began painting the piece. I was able to complete the rooster and the peacock before I fell and broke my arm. The sunrise and meadow had to be painted with one hand as I was in a full cast past the elbow at that point in time. I am so grateful for my two daughters who helped me to heat set and layer the quilt together so that I might attempt to quilt it. I had never broken a bone in my body before and really had no idea if it could be done with one hand but patience and persistence saw it through to the end. My machine broke early on and my good friend, Kharon graciously brought her Janome over for me to use. What a relief! I have always used a Bernina but I found the Janome quite easy and a pleasure to use. Sunrise Serenade was quilted entirely with Highlights, Nature's Colors and Living Colors threadlines by Superior. The batting is Dream Green, a soft, batting made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. The paints included Setacolor. Jacquard, DecoArt SoSoft and Stewart Gill. All in all, I am happy with this piece and have resigned myself to accept that the quilting is pretty good for having been quilted with a broken arm. Sometimes, we all have to let go and accept things for what they are! I am hoping this piece gets juried into the invitational, Rituals exhibit. Wish me luck!