Our Four-in-Art theme this round is Owls, under the year-long theme of Nature. When Betty chose it, I went blank. Then she wrote about it, I did a search on Flickr, and ideas starting percolating. Slowly.
This chick has owl rings and owl socks, but is not the same person that owns the collection up above. I found out my daughter liked owls, as does my niece, one of my husband’s colleagues and Suz, of Patchworknplay. I had no idea there were so many owl enthusiasts in my life.
This card was from my granddaughter when I had my surgery. More owls:
But how to move an owl idea into a quilt? What aspect to focus on? I looked up the meanings of owls, the folklore and those were all over the map, fragmented. Sometimes they are good, other times they portent evil or bad things, sometimes they bring luck, in other cultures they spell disaster. Just about anything can be pinned on an owl.
The only “experience” I’ve had with an owl was when we were traveling in Canada around the Sunshine Circle (Vancouver and above). We were standing waiting for the ferry to take us across one night. The sun was fading into pinks and golds and it was pretty quiet up there near Comox that evening. I was focused on the water and thinking about where we had to get to before we could stop traveling, when all of a sudden I heard a whoosh–a rush of air. I spun around and an owl was just moving away, its wings unfurled and climbing toward the sky. It was eerie, out of nowhere. No wonder these birds get pinned with all sorts of intents and purposes.
This was my computer desktop yesterday, with all sort of bits and pieces of my owl scattered over the screen. Whenever I approach these art quilt deadlines, I feel like a child being dragged kicking and screaming toward home. Deadline, I moan to no one in particular. I’d better get crackin’ because I know my Four-in-Art-mates will have theirs ready.
But one thing leads to another and to another and pretty soon I hear my husband arrive home and I’ve been working and veering through a creative journey for hours, absorbed in my task. And then I can’t wait to get back to where I’m headed–which of course, I have no real idea of where it will end. For now, I know only the next step, and that’s where I’ll go.
We’ve decided to open our group up to four more quilters to participate in our art quilt adventure. You do not need to be an artist (hey–I’m not), but only want to stretch your creative wings. We have four art quilt deadlines a year: February, May, August and November. So far, the quilts are experimental in size: 12″ square. You’ll need to have a blog or a Flickr site, and a sense of adventure. We welcome beginners, but most of us have some years of experience either in handcrafting or sewing. I think we went this direction just because we wanted to try something new.
Leave a comment if you are interested, along with a comment as to why you might think taking a jump into this kind of creating is where you want to tread. Make sure I have a link to either your blog or your Flickr site, so I can get a feel for what type of quilter you are.
7 thoughts on “Owls”
Hi Elizabeth. I ‘d love to join your group. This might be just the nudge I need to start making the “art” quilts I’ve thought about so often. As you already know, I love designing and coming up with pattern ideas. Graphics are my strong point. But I’ve been needing a challenge that pushes me into a more improv, artistic side of quilting. Have numerous books and lots of sketches on art quilts. I just need the push. So if you’d like to be the pusher . . . I’d happily jump in to your group. : )
While my favorite bird is a pelican, I do like owls – except for the one that literally dive-bombed me in PA a number years ago. Yes, that one where you duck, cover your head and scream as they fly at your face. Love to see your creative process laid out.
I love the quotes you have used to inspire today! I’d love to think I had the creativity to join in, but I realize my limitations and will continue to enjoy your ingenuity and artistry! I meant to point you here:
There are almost daily updates! Enjoy the ‘owl’ journey! ps I hope you can get a pedicure soon! lol!
I would be interested in joining an artsy quilt group. On line works with my schedule better than a physical place where I would have to drive on a specific day. I have quilted for many, many years and am really drawn to the more artistic pieces because I think they are fun and expand my horizons. I haven’t done many, but am willing to give it a go.
We have a pair of Barred Owls that live in the woods surrounding our house. We see and hear them often, sometimes even drinking from my garden pond! I just wish I knew where they nest as I’d love to see the babies. Last summer we watched them stalk a baby rabbit while the mommy rabbit tried to lure them toward her! I always enjoy your art projects each quarter and think that it might be fun to try it. I enjoy a challenge and the small size (12 in.) seems doable. Do you keep the project that you make? There’s no exchanging is there?
It’s funny. Owls, much like foxes, have made a resurgence in pop culture lately. I’ve always liked them, since we had a kids’ tv show growing up where the host referred to a talking, moving owl portrait on the wall, and the image is deeply rooted in my memories of childhood, but I learned a couple of years ago that owls have a negative connotation in a number of First Nations cultural traditions. It’s made my almost hyper-aware of them, especially considering how many teachers use them as friendly classroom decor, due to the association with knowledge from Greek tradition. The current push for more culturally-inclusive and -aware teaching for a growing number of FN students in Saskatchewan, who have historically been ill-served by our local school systems, coupled with the prominence of owls on everything (where they come across as a big, neon “bad omen” sign to these students) is an interesting notion for me.
I would ask to join the group but I think I have too much on my plate right now. I do find it very inspiring, though my skill level in the ‘art quilt’ department is rudimentary at this point. I wish you luck in cultivating a larger group!
I am just back from Sisters Outdoor show and week of classes where I was fascinated by Rosalie Dace’s “Line Dance.” I am ready to think art quilts, so would be interested in joining the group. http://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com
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