Thursday, March 1, 2018

Quilts of the Avian World

Here's a tribute to our feathered friends in all their various forms and beauty, from the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival .

Tickled Pink by Debra Crine, Florida 

Second-place winner in the Art-Painted Surface category,  Debra notes, "I was inspired by a photo by [art photographer] Mark Mitter.  The quilt was painted with steam-set dyes on silk habotai." ( a fabric with a soft and supple hand and a lustrous sheen).

Close-up, Tickled Pink

These subtle color variations and gently curved quilting lines give the flamingo's plumage a fascinating, highly-textured effect.

Romeo by Pamela Burke , North Carolina

Pamela remarks, "After seeing a photo of a....peacock taken by Laura Scott Dillman, I thought it would be an  interesting and fun challenge to find fabrics and techniques to interpret the photo of this majestic fowl.  My goal was to maintain transparency of the plumage and create depth in the design."

Close-up, Romeo

Pamela's techniques for this lovely work include machine applique, fused applique, and hand painting on commercial fabrics with cotton and polyester thread, Angelina fiber, and Rat tail fiber.

Whooo? by Mimi Ghauri-Young , California

Mimio explains, " I have always been fascinate by owls. When I found this image of a Northern Saw-Whet owlet, I was enchanted by his quizzical expression and inspired to make this quilt." 

Close-up,  Whooo

We really admire Mimi's excellent work in capturing the owl's realistic and very expressive face.  She used machine piecing, machine applique, and inking on commercial cotton fabrics.

Keeping Up Appearances by Jan Reed, California

Honorable Mention winner in the Pictorial Art Quilts category,  Jan writes of her original design, "As the morning sun begins to melt away the tule fog that forms overnight in the Merced National Wildlife Preserve, an ibis is revealed preening his colorful plumage."

Close-up, Keeping Up Appearances

To create this elegant work which emphasizes the feathers of this stately bird, Jan used machine applique, fused applique, painting, thread painting, and colorwashing. Her materials consisted of commercial batiks, tulle, fabric inks, and colored pencils.

Making Amends by Carol Cote, Ontario, Canada

Carol writes of her original design,  "This Atlantic Puffin, from Newfoundland, Canada, was taking a flower to its mate. The photo inspired me to create this quilt for Canada's 150th birthday. over 150 fabrics, 200 + hours of hand applique, and more than 100 hours of quilting have gone into this creation."

Close-up,  Making Amends

Carol has done a beautiful job of  creating depth and shading by her careful selection of  white, black, and gray neutral hues. Her work is all hand-appliqued, using cotton fabrics and cotton threads.

Image credits:  photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.


  1. Breathtaking! You find such wonderful quilts! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Remarkable quilting, just stunning!

  3. Incredible mastery of technique and design!

  4. All so amazing. Being an owl person, you might guess which I love the best.....


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