Sunday, September 12, 2010

Current Quilting Project

Last year i purchased a quilting pattern designed by Sheryl Mycroft called Cobblestone Crows from my friend Karen Sue's booth, maybe at the QU show. At any rate, it was one of those projects that really stuck in my imagination and i knew i was going to make it sooner rather than later. When i went to the Vermont Quilt Festival this summer (yes, i know, i still have to post stories and pictures from there!), i took a bunch of fabrics from my stash with me to see if i could pick the ones that would go in the quilt. I knew i wanted to change the color scheme and had the perfect print with metallic gold accents and moon-like patterns as the focus fabric. I found the perfect background fabric at Yankee Pride Quilts, picked up a few fat quarters of batiks at a few other booths, and got the high thread count black Kona cotton for the crows after i got home from my local quilt ship, Kelly Ann's Quilting.

It went together fairly fast, but now it needs to be machine quilted, so that i can embellish the heck out of it. It will finish approximately 28 inches square, and is actually fairly straight, but since it was blowing in the breeze, it looks like it's got a bit of a ripple.

The crow in the foreground will be holding a shell bead in its beak and there will be a line of four shell beads down the tallest strip in the background. I have some great assortments of small beads that should be perfect for the embellishing.

I find crows and ravens to be fascinating curious and observant, and living in complicated social communities. When i was walking around in Sitka, Alaska, i realized that a couple of ravens were following me all over town. Raven and Eagle are traditional adversaries in Northwest Coast Native American mythology, and Raven is the Trickster who stole the Sun from its guardian (but by so doing, brought light, and possibly even the miracle of human birth, to the world). Then, this Spring while i was avidly watching the eaglets at the Norfolk Botanical Garden grow from tiny chicks into healthy fledglings through the cam pointed at their nest, we got news that a raven had stolen an egg from the eagle's nest on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It was recorded on that nest's can see the mother eagle leaving the nest for a moment, the raven flies in, snatches one of the two eggs in its beak, and flies off! It was a devastating moment for fans of that pair of eagles. If the raven had any fans, they might possibly have been cheering it for outsmarting the eagle.

Front cover of The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris, available now from
Finally, with great synchronicity, Jackie Morris, one of my favorite authors and artists,  has just published The Ice Bear, about a raven who steals one of the Ice Bear's cubs and leaves it to be found by a childless hunter and his wife. Both the mother bear and the human parents suffer great loss, [spoiler alert!] the child bridges both worlds, so while it seems as if the raven has done a terrible thing, he sets in motion some very important events and relationships, and at least in this telling, he helps keep one side from killing the other.  


  1. your quilt is spectacular, paula! thank you so much for showing it "in progress".
    i'll have to look for jackie's book, it's been fun to watch its progress on her blogs.

  2. I love the colors in your quilt! It is beautiful.I hope you post pictures of the finished project.

  3. Your quilt is just beautiful ~ striking and vibrant. I love it.

    (Milo and Alfie's mom)

  4. That is such a beautiful quilt - I like the colors that you chose even more than the original. I am not very good at applique so I'm quite impressed!

    The book looks wonderful and when I searched it, I realized that Jackie Morris is the person who writes We Three Ginger Cats Tales! She's an amazing artist.

  5. Wow, this is a stunner, Paula! A beautiful pattern enhanced by gorgeous background fabrics! I honestly can't wait to see how it turns out!!
    Very interesting info about ravens and the book sounds fascinating!

  6. An interesting quilt project. I've been telling myself for several years that I need to make some smaller "novelty" pieces that use different techniques. Usually my quilts grow into monster size.
    I'm intrigued that most cultures think of crows and ravens as birds of noisy mischief [true] Although we admit their cleverness, we don't get excited about their presence as, for instance, when a bluebird visits the feeder.

  7. What a gorgeous quilt!!! Love the design! We are going to get Jackie's book when it gets releases here. The PM is going to send it to Jackie to get her to sign it for her. She loves her! That is how we started blogging. The PM read some of Jackie's books, found her website, emailed her about her prints then Jackie mentioned her cat blog and that set the ball rolling. It's such a small world really.

  8. Your quilt is beautiful..... thanks for sharing.

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