Today is a big day in the blog. I'm going to share the finished vulture quilt and all of my vulture art! I will also explain how I came to love vultures.
Let's start with the quilt.
I sooo love this quilt! Anne made this for me for my 60th birthday. The original quilt ended at the tan stamped border. I needed it a little bigger for our bed so I asked her if I could add another border and that's what I did. It took me much too long but now this quilt is on our bed and we are sleeping under the protective eyes of vultures. The quilt is now about 92" square.
Anne got the pattern for the vulture blocks from Sally Trude's blog. Sally makes so many great pieced animal blocks and is a very prolific quilter when her feline owners allow.
I decided to use a reversible technique to add the borders. Mom and I took a class from Sharon Pederson many years ago and I use the techniques that she teaches in her book. I bet my Mom has made at least 2 dozen quilts using the reversible technique. I stopped once I got the longarm but it was the way to go for this project. If you notice, each large vulture block has a 2-tone frame. Those frames are made with my Color Wheel fabrics so I knew that I could match those elements of the quilt perfectly and I decided to reference those frames in the border. Each corner of the border uses the 2 colors from the frame in the opposite corner.
She had given me all of her stamping leftover bits and there were 4 that were perfect to use in the corners. By the way, she carved all the stamps and printed the tan border fabric.
At her local quilt shop we were able to find more of the backing fabric that she used. I dyed a dark brown for the reversible sashing strips. All in all, I'm pleased with the added border.
Now, before I share all of my vulture art I'll explain how I developed my love, or maybe just strong appreciation, for vultures.
When we first moved to Montpelier, VA in 1998 I had not lived in a rural setting for a very long time. So here I was on 10 acres feeling like I was out in the middle of nowhere. I just wasn't accustomed to so much nature. Of course, now I feel like I want to be in the middle of 100 acres! But 24 years ago, nature intimidated me. One day we saw that a huge, probably pregnant, beaver had died on the edge of the pond. It completely freaked me out and I kept bugging Chris to "do something about it". He's a nature guy, so he ignored me. Well 2 days later I look out the window and there's a wake of vultures feeding on the beaver. For the first day it kind of creeped me out but by day 3 I realized that I had just witnessed the miracle of nature's vacuum cleaner. There wasn't one tiny bit of that beaver left to pollute our pond. I was grateful and impressed! There have been many times over the years that the vultures have come around to clean up one mess or another.
After that I officially declared the vulture as my favorite bird.
I didn't take my vulture fascination anywhere until I was on Facebook one day and saw a needle felting artist making this. I lost my mind over the detail that she put into each feather. I messaged her immediately and bought it before she even finished it. I immediately took it the a framer and it hangs in our downstairs hallway keeping a watchful eye on anyone going to the bathroom.
Then I added a vulture block to my mosaic wall to watch over me while I'm quilting. Then my friends got wind of my vulture obsession and things started getting out of control.
For my 60th birthday Anne made the quilt for me and our friends from England commissioned this piece from a local artist that they know. Her instagram page is worth checking out.
Anne has also give me these festive gifts. What's Christmas without a vulture ornament? It's very sparkly! The vulture puzzle is really cool.
My friend, Lora, is a collage artist and painter and she's made me several vulture themed pieces of art. Two are Christmas paintings. The collage vulture is hanging in the upstairs hallway and the stamped piece (that she carved) is on the mantle with the vulture puzzle.
I know. It's a little "out there" but the good news is that I'll never be inundated with themed vulture art because there just isn't a lot of it around. Imagine what my house would look like if I said I loved frogs or pigs? It's better this way.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.