Perhaps you noticed that I bloopered my post for the Artist Village Project? I was scheduled to post on the day I departed for almost three weeks in Eastern Europe. I started the post two weeks prior to that, and having been so ahead-of-the-curve, I felt no angst at all and so forgot to add the finished pictures. I also thought I had the automatic scheduling turned on, but didn’t (on that post and another), so when I finally checked up on things during my trip, I was a bit disappointed with my sloppy efforts. What can I say? The end of the homeschool year, a big trip, and lots of last minute kitchen remodel issues just sapped my brain. So, first day at home with my jet lag, photos of the finished birdhouse are in order.
2) Instead of the paper collage I use for birds on my journal pages, which wouldn’t be so durable, I actually painted in the chickadee.
3) Using a Rub-a-Dub laundry marker, I added the lettering and dark tree by hand. After sandwiching the front with a layer of batting, another layer of heavy Pellon interfacing for stiffness, and a black backing, I outlined the bird, cream tree branch and scrollwork in black thread, then switched to cream for the background quilting.
4) Finally, I cut a template out of paper until I had it the size and shape I wanted, then used that as a guideline for cutting the quilted panel. All edges were finished with black satin-stitching, over 16 gauge copper wire on the outside edges to maintain structure.
5) I used fusible webbing on strips of the black background fabric to attach the sides to the front and back, then stitched over the edging by machine to make it more secure (the final seam was done by hand).
6) The roof was made by stitching rows of real feathers like shingles over a black fabric form reinforced with heavy interfacing. It sits freely atop the house to allow for folding to transport.
7) Inside the doorway hangs a handmade lampworked glass feather.
Remember last fall when I shared a sneak peak of my fiber birdhouse? The time for the final unveiling has come. I agreed to make a three dimensional quilted house to be part of the Artist Village Project organized by Kathy York. Kathy was inspired by the fabulous fiber houses painted and constructed by Judy Coates Perez. I’d also admired them and thought about making a house in my own style, so the challenge to do so as part of a group exhibition was too tempting to resist. I, of course, was deep into Bird Journal pages, so my house became a birdhouse version of a journal page.
The entire exhibit is shown here displayed around the village green, a large green quilt offered by Kathy York as the perfect backdrop to showcase the houses. Along with the revelation of the group display, today marks the beginning of a blog hop to see the details of construction for each of the projects (not all of the artists have blogs, however). Here is the list of participating artists with links and the day their own fiber house will be featured. Check back here for a step-by-step layout of the construction of my birdhouse on May 13.
The birdhouse assembly is almost complete. Yesterday I made a few glass feathers, so that I can hang one in the open doorway.
After all, the Emily Dickenson quote is:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.
Now I just need to choose one or more, wire it and figure out how to hang it.
I’m hard at work, trying to finish the birdhouse by the Friday deadline. Here are the parts, almost completed (a few more paint and pen swipes to even everything out). Assembly ideas are percolating, since there is a request to have it fold down flat for shipping.
Yes, those roof panels have feather shingles. My allergic nose can attest to my willingness to suffer for my art!
I did sneak in a few minutes last night to pen in the continuing quote on the back (now where will I put the final line?) and do the black outline stitching. Now I just need the background quilting and trimming to have both front and back finished. Roof and sides coming up. Maybe I can get those painted today.
Here’s the front cut to shape, so you can get a better feel for where it’s going:
My invitational project involves an artistic village — it’s a collection of houses made by a group of artists who function as a village for one another. My house, of course, is a birdhouse. The invitation for this project was issued in June, with a deadline of early December. I, of course, have waited until almost the last possible moment to get started. It helps that the organizer, Kathy York, lives right here in Austin, so I don’t have shipping issues to worry about.
Yesterday I cut a paper template to approximate the size and shape of the birdhouse. Then I slapped some paint onto fabric. Actually I did another piece of fabric, in icky pastels, before I went to this neutral palette that resonated.
Then I printed out a load of bird images from the web, but decided to paint instead of paste.
Today I added more paint, penned the first part of an Emily Dickenson quote, then started quilting the front, the first time for me to do any machine stitching in many years. My sewing machine acted like my cat after I return from vacation — peeved, craving attention but really ticked at being abandoned. I broke a zillion needles, cleaned and fussed with tension, and laid out lines of uneven stitching that the quilt police would ban, but I got the front done.
Now for the back, sides and roof. Let’s see…at a weekend per piece, I won’t make it.