After a visit to the King Tut exhibit in Chicago, this quilt evolved. I’ve always been fascinated by everything ancient Egyptian: the colors; the jewelry; the way the artisans stylized the subjects; the way they use silhouettes; and portray Egyptian life. In this quilt I’ve taken liberties and interpreted much of what I’ve studied, viewed and read.
My original idea was to have my cat Oreo sitting in front of a pyramid with stylized papyrus ((inspired Tut’s gold box). As the designing progressed, I realized the image of the cat wasn’t working, I extended the landscape, and placed two herons to one side. It was a small challenge to piece the pyramid into the background, it took more time than I thought! I gained new appreciation for the pyramid builders in the process!
I love the shape and the curved stems of the papyrus. I have always been drawn to these stylized flowers. Using a mottled fabric of soft rose, beige and blue, I appliquéd them with my favorite variegated gold thread. The quilting further enhances their appealing shape. The backs of the herons are also heavily embroidered in curvy patterns with variegated threads. The birds came to life when the embroidery was completed. This was one of many exciting moments to me, as the creator.
My cartouche in the upper left hand corner consists of my initials, AHF. The Egyptian cartouche is an ornamental tablet that bears the name of a pharaoh or queen. The rope around the cartouche had magical powers of protection against evil.
The entire quilt is heavily quilted to give realistic texture to all the elements. The edges are bound with the same blue and brown fabric found in the river.
I began the quilting process with the pyramids. Because of the heavy quilting required to give the rock surface a pebbly looks, I spent days and days finishing them. Again more appreciation for the time and skill the real ones took. The sand, fish and water quilting went smoothly when I discovered the SewSlip and used it on the bed of the machine. While quilting this piece I was really “in the groove” with the process. I have a good feeling about this quilt. My husband, Bob thinks it is one of my best. The quilt represents a new direction for me.
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