This quilt was inspired by a carved rock in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. I traveled there for a trip of a lifetime. The minute I saw this rock, I knew it would become the basis for my next quilt. Our tour director took a photo of me with the rock. There were so many things there among the antiquities that inspired me. On this special rock there were birds flying over and sitting on the heads of the papyrus. I always have papyrus growing somewhere in my garden at home. I love the crazy green full heads that are the ‘flowers.’
I began this design with a background of half square triangles; light blue for the sky, navy and purple for the water, and dark brown for the banks of the Nile. I added a subtle narrow 2 inch border that would eventually focus the viewers’ attention into the central area of the quilt. I fused the birds, papyrus heads, stems and water lilies onto the background, and machine embroidered all of it into place. A large blue heron is the focus of the design, my favorite bird which can be found both at Winona Lake, IN and in Egypt. At the base of each papyrus flower I used a gold printed decorator fabric and embroidered it with my favorite variegated gold thread.
Next came the quilting, all done with variegated polyester decorative threads. The feathers of the birds are fun to embroider and quilt because this creates very realistic detail. Wool batting was used inside and the edges are bound with a light blue and dark brown bias binding on the edge. I hope the public finds this quilt fascinating to look at.
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