This project is a custom commission for a client. Her space and desire for a pair of quilts dictated some of the sizing and design decisions. She requested both a peacock and parrot of some kind that “had red”, to fit in her space with the ultimate goal of framing them in gold victorian wood frames to match her home. After careful measuring and examining the colors of her home we agreed on a plan to create a diptych of two birds on a single branch. While these two birds are from different continents, it is my feeling they are old friends, partners in mischief in an aviary of sorts.
I chose the Green Wing Macaw over many other colorful parrots, as I was able to coordinate some of the yarn choices between the birds, making them flow better. Also, as one of the largest of the macaw family, the green wing could hold its own against the majestic peacock. Peacocks are a ground bird, but my client wanted a cascading tail…and they do, in fact, roost in trees.
Each bird is created with dense yarn couching. Many types of yarn were used including hand dye mulberry silk, wool, acrylic, and others. At least 50 different skeins were used. The eyes of the birds are made with fimo art clay.
The improv piecing borders are made of a variety of green silks pieced and embellished with Derwent inktense pencils to create the hint of a jungle-like canopy. The quilting is not strictly representational, but it isn’t random either. the areas of design reflect an impressionistic version of sun sparkles, canopy leaves, vines, rays of light and mounded natural forms.
Unusually, these are actually glue-mounted to wood and binding is wrapped around the wood edge. While an experiment, it is a good way to control the warping that so often plagues yarn couching.