Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't Fence Me In - Barbara

"Don't Fence Me In" - Barbara

24 1/2" X 20 1/2"
Pieced, raw-edged fused applique, 
machine quilted, paint stick shadows
and button, ribbon & yarn embellishments.

When I first looked at the challenge photo, I like some of you, was immediately struck by the starkness of the scene.  I read all the comments by other members of "IT!" and how they were struggling with this scene due to lack of color and that is when my idea blossomed.

I choose two  colorful fabrics and pieced and  quilted them for the background.

I went online and found birds that were native to Indonesia and drew them out.

I added the fence straight across and then the blue bird of paradise is the bird that needs to open the gate by pulling out that stick freeing all the color into the scene.

I broke the piece into three sections because I felt the photo had done that with the two white edges and the center fence.
This is when I quilted the fused pieces, added the embellishments to make my birds into quilters and used the paint sticks for the shadows of the fences.

Last was the binding.

The only disappointment that I had....I should have brought the colorless sections (seen on the side pieces as black and white leaves & fence and the beige ground) further into the center of the quilt.  I do not think it is effective and may even go unnoticed.  It is a fun piece and I enjoyed working on it.


  1. Your humor tickles me ... "hee, hee, hee"... The lusciousness of colors in the foliage and exotic birds is wonderful.

    My first thought was that these must be "sewing birds" ... a play on the implement that becomes a sewers third hand.

    You're right I didn't take note that the side panels featured a lot of B&W until you mentioned them.

  2. The injection of color was a great embellishment, especially the choice of pink. I didn't immediately notice the black and white but it gives the effect of the color being sucked towards the middle-very effective effect:) I like this interpretation a lot-very you!

  3. Yep, didn't notice the black and white till you mentioned it. Not that I think that makes the piece any less spectacular. I love the whimsy and the color.

  4. You continually impress me with your work! This was a great way to use a large scale print effectively; they are always fun and then it's like, "OK, what do I do now?" Giving the birds personalities is just so lighthearted and whimsical--I love it!

  5. It's wonderful the way you've changed the whole mood--from stark to fresh and garden-like. I love the triptych structure too; that really sets this apart. Lovely!

  6. A lovely interpretation - just wonderful! I like how you started with a colorful background and then built the gate/fence on it.

    The birds are brilliant!

    (That print has me thinking about going to the fabric store...)

  7. Gosh Barbara, you continually knock em out of the park. It's as if when the blue bird pulled the stick out, the scene came alive, like when the movie The Wizard of Oz goes from black & white to technicolor. I too like the triptych. Outstanding!

  8. Whew! I am relieved! I was in a strange mood this month and just went ahead with this idea. I am happy you all enjoyed it as much as I did just free wheeling it. I may just keep this hanging in my studio to inspire me to stay "free"!

    I did want to apologize for my hanger....did not have an appropriate sized hanger so just hung it with this one just to photograph it.

  9. WOW! You really made this one shine!! I noticed the B&W right away, and like how the color just begins there and then the center panel is just so FULL OF COLOR and LIFE!! Excellent excellent work!!

  10. What a happy and fun piece and I love that you created it as a triptych.

  11. This piece is absolutely beautiful! It feels to me like being inside a thick foilaged - almost rain forest - area with birds and flowers happily brightening the day with song and beauty.

    Excellent work. I will refer to it often for inspiration.


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