Just before my recent trip to Guatemala to celebrate our 25th (!!!) anniversary, I drew a little bird on a bit of cloth, knowing there might be long airport waiting times ahead and that I would need something with which to keep my hands occupied.
The bird who came to alight in my thread basket is a quetzal, the symbolic representation of a country I left behind long ago as a child. I wasn’t sure I’d have the opportunity to see one in the wild, and as it turns out, we were too far into the lowlands for all that. But we did see the quetzal bird in all sorts of other intriguing forms such as money and even dangling from the rear view mirror of our taxi cab in Guatemala City.
While still in the comfort of my studio, I got the stitching started by tacking down a bit of background color (most of which would eventually be covered) and by making sure my thread basket had all of at least the basic colors I might need while on the road.
I worked on quetzal bird a good bit along the way, while also taking the time to do quite a bit of sketching….
Upon returning home, there was still much to finish on my quetzal bird. And so, while catching up at the day job, realigning with all things homey, I stitched here and there to tidy it up.
Many colors were used, bold and subtle alike. I worked off of many source photos, not just one, so that my bird would be like no other, but rather, have a personality all its own, which I think it does.
I don’t really know how many hours I put in on this project, as it was done in fits and starts, with bits and bobs of time and materials, here and there, to and fro…
And I am not even sure if this bird is ‘finished’ or slated to become a part of something else entirely one day (been a while since I’ve made an art quilt….). But for now, here is Quetzal. I am excited to share it with you here in all it’s feathered finery. If any of you are signed up for the embroidery class at the end of April (which is full but we are planning others!), I shall bring Quetzal to show and share as honestly, photos do not do justice to delicate needlework. And I for one, think this quite the gem. (This comes from one not prone to self-congratulatory behavior, generally speaking).
Below is a quick trip across the needled landscape of this embroidery project….