Friday, January 5, 2018

New Art Quilt: Nightlights on the Bay

Here is the third and final (for this season, anyway) Osprey quilt: Nightlights on the Bay. I had scraps left over from When Birds Sleep and Sweet Osprey Dreams and still had more to say, so this is the result. 

I tune into the nest cam periodically to see any birds taking advantage of the air bnb there (house finches, crows, ravens, gulls), but also to watch the sunsets, and the city lights, channel marker beacons, and reflected light. Someone on the SFBayOspreys Live Chat had mentioned "fairy lights," and I kept that idea in mind as I worked on this quilt, hoping for magic.

It came together quickly, waves in strips, alternating diagonals. Photo from December 3. Laying it out on a big piece of cardboard in the studio.


But I felt it needed some calm spots.

I did a greyscale solar print from the nest cam screen shot at night. It was a bit murky. Did a second one and spliced them together. I accept that it isn't entirely clear. I had some trimmed edges left. They looked like waves to me. I sewed them between the strips and frayed the edges even further.

December 5.


I felt it also needed a border to frame it and keep the focus in the center.

December 6, safety-pinned to batting and backing.


I just needed the poem.
Had to simmer that one for a bit.

I knew I wanted to refer to the nest again as well as the lights and connections. I read poetry that month: William Carlos Williams; and two from Black Lawrence Press: Kamden Hilliard, and Jürgen Becker translated by Okla Elliott.

In the meantime, I had some triangles left, so I also pieced a new quilt with flying geese, thinking about migration and the underground railroad and Harriet Tubman. (More about that in the future.)

One December Saturday during walks to two libraries, I roughed out the poem in my little purple Moleskine notebook. Two starts. The second one was closer. I knew it needed one more line, though.


It took until December 30 to finish embroidering the poem and binding the quilt. Used the sashiko style of hand quilting suggesting the waves and the fish scales, again. The binding is purple. I didn't square it off. Larger image on my website here.


down the road
where the nest is
quiet, nightlights
on the bay glowing
in memory, rippling
to all shores.



*
P.S. Richmond has been sighted for several mornings (PDT) now, checking up on the nest! Web cam link here. Photos posted on the Live Chat.

2 comments:

Patricia McGoldrick said...

Beautiful!
Happy 2018!

Alisa said...

Thanks, Patricia! Happy 2018 to you, also!