Homeward bound


This is a quilt for Project Quilting, organized by Persimmon Dreams.

I grew up on a farm a few miles east of the Mississippi River, but still close enough that some of the birds coming down the flyway would pass over our farm. It was marvelous to hear the ducks and geese as they went over. Once in a rare while, they would settle down for the night in the corn field before continuing their long journey. I always wondered where they were coming from and where they were going. 

Between my 3rd and 4th years of college, I worked as a volunteer in a community youth recreation program where a young man from Texas was also working. I really wasn’t interested, as I told his friends, in a “long-distance boyfriend.” But then I found out that he knew where the ducks and geese went, and he told me about the Whooping Cranes. We’ve now been married almost 45 years.

Over the years, we’ve had many opportunities to watch birds as they travel from their daytime feeding areas to their roosts - egrets, herons, ducks, parrots, macaws and many others. We have marvelled at the birds that migrate for thousands of miles in their journeys between “summer” and “winter” homes. 

So, this little quilt, about 17 by 24 inches, is a tribute to the thousands of birds that have made the daily or seasonal journeys and also made our lives happier. It is an improvisation, starting with a scrap from a previous quilt that made me think of an old wall or ruin with the sunset in the background and stylized, abstract bird-like figures appliquéd in gold. I did stitch-in-the-ditch horizontally and added big-stitch hand quilting that reminds me of a gentle breeze.

© Janet 2013