What a great theme to get started with!
"All the animals, plants, rocks, etc in the world and all the features, forces and processes that happen or exist independently of people, such as the weather, the sea, mountains, the production of young animals or plants and growth..." Cambridge Dictionary
I liked the idea of the drama of forces of nature, and I thought of the phrase "Nature, red in tooth and claw" which would have lent itself to something interesting but possibly rather gory! But nature to me a source of happiness and interest, so I abandoned those lines of thought and I'd been mulling over various ideas when I looked out of my dining room window and saw a beautiful male blackbird sitting in a very healthy Cotoneaster bush, covered with red berries, which is in the garden below. I live in the city, and I love that even among all the buildings and industry nature is all around!
So that, right there, was my inspiration and here is my blackbird sitting in its cotoneaster on a winter day, representing the natural world.
I decided to make the most of the wintery sky which is made using curved piecing, heavily quilted, and the blackbird and branches are raw-edge applique, which was then free-motion embroidered to add detail and fix it in place. Apart from the winter sun which is pieced with gold silk, I used shot cottons from Oakshott which are ideal for works like this because the different warp and weft give subtle variations in colour rather than being solid, and this quality is perfect for anything from the natural world. The centre of the blackbird's eye is a small black bead sewn on with white wool thread to make the eye sparkle.
I wanted my image to be stylized rather than hyper-realistic so I have not filled in the fine detail in the image but have left it so that you can mentally join the dots. In the past I have done a fair bit of printing and I'm drawn to more graphic images.
There are no 'new-to-me' techniques in this quilt so it wasn't very adventurous, but my quilts have more often than not been abstract so it's been good to make something pictorial!
Please do visit The Endeavourers - you should be able to find all our works together by the end of today, and from each post be able to visit each participant's own blog for more detail. I'm really looking forward to seeing what inspired everyone, and how they interpreted the theme.