finding the center(s)

‘Proud Bird’ started with the powerful Egyptian hieroglyphic of a pelican.

The parallel lines in the tail were especially strong. I repeated them in the cowl of the bird’s head, giving a kind of Sphinx-like quality to the bird.

I also drew the figure so that the curve of the head echoed the curved color gradient in the painted silk background. The head, the lines, and the curve became the strong center of the little quilt.

Everything else I did after that was designed to echo or strengthen the impression of that center, by building on borders around each component. This process is natural for a quilter; we always start the quilting in the center and move outward toward the boundaries.

The quilt is almost monochromatic, with the yellow-orange-beige colorway predominating, and the turquoise accents limited to less that 25% of the area. The tiny bit of white is very important to the design.

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