In the early spring our backyard is a flurry of activity, with our permanent residents of Wrens, Chickadees, Cardinals and Tufted Titmice, and then with the Goldfinches descending in droves on their way North. During this time, the ambitious little brown bird with an attitude (Wren), is building four or five nests. After this is done, one nest is chosen for the eggs and in which to raise their family.
When our children were small, one of their favorite books was “The Best Nest” by P. D. Eastman. In this delightful story, Mr. Bird sings a song:
“I love my house.
I love my nest.
In all the world
My nest is best!”
But then Mrs. Bird informs him that it is NOT the best nest and so the story continues to indeed find the best nest. However in the end, Mrs. Bird decides that the old, original nest is indeed the best, especially for a brand-new bird!
In constructing my Neighbor quilt, I first used a method for creating a woven background detailed in the April/May 2015 of Quilting Arts magazine. Neutral batiks were woven together and the edges of the strips were stitched down using a serpentine stitch. The birdhouse and branches were fused onto the background and stitching was done along their edges. The five neighbors were embroidered by hand using reduced scale designs from the book, “Wild Birds, Designs for Applique & Quilting” by Carol Armstrong. I used four strands of DMC floss and primarily used the split stitch in combination with a satin stitch on a base of cotton fabric fused to a non-woven stabilizer. The embroidered birds were cut out, the edges sealed with a permanent fabric glue, and then each bird was glued onto the background using the same fabric glue. The last step was to add legs which were painted onto the background.