For this collage piece, I used a remnant of very loosely woven wool, black felt, photos of little snowy plovers that live on our local beaches, and hand embroidery. Instead of making it an art quilt, I mounted the finished stitchery onto stretcher bars. As soon as I finished, it flew away to become part of a private collection.
In an effort use what I already have, and to finish or repurpose abandoned work, lately I've been excavating my cabinets and closets for new inspiration. The shibori dyed background which I quilted years ago with the term Solar Power in lots of different languages, was a happy find. The square tiles are leftover bits of hand dyed and painted silks and velvets which I appliquéd onto the gridded background. I love how the tiles seem to be floating on the turquoise grid.
This summer the Threads of Resistance folks put out a call for entry for traveling quilt assembly to protest the ill-conceived border wall meant to keep out our neighbors to the south. I wanted my "bricks" to be windows. In fact, I feel we don't need a wall at all. Asylum, sanctuary, and welcome are sacred ideas upon which the USA was founded. I would rather be proud of our generosity than to be hard-hearted.
I walk along the bluffs at Montaña de Oro State Park to find and watch these charismatic shorebirds with their distinctive bright red beaks and eyes. They create nests with a few pebbles tucked into cracks and crevices on the rocky edges and offshore sea mounts. My job is to watch a nest for 30 minutes once a week and record any activity. (The incubation period--parent sitting on eggs--is a little like watching paint dry, but with a fabulous view.)
However I've learned that standing in one place on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean has many rewards. Other earthlings like whales, sea otters, seals, birds, reptiles, bunnies, and people pass by, and the waves are always mesmerizing. But the other thing I've learned about the oystercatchers is not to get attached! Their nesting success rate is heartbreakingly low. Their eggs get eaten, their chicks disappear. It's why, as a keystone species in the intertidal zone, they are a species of concern.