New Art Quilt/Open Book: Sweet Osprey Dreams

After spending the summer closely attending to the web camera and finding myself a little obsessed, I found I needed an outlet. All this daily input of watching the chicks grow up, watching the parents feed and teach the babies, the loss of one of the chicks, the eventual seeming disappearance of the other—all of this input had to get stored somewhere, and my head was too full to contain it.

There's an upcoming call for art quilt entries on the theme of "Dusk to Dawn," an aspect of night. Since I had screenshots from the web camera of the birds sleeping, it seemed like a good way to sew my obsession into the theme. The web camera goes to infrared light at night, and I luckily had some black and white images to work with. I started two quilts: "When Birds Sleep" and "Sweet Osprey Dreams." I still have much embroidered text to do on the first, but I've finished "Sweet Osprey Dreams." Abbreviated as SOD, it is what the Live Chat folk (also known as WWOC) wish each other at the end of the day.

The large image is from a photograph I took of the whirley crane, the structure that holds the nest (see this post for details). Embroidered words point out the nest, the nest camera, and the "around the nest" camera. Pandion Heliaetus means osprey. My text says, strangers meet as friends / watching the birds sleep by the bay / sweet osprey dreams.

Sometimes all the things you've learned and all your interests align and combine into one project. Here, I've incorporated: photography, embroidery, drawing, letterpress printing from wood type and photopolymer plates, solar printing with colored dyes, and sashiko stitching for waves (seigaiha) and fish scales (urokozashi). More about sashiko here.

It's good that the ospreys only have family time from March until September, or I wouldn't get anything done. (See last osprey post here.)

Bald eagles, however, breed roughly October through January. I noticed that at night on the North East Florida Eagle camera they wish each other SED (Sweet Eagle Dreams). That's the camera I'm not watching. Really.