Sunday, 31 October 2010

It's just an empty cage girl..

If you came from Amy's blog and are looking for my  Blogger's Quilt Festival entry  check here

My bird quilt is finished yay!
A little info, this quilt measures approx 57" x 72" {143 x180 cm}
Made with Laurie Wisbrun's Tufted Tweets and some Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt for the binding. Solids are from my local market.
Hand quilted with vintage white embroidery floss, black silk and Sulky in grey.

It's been horrible weather so I had to take pictures inside unfortunately. This was the best I could do! This is my first {and certainly not my last} pieced backing. I drew more cages on the back used up some left over bits of tweets and added the white  and black because I'd ran out of grey. I love how it's turned out even though the design was quite random.

This quilt has a lot of 'me' in it.  Often I find inspiration in song lyrics, this happened to be the case with this quilt as well. The two lines that kept running through my head were "it's just an empty cage girl, if you kill the bird" from Crucify by Tori Amos. And "all your life you were only waiting for this moment to arrive"  from Paul McCartney's Blackbird. Once I saw Tufted Tweets I just knew they'd be perfect for my black 'ravens' and empty cages quilt.

Quilting is therapy for me, as I know it is for a lot of you out there as well. It offers me the opportunity to have a creative outlet for my emotions and things I go through in life. This last year has been a tough one for me and my battle's not over yet. Five years ago I ended an abusive relationship and it's been a long lasting battle to reclaim my own life and freedom. These birds and their empty cages symbolize these last five years for me.

It took me a while to figure out just how to quilt this but I decided to repeat one of the patterns in the fabric for the quilting {the connected oval shapes} and I added some vertical and horizontal stripes in various widths. 

This orange binding is completely out of my comfort zone! But I've been trying to overcome my fear of orange {I blame football for that!} and I'm really pleased with how it looks!

I love this bit on the back where the quilted cage overlaps the one I drew!

Somehow I feel this quilt's very appropriate for Halloween. Maybe not in a traditional witches and pumpkin kind of way but the colours and the ravens feel very much in theme with the season to me.

Happy Halloween!

x Leila

p.s. The inspiration lyrics for my next two quilts are...."I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ah!" {yup that's the Spice Girls and I'm feeling the shame! ;-)} and it's a tie between "From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen" & "you're my pride and joy etc."


  1. And now listen to me in turn. You have touched me more profoundly than I thought even you could have touched me - my heart was full when you came here today. Henceforward I am yours for everything....

  2. Oh Leila, you poor poor thing. I am glad that you have found some comfort and strength in quilting. Have you read Cherri House has been talking about the same things this week? The quilt is wonderful and I love the quilting with the tufted tweets shapes on it. XXX

  3. I was quite smitten with this quilt before you finished the quilting. And now that you've finished it, I am absolutely in love. Beyond amazing. And now that I know part of your story behind the quilt, I am even more taken. AMAZING work and kudos to you on so many levels. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. I looked for your blog after you left a comment on mine...I was stunned to see that you too are a survivor of abuse. Several decades ago for me and I am thankful each day for the courage to leave. And I love your black bird quilt...especially the quilting! Thank you for sharing both your story and your work!

  5. your quilt is amazing as is your story. I'm glad that you are working your way. I love the quilting and the binding works really well

  6. Love this quilt, it's soooo beautiful! And the hand quilting show off the design wonderfully, both the front and the back!! Lovely work girl!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. Can't wait to see your urban circus quilt.

  7. OMG this is the most fabulous quilt!! Well done indeed! I just love it. ALso really love the pillow at the top of your blog. Just found you through Sew Mama Sew and will now keep up with your comings and goings.

  8. Amazing. Totally, truly unique. Well done!

  9. Lots of really good reading here, thanks! I was browsing on yahoo when I uncovered your submit, I’m going to add your feed to Google Reader, I look forward to more from you.


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