Kathryn Hickling – Murmurations

My inspiration for this quilt came from where I used to live in the city opposite an old maternity hospital 25 years ago. Just before dusk in late summer and autumn, starlings would start to gather from the local area, they would come in to gather in the trees arriving in small flocks until there were several thousand birds then it would suddenly go quiet and there would be a moment of silence before they all took off together, almost as if somebody had fired a gun at the start of a race. This group would then link up with others in the city and tens of thousands of them would then swirl around in great numbers almost like a living creature in itself. It was amazing to watch and unfortunately not something I have seen in recent years.The starling population has dropped drastically by 70% in recent years, in the UK.
I painted the background of the quilt with fabric paints and also some of the birds I then hand stitched hundreds of small birds onto the quilt before machine quilting around the flock of birds. With a traditional binding in black.
  1. Chantal Guillermet

    I love the color of the background, exactly the color of the sky at Sunset …. and how you’ve stitched the birds : the shape of the flock is like a big bird opening its wings !

  2. Wow that really does remind me of the huge flocks of starlings that used to invade our yard in the fall. Great job.

  3. I love this Kathryn, you have captured the impression of those birds perfectly.

  4. What’s really neat about this piece is that if you look at it from a distance, the flock of birds creates one large bird — wingspan, with a suggestion of its head in the centre…Wonderful!

  5. I can imagine how your fingers must have felt after all that sewing, it adds a lot of texture to the quilt. Well done

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