I finished “Knock, Knock” last week. Well almost, I need to hand-stitch the facing and hanging sleeve to the back of the quilt. And, it may need a little dab of paint, here and there to add highlights. I’m holding off showing the finished pieces until I get closer to the exhibit in November, but I’m happy to show off some sneak peeks.
If you look at the pictures, it may become obvious why this quilt took so long to complete. It’s final size is 32.5″ x 42.5″. I couldn’t have done this intense quilting on my domestic sewing machine. My workhorse machine for the last few years only has a 7″ opening to pass my fabrics through as I sew. Thanks to the grant I received from the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County I was able to purchase a machine with a 16″ opening which allows me to quilt larger pieces. I’m very happy that I took the initiative to apply for this grant and also very honored to have had the support of so many people while I was working on it.
So, why am I calling this piece “Knock, Knock”? The focal point of this quilt is the ivory-billed woodpecker (you can see its outline in the blue backing fabric and the small flying-version in the stitched detail photos). Many of you know of the pileated woodpecker. Well, the ivory-billed is the widely believed-extinct, bigger cousin of the pileated. The ivory-billed loved bottomland hardwood forests of the southeastern United States. These mature-virgin forests have been greatly diminished from aggressive timber harvest. It’s unlikely that there’s any place large enough that this large bird could survive, but with reported sightings in Arkansas in 2005, there is hope.
Some are still looking for this majestic avian species. For those willing to have hope, they will continue to wander the southeastern swamps listening for a distinct “knock, knock” of the ivory-billed woodpecker as it taps on a tree to call for others of his kind. It all reminds me of the child-like game…”knock, knock, … who’s there?”