I belong to a quilt guild in Little Rock called QUEST Quilters. There is an annual challenge to members to create a quilt using a given theme, or a particular fabric; there are other specifications sometimes.
This year's challenge was to make a landscape quilt that included a tree and a bird; minimum size was 20" x 32". The quilt had to be complete (quilted, bound, and labeled) by the December meeting.
Sometimes I don't participate--but if the theme grabs me, I usually jump in. I'd never made a landscape quilt, so this got me interested. As a jumping-off point, I knew I already had my bird!....a parrot I'd copied from a calendar illustration. I had made templates and assembled the parrot's body, wing, tail, and feet--even including a bias strip branch for him to perch on. He lived up in the corner of my design wall for years! (The ideal pet....so quiet!) I decided to put my parrot into a tropical setting, so I looked at some art prints by Paul Gauguin, who famously spent (or misspent) time in Tahiti. Using a good print of 'Tahitian Landscape' as my inspiration, I set to work, figuring I could whip this piece out in a week.....
Of course, I had wildly underestimated how much time it would take, especially since I added thread-painting to give the grasses texture. This piece uses raw-edge applique, turned-edge applique, crayon color enhancement, dense quilting, and is entitled, "Paul's Pet Parrot in Paradise....with apologies to Monsieur Gauguin."
(If you look up the original, you will see that I took a lot of liberties--it isn't, after all, a copy. I'm satisfied with the piece and consider it was worth all the time I put into it. Now, back to my previously-scheduled quilt projects!