Saturday, October 4, 2014


This week our yard was filled with the flight and songs of the local birds.  They swooped past the deck with amazing grace and speed.  One hummingbird made it into the house, flying aimlessly among the upper timbers of the living space.  Opening the french doors, I waited patiently for it to find its way back into the open air.  An hour later, after what appeared to be a nap on one of the timbers, it happily found the open doors and flew off. Our cat was bitterly disappointed.

While the "Road Series" I've been working on deals with the physical and emotional roads we travel in life, I began to think about the paths birds take.  I had worked with this theme earlier when I created "Southern Flight".  

"Southern Flight"  10" x 10"  Lori LaBerge
As I look back at this piece and its meandering lines, I can see that the road series was beginning to develop.  

I researched and found four major migration routes birds take.  They are the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific routes.  Here is how the piece is developing so far:

Various grids were sketched out.  The sketch was divided into five sections, four for the routes, plus a side section to the left. There were choices to make as to size and placement of the sections.  I usually draw out a few (sometimes more) variations during the design process.  It doesn't matter during this process if things feel right or wrong, the idea is to get a starting point.

Migrations routes were drawn into four of the sections.  As they are separate routes, the lines within each section do not connect to another section.  I wanted something related to the birds and their flight to go into the left section.  Since they fly from one home to start another, I decided on an abstract nest.  A rough sketch in a circular form gave me an idea of what size it needed to be. 

While drawing onto the linen, I changed the lines in the upper right section as in the sketch on paper, there seemed to be too much space above the lines.  The nest will be hooked randomly, so there was no need for a concise drawing of it on the linen.

Colors were decided upon.

The earlier sketch was placed into Photoshop for color placement.  I'm debating on using the medium taupe on the migration routes or changing it to a lilac with the color behind the nest being a herringbone gray.  The striped area under the nest will be filled with small washers hung from strings of yarn or string.  This will probably end up looking different as the hooking process progresses.

I searched the studio for various materials to use for the nest area.  Scrap materials from the studio are often placed outside for the birds to use. They find these fairly quickly and I've seen signs of them in nests that have been left in our birdhouses. Yarn, sisal, string and paper strips will be added to the work.

On another front, Line DuFour sent e-mails to participants in her project Fate, Destiny and Self-Determination.  She mentioned a write up in Hand/Eye Magazine online. See it here.

Allow for new ideas to develop by sketching out options and have a great day.


  1. Dear Lori,
    I have recently been introduced to your work and I admire it so. The migration route piece is extraordinary. Thank you for your discussion of the process of design of this piece. Fairly new to hooking, I admire that willingness to share your thought processes. I am currently waiting to register for your class (Registration starts in an hour!) at Sauder Rug Hooking Week. Thanks again for your blog.

    1. Thank you so much, Paulette. I'm looking forward to the class and a great time discussing and creating together.