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"May there be many summer mornings when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;" ~excerpt from 'Ithaka' by CP Cavafy

The first time I visited the coastal town of Opatija, Croatia was 2004. I was struck by the beauty of the Adriatic Sea, the warm stones and blue water. I've been back many times, but it's always like seeing it for the first time.

The "Maiden" statue is one of the most famous statues in Opatija and has come to symbolize the town. Most of Croatia's coastline is rocky and it can be difficult to set ashore. The statue by contrast offers a friendly face to visitors.

The maiden stands holding a seagull, often used as a symbol of the sea goddess Leucothea who saved Odysseus from drowning. Although Odysseus' journey never took him into this exact port, it's said that the Argonauts' journey took them into the Adriatic Sea.

I enjoyed working on this quilt, as I concentrated most of my attention on the rocks around the statue. I cut and layered various batiks and hand-dyed fabrics to create the rocky landscape and statue, a commercial fabric for the sky, and other batiks for the water. Then I added fine details like cracks in the rocks and highlights in the water with hand-guided machine stitching.

Finished size: 40 x 30 in.


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