Flight Pattern A local artisan's fowl play makes us smile.

By Kimberly Uslin



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How did we hear about Baltimore-based textile artist Jen McBrien? Let’s just say a little birdy told us—or, more specifically, a Dark-eyed Junco, the star of this stunning decorative pillow from McBrien’s “Bird Party” collection. Like much of McBrien’s avian art, the sweet sparrow is entirely free-stitched, meaning it’s “sketched” using a sewing or freehand-stich machine without the use of a pattern. The careful strokes are reflective of McBrien’s fine arts education: Though she has a degree in painting, she says she tired of the medium and turned to textiles, and then to birds, after becoming enamored with the chirping citizens of Wyman Park. “I love their attitude,” she says, “how loud they are, how they act like they own the place. They feel just as much at home in Baltimore as I do.” Catch McBrien’s work on Etsy and at craft shows across the region. $85, etsy.com/shop/jennyjen42

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