I (re)Learned a New Word Today

Our brains are amazing! I mean really amazing! And so is nature! I am, well just let me say, past retirement age so I have read and learned so many things that I forgot I knew. The computer that we call “brain” does have the natural ability to remember everything we put into it. The test is our ability to recall or bring it out. This morning, reading a post on Facebook, I saw this photo-10537388_10152196698211316_1564039788177497304_n This is a spiraling Mexican cactus. I love and am fascinated by the cacti that surrounds me here in the Arizona deserts. They are the epitome of surviving and adaptation. Anyway, that is another subject.

I am also drawn to patterns, after all-I am a quilter, and this is one of my all time favorites. As I was glancing at some of the shared remarks, I found one that provided the name of this great  phenomena, Fibonacci. As I followed the link, it dawned on me that I already knew this, I probably learned it in high school math but my point is, I recognized the principle! My brain is still working! And THAT is a good thing.

And I loved reviewing what I had learned years ago and learning even more! Fibonacci numbers are awesome. They are in every living thing. Plants, humans, animals. I am going to try to define it here so I can better remember it-Nature’s numbering system. It is nature’s way of numbering the order of the growth. In plants we see it in the arrangement of the leaves, the petals, the sections that fruit produces. It is natures way of producing the plant to the fullest advantage of its production. The pine cone and the pineapple, the arrangement of the petals on a flower and the seed arrangements of a sunflower all display this natural order.

This is the link to learn refresh your memory about Fibonacci:

http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/emat6680/parveen/fib_nature.htm

Fibona48 IMG_0127

Photo sources and acknowledgements-

The sunflower center photo is from the website link listed. the spiraling cacti photo from my personal photos and the blooming Mexican cactus photo is borrowed from naturalnews.com as shared on Facebook

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January Was Pretty Busy

In January I had the opportunity to go to St. George, Utah for a quilt retreat (Quilt St. George.) But my best friend and cousin (isn’t it great that it’s the same person) and I didn’t go for the classes. Instead we made this trip to view 2 wonderful antique quilt trunk shows by Sandra Starley. Sandra’s website, Textile Time Travels has more information on the quilts I am going to share with you and her collection is absolutely amazing both in variety and condition.

These are just a few of the quilts Sandra shared with the group but they are among my favorites:

Flying Geese This Flying Geese block set on point creates a strong secondary pattern with the red sashing. Made c. 188o but many fabrics are older.

DSC_0008 I love hexagon quilts. This one, done in an Around the World pattern could almost be a “charm” quilt (no fabric is used twice) except for the piece of fabric that Sandra is holding next to the quilt. This fabric is printed in a “printed patchwork” design or more commonly known as cheatercloth and was used to make several of the hexagons. The quilt was made c. 1885.

DSC_0030 This Blazing Star or Star of Bethlehem has my vote. I love several things about it: the blue background really makes a statement, the surrounding stars (which also means that we can call this a Lone Star quilt) and the great skill this quilt maker had. I have seen several quilt tops of this design that can’t be finished because they don’t lay flat and cannot be “quilted out”. Probably late 19th century.

DSC_0013These Flying Eagles are perfect. The twisted wings show the bird in flight as opposed to many other Eagle quilts, shown with straight out-stretched wings as seen here. Applique Eagle quilts have been popular since the early 19th century. The red saw-tooth border adds to the appeal of this great quilt by defining the central motif.

One more, okay?

This one is my favorite because, well what do you think…

DSC_0021 This is amazing! Every motif was appliqued on to this background. The circles are perfect and the proportions are exact.  Made in c.1860, she could have made this pattern up or perhaps saw it on a piece of china. She didn’t use straight-edge acrylic rulers, rotary cutters or design walls. She just cut out each element and stitched it in place.

I think the amount of work that went into making a quilt in the early days of quilting is what draws me to antique and vintage quilts. They tell a story of a woman that had very little free time but used her talents and imagination to create a thing of beauty.

I had permission from Sandra to take these photos. If you want to see and learn more about them, visit her website and ask her permission to use her photos.