Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Kaleidoscope of Butterflies 22, Pillow Progress, and Natural History Museum

How's that for an all-inclusive title?

Although I've seen butterflies here, they've been too quick or shy for photos. My daughter had much better luck at her house where she found thirty or forty Painted Ladies enjoying the daisies. They look like monarchs or frittaries, don't they?

Orange and black Painted Lady butterflies feed on white and yellow shasta daisies
Painted Lady butterflies feeding on daisies

Lots of beauty everywhere. I started more butterfly blocks but trimmed them incorrectly. Fortunately only a few were lost. Unfortunately the parts I lost are the green background which, of course, is the critical path. When it runs out the size of the quilt is set.

Quilt block units as leaders or enders
Butterfly wing blocks

Until my trimming mistake I'd developed a good rhythm using these as leaders and enders. Obviously I need to pay much more attention before cutting anything. Words to live by.

Enough have been sewn that I'm beginning to have design ideas. The blocks will will take a while to finish. Perhaps they will be done by springtime when their real counterparts reappear.

Our bee continued working on the improv pillows. Because it's so small I straight pinned the layers. So much easier than safety pins! The batting is patched together and the backing is the ugliest plaid. Additionally it's a very rough, coarse weave. Yuck. Inside a pillow is the perfect place for it.

Improv pillow top of nine six-inch blocks made of three vintage men's shirts.
Pillow top pinned

The afternoon passed with wide-ranging discussions while I quilted narrow matchstick lines.

Quilting improv pillow top. Blocks made of three vintage men's shirts.
Quilting narrow channels on the improv pillow top

Here's the finished pillow top.

Improv pillow top of nine six-inch blocks made of three vintage men's shirts.
Improv pillow top of three vintage shirts
finished with channel quilting in tan.

At the next meeting I'll work on the back.

I spent my final day in NYC at the Natural History Museum, location of the first Night at the Museum movie.  Teddy Roosevelt is still hanging around the front entrance - inside and out.

Two statues of Teddy Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History
Two statues of Teddy Roosevelt,
American Museum of Natural History, NYC

I've been before and knew it could be a multi-day visit so this time I headed straight to the Mineralogy rooms. They are dark; photos don't do the exhibits justice.

There were several cases of gold including fabulous leaf golds. The large one, from the Harvard Mine in Tuolumne County CA, is called the Sonoran Sun and weighs 2539.2g (81.65 Troy oz.) As you'd expect these beautiful examples are worth more than their weight.

Leaf gold ore samples at American Museum of Natural History
Crystallized leaf gold in quartz,
American Museum of Natural History, NYC

Gerhard Becker of Sierra County, CA, carved this Bison from gold in quartz matrix.

Bison. Carved by Gerhard Becker. Gold in quartz matrix. American Museum of Natural History
Bison, gold in quartz matrix by Gerhard Becker

Not nearly as showy are the evaporites. These minerals form in alkali lakes of the Great Basin region. Who remembers the old TV show Death Valley Days sponsored by 20-Mule Team Borax and partly hosted by Ronald Reagan? Borax is third from the left on the top row.

White and grey Evaporite samples at the American Museum of Natural History
Evaporite samples at the
American Museum of Natural History

On my way out I saw this ventifact from Antarctica, a rock carved by wind...

Ventifact from Antarctica at the American Museum of Natural History
Ventifact, a wind-carved rock from Antarctica

and hung out with the barosaurus in the rotunda. Paleontologists are still arguing whether or not she could have reared on her hind legs like this {although it makes a dramatic display}; however, they all agree her young one is actually a kaatedocus. {Kaate- is a Crow Indian diminutive. So her name means "cute little diplodocus relative." Who says paleontologists don't have a sense of humor?}

Barosaurus with kaatedocus, American Natural History Museum, NYC
Barosaurus with kaatedocus,
American Natural History Museum, NYC

We left NYC before the latest incident. My prayers go out to the New Yorkers hurt in lower Manhattan yesterday.

Enjoy the day, Ann

InLinkz removed because it was hacked.


cspoonquilt said...

The quilting really gives that piece some shape. love the scraps as usual. I love rocks and dinos too, they are so interesting!

Janie said...

Beautiful butterfly photo.
Your pillow is looking great, the vintage shirt fabric is perfect.
And you got to visit the Museum of Natural History in NY, very fun!
Thanks for hosting Kaleidoscope with Cathy.

Mel Beach said...

THe straight line quilting works well with your quilt!! And I am convinced that the Butterfly is my spirit animal...I go into a trance whenever I see one flit around in the backyard!

Ann said...

Yes, Claire. The no-iron shirt resisted all my attempts to press it flat. I wasn't too fond of the piece until it was quilted. Funny how this simple plan enhances the crazy-pieced top. I had a great day at the museum and enjoyed limiting my exploration to just a small part this time.

Ann said...

She did get a great photo. Most of my family take wonderful shots; mine are always lacking. There are so many places to see in NY; I'd love to visit again and wander through different areas. Thanks again for linking. Enjoy your time with your family.

Ann said...

It did improve the craziness quite a bit. I didn't know it was your spirit animal. So do you have a butterfly garden or is it just happenstance when they wander in? I would be of two minds if they sent me into a trance. Ha.

Karen in Breezy Point said...

Love how your improv pillow turned out--very nice! We have never had so many Painted Ladies as we did this year. I hope we are as lucky next summer.

Monica said...

Your pillow looks wonderful! What is the quilting thread? It has a nice weight.

I don't know if I will get any Moth blocks done in time this month. But, I'm glad to see your butterflies!

Cathy said...

I've seen a LOT of Painted Ladies this year (butterfly variety). Seems more than usual. My husband usually mistakes them for Monarchs. Good luck on getting your butterflies trimmed correctly from now on.

Pillows are interesting. I have yet to try matchstick quilting but will in the future. I'm afraid I will get bored and never get finished if I start out doing it on a large quilt.

I vaguely remember Death Valley Days. We didn't have a TV until I was a little older. In re borax...I make my own laundry soap and borax is an ingredient...borax, washing soda, fels naphtha. Never stopped to think of where borax came from or the 20 mule team association.

Ann said...

Wouldn't that be nice? Hopefully more monarchs will come. They dropped off a bit this year.

Ann said...

It's Gutermann natural cotton sewing thread on 800-900 yd spools.
The month did get away from me, too. I'm not sure if November will be any better - so much to finish for the holidays.

Ann said...

Lucky you. I haven't see many butterflies at all. And hopefully I'll pay more attention to where I line up the ruler for trimming in future.
Matchstick can be a bit boring. On a larger quilt I sew about an inch apart, then come back and halve it again and again until I either like the width or am too tired to do it again. It keeps the quilt from pulling up too much (you know how that happens when tight quilting is next to no quilting.) And makes it easier to stop with an okay finish, too.
Most borax is mined in the western US. Boron CA has a museum and the mule trains, too.

will_uk said...

Hi Ann,

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I loved reading about your trip to NYC and that picture of the Barosaurus with kaatedocus at the Natural History Museum is wonderful!


Will, @brightbazaar

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Loved your post today! Everything was informative! LOL. Really. Loved the dinos, funny. And that gold, gorgeous!

Ann said...

Will, I only found your blog recently. It's delightful. Thanks for stopping by here.

Ann said...

How kind of you to write. I was quite amused by the dinosaur rumpus which I found on other sites. The kaatedocus is such a clever name. As you know, whoever discovers a new dinosaur gets to name it.

audrey said...

Ahh.. there's just something about the wovens in the pillow that speak to me. The matchstick quilting is a perfect complement for the piecing. One is pieceful and the other has energy.:)

audrey said...

Whoops! Meant to write 'peaceful'.

liniecat said...

I so love a good museum so thanks for the piccies to enjoy!
That bison is a stunner for sure.

Ann said...

I liked my husband’s old shirts a lot until I sewed the top. But now that I’ve quilted it, I like it again. You’re right. The peaceful quilting tones that craziness down.

Ann said...

I enjoy museums, too. I wish I knew how he carved that combination of gold and quartz. It seems it would mess up any tools.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

beautiful shots from the museum / butterflies sadly are so sparce and scarce here anymore..a sighting of a monarch thrills me but now I didn't know that the painted ladies / monarchs were different ; will have to pay attention next year :)

Ann said...

There were fewer butterflies here this year, too. I was so glad my daughter had bunches. I'm still learning about different varietie because they lay eggs and eat differently.