Sunday, March 16, 2014

Reveal Day at Tangled Textiles

Our theme was 'artistic license' so after reading many definitions of the expression I decided to use my artistic license to depict the Monarch caterpillar, a Monarch egg and a milkweed leaf, the only food a Monarch caterpillar eats. I'd read so much about the Monarch's migration between Mexico and Canada being endangered that I've been in my garden daily monitoring my milkweed and the Monarchs, both the butterflies and the caterpillars but mostly concerned about the caterpillar because it is the caterpillar that is not surviving due to human actions such as the use of pesticides which of course kills the caterpillar. I had that experience myself when a large number of caterpillars had eaten all my milkweed and were going to starve if I didn't get more soon so I rushed to the closest nursery, told them my dilemma and luckily (I thought) thay had a large supple of beautiful milkweed. I bought two large plants, put them in the garden, transferred the remaining caterpillars over to the new plants. Within a few days most if not all of the caterpillars had died. It suddenly struck me that the reason the plants looked so beautiful was because they had pesticide on them! I called the nursery to inquire and sure enough they used Organicide on them. I was told it would lose its effect in a couple weeks. Well, the caterpillars only live as caterpillars for two weeks so they were gone. Fortunately more eggs were laid on the leaves after the Organicide had worn off and I now have many more caterpillars in the yard. Today I enjoyed watching two butterflies fly about in what appeared a very happy flight about the yard. If you made this far, thank you! Here's the story of my quilt now.....
I started looking closely at the plants in our yard, then searched the internet for close-up photos of the milkweed leaf. Then I did a rustic sketch of my idea and did a color version on my Asus tablet. 
I found the perfect piece of hand dyed green fabric in my stash which I used for the leaf. I laid out what I thought would be the body of my quilt. 
I did a few sample pieces of painting in yellow veins but opted to keep it simple and clean, choosing the 'less is more' idea. I did some simple machine quilting and finished the egg with some gold metallic thread to represent the importance of this single egg and the life of the Monarch Butterfly it represents. We need to stop and consider what we are doing to our environment and the other animals when we create and use chemicals in the name of making farming easier, food nicer looking, more abundant and whatever reasons are given for spraying our food fields and yards with pesticides. 

I hope you'll add some milkweed to your yard and help provide a breeding place for the beautiful Monarch.

Check out the other Tangled Textiles "Artistic License" quilts here

To read more about the Monarch and how it is being threatened and what we can do, check out these sites and others:  
               David Suzuki Foundation                                  Monarch Watch

1 comment:

  1. I can only imagine your rage when you found out that the milkweed plants from the nursery had been sprayed with insecticide thereby making them poisonous to the very caterpillars that you were feeding. What a microcosm playing out before your very eyes! I'm happy to hear that your story had a happy ending. Perhaps there is hope for us all. BTW I love the quilt, especially the "caterpillar" border.


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