Nature is a Quilt

Nature is a quilt. Blocks of colors, textures, lines, and patterns that fit together in ways that add up to a whole that is more beautiful, elegant, and even logical, than the sum of its parts. There is a natural patchwork pattern in this parchment fungus (Xylobolus frustulatus).Parchment fungus (Xylobolus frustulatus)

The whorled branches of an Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) create a radial star pattern that is interpreted by quilters in the classic Dresden pattern.Whorled branches of white pine (Pinus strobus)

My first quilting project (in 20 years) is a Christmas tree skirt using a Dresden plate pattern. Here is my first one.Dresden patternWhen people ask me what’s up with the quilting, I say the short story is that I was part of a nonprofit that was formed to strengthen the community through several small programs that were connected like the blocks of a quilt: it wasn’t entirely obvious how these programs were connected, but in the right hands, these programs fit together perfectly. Unfortunately, these programs fell into other hands, and now, those hands have jettisoned every program and the quilt has been torn to pieces. On the bright side, I stuck with my quilting and got two tree skirts out of piecing together bits of fabric; one for my family and one for my amazing sister.Dresden Tree Skirt 11231812_10207997216315249_8549781704611630066_o

At the same time, a close friend was in need of something to reassure her that all the small pieces in life were somehow being held together, so I made her a quilt. I’m not sure where I got this insane idea, but somehow the pieces came together on their own, which I think had something to do with my friend’s ability to connect people in a way that makes our community a stronger, better, happier place to call home. Quilt Front

Quilt backTurns out I’m pretty good at this quilting thing.

I started this entry about two years ago, and I’m just updating it and posting it now. It feels good to complete things (something I am not very good at doing). Letting go of something unfinished is a good way to help take a step in the right (forward) direction. I guess that means it’s time to get to work on my next quilting project, and back to work on my nature blog project. First, a couple more nature pictures… (top: insect larval casings on underside of leaf; middle: laminated cross-section of dog turd fungus; bottom: flower buds of milkweed plant).insect larval casingsdog turd fungusmilkweed flowers