Friday, 13 May 2016

The Evolution quilt finished finally

I'm so glad I finished it!
But I still haven't got a proper name for it ((

Evolution quilt

I can't say it was too long or tedious, it really was a lot of fun and I am glad it turned out more or less as I dreamed it up (I'm not telling you about all the mistakes ;) ).

The topic of evolution first seemed a hard one, because I take everything literally and can't just come up with an abstraction to represent the idea of development - I need to delve into the paleontological record)). As I mentioned before, I fell for the idea of trying to quilt a fossil, and the "Archaeopteryx Berlin" is probably the most famous of them all as well as the most expressive and dramatic))). Another thought I had was about the birds of paradise which are "evolution gone crazy" (it's a scientific term ;) ). And so it dawned on me to put the two ideas together and to depict an array of modern birds contemplating the fossilized remains of their ancient relative and thinking about the mysterious ways of evolution.

While working I learned the spelling of the word archaeopteryx and some fun things about it. Apparently it is not considered by most scientists nowadays to be the direct ancestor of modern birds, rather a different branch of the extended dinosaur family. Its main differences from birds are his bony tail, from which the feathers grow right and left (birds' tail feathers grow straight from the butt), the teeth in its mouth (or beak?) and the claws on the wings. It probably couldn't fly properly (that must be reason this one had such a dramatic fall).

quilted archaeopteryx

I also came to love all the company sitting around the frame and learned their names in Russian and English. Here are some of them close up.

The first one I made and also my husband's favorite, the kingfisher:

quilted kingfisher


Colibri is the favorite of my younger daughter (I guess because it's the only one with some pink):

quilted colibri

The goldfinch:
quilted goldfinch

The blue tit:

quilted blue tit

The magpie and the golden oriole:

quilted oriole

The green-headed tanager:

quilted tanager

So, the question remains: what should I call it? The working title was "Fallen by the wayside of evolution" or just "Fallen by the wayside" for short. Now I think it might sound disrespectful to poor old archaeopteryx, I'm not sure what kind of connotations that has for native English speakers. If anyone has any ideas, please share in the comments. 

I have to enter it for the IPS National Exhibition by the end of May, and if it's accepted it will be my first show quilt.

I'm so excited to have finished, I'll be linking it up everywhere))


Creations by Nina-Marie

Sew Fresh Quilts


France Nadeau


Fort Worth Fabric Studio

28 comments:

  1. Amazing!! What a beatiful birds and story about the fossil. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Amazing!! What a beatiful birds and story about the fossil. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Now that you know how to spell it you definitely need to have Archaeopteryx in the title of this wonderful quilt, how about Archaeopteryx Evolved :)

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  4. Now that you know how to spell it you definitely need to have Archaeopteryx in the title of this wonderful quilt, how about Archaeopteryx Evolved :)

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    1. Wouldn't it be too cruel to make people organizing and visiting the exhibition to learn it too? )))

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  5. This is gorgeous! Congrats on the finish! Everything about this is amazing!

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  6. Beautiful quilt and such beautiful subjects! Perhaps 'Archaeopteryx Study' or some play on doing a 'Study' since the birds are studying history?

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    1. Thank you, that's food for thought))

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  7. Wow! Your fossil is gorgeous. Your birds are gorgeous (my favorite is the brown one at the top right). Your wooden border is gorgeous. That's a piece of art.
    I like the name proposed by Anonymous, just above.
    Thank you for participating to my Fabric, Thread and Yarn link party. Have a good day!

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    1. Thank you, France, the brown one is called red bird of paradise - when I saw its photo, I thought it would be good to echo archaeopteryx's spanned wings.

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  8. Lena your quilt is so original and amazing! The whole idea you came up with of quilting a fossil is so fantastic! I like the name that "anonymous" proposed too, because it looks as if all your little birds around the frame are actually making a study of Archaeopteryx.
    I never realized how small Archaeopteryx was.

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    1. Thank you Lara, it's supposed to be about the same size as the magpie, although in this posture it's really hard to measure. I tried to make everything more or less life-size, but with the exotic birds it's tricky, because when you read in wikipedia something like "its size is 16-18 cm" you don't really know how they measured and if they included all the tail feathers and the beak))

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  9. What an original and lovely piece. I love idea of all the birds gathered round looking at their ancestor.

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    1. Thanks, I think that's what they are discussing - is it really an ancestor or just a distant relative?)))

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  10. This is truly stunning! I don't know which I find more amazing - the fossil or the detail on all the birds. Great job!!

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  11. Oh wow! that's amazing! Thanks for joining up at TGIFF:) Love the Rosella. :)

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    1. Thanks Laura, TGIFF is exactly how I felt ;)) so I just had to join!

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  12. What about "Evolution Crazy" as the title. In English crazy as a double meaning - both mentally unstable, but also to be enthralled or fixated on something.

    Lovely layout of the surrounding birds with all their different natural positions and colorings.

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    1. Thank you Gwyned, I went through literally hundreds of bird photos to choose the ones that would fit into my layout, it's a pity I couldn't fit a peacock or a flamingo in there))
      Thanks for your title suggestion, I'll consider it!

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  13. Absolutely lovely! I love the textures you've created in the birds, and the ghost texture with the fossil. Awesome work!

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    1. Thank you Julie, I'm glad you like it!

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  14. This is fabulous! The design, the skeleton, the birds, the colors, the quilting - everything about it is perfect!

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  15. This is just a stunning quilt, I love how the applique and the quilting play together and play off of each other.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl, this is one of the things I was worried about - which should be more prominent and would they work harmoniously together.

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