Monday, January 15, 2018

Quilting patterns found in a museum

We explored the Denver Museum of Science this weekend. My husband is a scientist and I have a lifelong interest in science, I was a Biology major for my first two years of University.
We went this weekend to see the closing exhibit of S. American Dinosaurs but that post is for another day.

Note the sign above mentions change... my word of the year. On this trip I was reminded the Earth is constantly changing. The weather patterns are changing, affected by human impact on the earth. Before humans, the earth was formed along with the solar system, since then the continents that float above a magma layer, have been moving and breaking apart.
They still move, at about the speed of fingernail growth! They should rejoin in a few million years.

We all must adapt to the changes we cannot control. We must seek to protect the earth best we can too.

As we walked around the museum, I began to see quilt patterns every where! I took a few pics to show you...
 Oooooo  I've seen quilts done of pentagons.... I like them grouped and regrouped... I also like the irregular sizing a lot. How about you? Prefer regular interlocking ones? Or like me, do you enjoy random shapes creating orderly pattern over all? 

What is this thing? A fossil...
 Ain't nature grand?
 how about attic windows?? 
 this pic even shows the shading, and sashing. Have you ever made an attic window quilt with a scene behind it? 
What the heck is this???
 A log cabin ham? 
we wandered into the mummy exhibit and saw this...
 a vulture mummy... I mean... why? Doesn't matter, here it is. This exhibit was not labeled as well as the ones at the Smithsonian so I do not know the provenance of this but it was amid other mummies from a tomb. 
I bent down and said to DH, LOG CABINS!
 And we looked and looked trying to figure it out. Another patron came over and said, "gosh, look, she's right! I never would have noticed?!" 
My eyes go to pattern all the time! And for Pharoah's sake! Who would expect this? I still have no idea but it was a cool surprise. Next to it was a woman, tied up in linen and resin forever... wonder if she was a quilter back then? Heehee, now there's a connection!

how about a drunkard's path?
 Or a modern abstract quilt? I plan on doing something from this photo. I love the perspective and the lines. 
The simplicity of lines. A partial curve intersected by angles, quilting lines and very subtle color change. 
Can you see it? I do!!! 

Did my husband notice? Nope. 

What about triangles, and pinwheels? New to modern quilters? I don't think so... these were in the Native American exhibit...

 I love them. I love the strong diagonal line of sawtooth triangles. The subtle color change, the defining line under each row of triangles. I also love the pinwheels with underlining in dark colors. And the snowflake like pattern reminds me of bear's paws. 

I have a basket almost exactly like this!
 The family got it in Cherokee NC on a family outing when I was a young thing. We had a home in Maggie Valley, up on a mountain, and spent a good amount of my formative years going there. 
I love the strong graphic elements here. The underlying color change creating strong vertical lines. The diagonal squares crossing that but connecting the open squares on point. 

and as a young twenty something I took an Appalachian basket making class and made lots of baskets out of cane and found vines, and yarns. I haven't found them in the boxes yet and truth told, I'm afraid they could be broken. I hate the moving process. 

Of course there is a quilt design called basket weave, possibly a variation on log cabin? 
 When I told Shannon at http://imworkingonaproject
 I saw the dino exhibit, she said she took many pics of dinos here to help her in designing her dino quilt. It's the header of her blog... she's also a scientist and her work-woman-ship is astounding in details. 

Now for applique... what about realistic landscape quilts? 
 Ahhhhh, will you try for realism or abstract a scene? Follow existing lines from a photo or more impressionist style? Will you leave out certain elements, change the proportions? 
 If you take a photo you can crop it for yourself. 

Personally I chose this one to show because I like the city and lake, off to the side, and the shadow of mountains in foreground, with snow capped mountains in back. I love the sidewalk intersecting, almost underlining the image. The curve leads my eye into the scene. I might wonder if it's sunrise or sunset? 
Does it have a mood? Does it remind you of a feeling? Does it feel peaceful? 

 Compare it to this image.
 Changing the horizon line. Still a sidewalk intersecting the image, still a citiscape. The buildings play a stronger role here. You still feel the distant mountains, you still see a sky that could be starting or ending the day, you still have perspective. You still have fore ground and distance. I love this image too. 

Perspective... good in art, good in life, right? 

linking to
 Free motion by the River Tuesdays   
Our World Tuesday

Main Crush Monday
the mop link party mondays
sew can do mondays


  1. you are right... patterns everywhere, we only have to see them... a vulture mummy? that's strange but I would love to see it ;O)))

  2. Hi LeeAnna,
    Attic window! it's on my list of things to try!
    First I have to find a view!
    You view today is just like Calgary!
    A good perspective will take you far in life!

  3. Always interesting how you see patterns in things.

  4. I notice patterns sometimes, especially in tile floors. Perspective is something I need to work on. :-)

  5. You always amaze me with your observations of your surroundings and environment. I do notice things more, but haven't learned to translate my observations to design. Glad you are getting out to explore your new universe. Come spring you must visit the Denver Botanic Garden. If I lived there, I would have to get a membership so I could go anytime and just sit among the gardens, drinking in nature and the flowers.

  6. Thought you were showing us a fossilized quilt in the first photo until I read better-ha! Isn't it interesting how once we pick a word for the year, we also tend to notice it everywhere just like your patterns. Beautiful views in the last photos you shared, I simply cannot decide which one I like better.

  7. I am so glad to suggest that museum. I haven't been there in years since the kids were little. Nice view of the mountains. Another small museum is the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden straight west on I-70 to the foothills. Its a small quilt museum, but usually has good displays. There is also a nice quilt shop in Golden. Sharon

  8. Amazing how we identify quilt patterns where others cannot see them. It makes me think how really we may miss so many things in life because we haven't had a specific life experience or training. Thanks for sharing beautiful pictures and funny comments (log cabin ham :) )

  9. Looks like you had an interesting visit. That view from the museum overlooking City Park and it's lake toward the west is one of my all time favorites of Denver. Even in winter. But it is especially lovely when the landscape has more color. Stay warm today.

  10. Lots to think about! Reminded me of the Sistine Chapel, where everyone else was looking up at the ceiling paintings, while I was looking at quilt patterns in the tile floor. I even designed a block based on the ceiling in a cruise ship bar. Pattern everywhere, if we only look.

  11. Thoughts on change and a lesson on perspective or was that lessons on change and thoughts on perspective? Whichever!! You got some really great photos at the museum. Looks like a fun place to explore!

  12. Great pictures. How cool the mummy wrap. All the different things you see that are so inspirational, whether it is the color, the texture. Love the stairway and the arc. Reminds me of an Escher. The city skyline with the mountains in the background, will be fun.

  13. What a great post-a log cabin mummy-cool. Native American pinwheels-who knew? The Drunkards Path photo is nice-so many curves and abstracts. At first I preferred the second landscape photo, but then I felt it gave the city too much preference over the mountains, so I'll go back to the first photo as the best feeling. Thanks again. mary in Az

  14. Wow! on the log cabin mummy; and the fossil is brilliant!

  15. What an amazing post! I see quilting designs everywhere, too. Love the Log Cabin Ham! It reminded me of when Amelia Bedelia "dressed the turkey" by sewing a little outfit of clothes for him. :-)

  16. Cool observation! How we are all inspired by what is around us!

  17. Yes, it does look like a log cabin ham. I have taken so many pictures over the years of floor and walls and carpets, thinking they would be good for quilting designs.

  18. The power of serendipity. Connections are there everywhere if you only pause to listen and look. I've always been a sucker for geometric patterns. They are found in so many cultures.