Two days ago I published an article about using milkweed fibres for quilt batts. Yesterday there was a very interesting news item about another use for the seed pod fibres of this North American plant.
which is a dietary staple for monarch butterflies in the larval stage.
Milkweed with seedpods in my garden
Common milkweed in my garden
Swamp milkweed in my garden
In addition to using the fibres from the seed pods for quilt batts they also have another important application. They are an absorbent that can be used to clean up oil spills! Milkweed fibres absorb oil but repel water and that makes them unique! The fibres are four times more absorbent than polypropylene which is the artificial product currently used in oil spills. Because they are more absorbent this means less material is required making them more cost effective than the alternative. A co-operative of 20 farms has been set-up in the province of Quebec and they will grow 325 hectares of milkweed. Now that there are growers maybe commercially made milkweed quilt batts will be in our future!
Time to head back to the garden, the Gardens of a King that is! I made a block for the corner of the border. It will be surrounded by the green border fabric.
I prepared the corner for reverse applique but prior to glue basting had a look at it. It looks good and it is oriented in the same direction as the two identical blocks within the quilt.
The green border fabric is directional. Notice the little star at the top of the motif; that star will be always be pointed toward the top of the quilt. I decided to give the pieced block a quarter turn so that instead of a cross in the middle there would be an X and this is what it looked like.
I think I like the X so that is what I am going with!
I've also completed another applique flower for this border. This one is wood betony which was used as is a medicinal plant in bygone days. All those little "fingers" on the flowers were challenging. They are far from perfect but so am I so we are a good pair!
To spruce it up and make it mine I added a butterfly and then framed it with a lovely caramel colour print.