Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A correction to my 81 pattern, Milkweed and This way and that

There was an error in the diamond template in my pattern 81 The Giant Monstrosity. It has been corrected so if you downloaded the pattern you should replace it with the current copy. My apologizes for any inconvenience and my thanks to Rita for discovering the error and bringing it to my attention.

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.

That's it for today! Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. Hi Karen
    So interesting to read about the milkweed plant. You sure are moving along on your Garden quilt. I love the faces and the butterflies you have added. Great job.

  2. Karen, you have a way of making everything you work on interesting. Makes one want to make the same things..I guess that would make you a mentor. Love your perception of perfection. It's worked for me many, many years. Thanks!

  3. Thats swamp milkweed is particuarly pretty in flower, and so interesting to think that the milkweed might be used so cleverly for oils spills.
    Loving the fauna additions your including on your Gardens quilt blocks - not a monarch butterfly though lol

  4. I am loving these little blocks! The are lots of milkweed growing along the route I walk in the summer--the scent is so wonderful. Someone needs to bottle it!

  5. Beautiful blocks, as always. Your butterfly on the flower block is perfectly colored.

  6. Its so interesting to hear about Milkweed and all it's uses. I like the way you've turned the circle, it amazing how a slight turn can give it a different look.