I really enjoyed making this block – the toughest challenge for me was deciding on a crown for my blue bird. I went through about five crowns, including chopping up what little Liberty of London fabric I had. A friend actually went to London several years ago and bought little pieces of gorgeous fabrics for me. I haven’t used too much of it yet. I find that the weight and feel of the fabric is different- It ‘s a bit thinner and feels more like silk than cotton. I know Paula Nadelstern uses lots of Liberty fabrics in her kaleidoscope quilts.
I think the butterfly added some interesting color contrast. The birds beaks are little bits of the Australian fabric I buy every year at the Somers, NY quilt show (which is coming up next weekend!). I try not use too much of the that fabric, since the weave is really loose. I mainly use it for bags. I used little white cylindrical beads and a bit of black ultrasuade for the eyes – it is a bit difficult to see them in the photo.
This past Tuesday, a circus historian, William Schnitzer and a former NYU librarian, who is the ultimate researcher, George Thompson, got together with Ashley (Collections Manager at HHS and blog assistant) and I, to dig deeper into Hannibal’s past. I think we now have about six more articles on the escapades of that poor elephant. Hannibal was an Asian elephant who was brought to the United States at the age of 12- He had quite a temper and was notorious for his tantrums- he was known to have killed at least one man, several horses (especially ones he did not like) and raised havoc in countless cities across the country. I will have a map of all the places he visited this coming month.
I will post the newspaper clippings, as well as their transcriptions, in the History section of the blog. I will start putting them up this week.
And thank you Mona, for your inspiration –