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This second medium scale print celebrates the migratory Monarch butterfly whose larval food-plants, the milkweeds, have been depleted to critically low levels by herbicides. The population of monarchs that spends its summers in the Carolinas, undertakes an incredible multi-generational migration every year to forests in Mexico where they overwinter. Plants like echinacea provide them with rich sources of nectar for this journey. As well as Echinacea purpurea, the most common of the coneflowers, this design features Echinacea leavigata, an endangered coneflower native to North Carolina.
Mercia Bees is a smaller scale print in the English Mercia collection, with a 6'' horizontal half drop repeat. It features the short-haired bumblebee, a species driven to extinction in England, but recently reintroduced into specially planted flower-rich meadows in the region of Dungeness. The bees are foraging on clover, and pheasant's eye, a rare wildflower introduced to the UK in Roman times.
This pattern shows English species suggested to me by the imaginary species in Dr Suess's The Lorax. It is organised in an ogee pattern, made of ribbons. They remind me of the double helix of the DNA that determines how we all turn out, every living thing, and of chain link fences, and breaking through them to get out into nature. Some of the Lorax creatures, and my English wild equivalents: Humming fish = great crested newts Swomee swans = nightingales for their beautiful song Truffula trees = clover for the shape and English oaks for their ecological role supporting more other species than any other tree Brown barbaloots = at first I used the silhouettes of European brown bears representing their extinction in the British Isles about 1000 years ago, but that was all a bit tragic. Then I decided to replace them with wonderful playful red squirrels in this design Great great grandfather snail = lagoon spire snail (thought extinct, but recently found in Chichester harbour) Smallish bees = short-haired bumblebees, once extinct in the UK but now reintroduced into Kent
Red squirrel cushion
This unique and lovely patchwork cushion, made by Kate Coleman, features as its central image a red squirrel. The central panel is surrounded by Mercia Bees with short-haired bumblebees, clover and pheasant's eyes, with details of delicate hand-embroidery and a piped border.
Carolina parakeet patchwork cushion
This unique and beautiful patchwork cushion, made by Kate Coleman, features as its central image a Carolina Parakeet. This beautiful bird, once the northernmost parrot in the world, dwindled down to the last known specimen which perished in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918. The parakeet is reaching towards cockleburs, a plant which lent the parakeets its toxicity, so that cats who ate the parakeets died. Also in this design is a yellow-bellied sapsucker, a monarch butterfly with its milkweed larval foodplant, and in the lower right corner, just for fun. the pucker-butt chile, which is the hottest chile pepper in the world, and is from South Carolina.
Grass of Parnassus patchwork cushion
This unique and beautiful patchwork cushion, made by Kate Coleman, features as its central image the Grass of Parnassus, a plant native to the new Amphibolites Reserve in North Carolina. Other details are from the Carolina Posies collection and combine pale yellow and greens creating a fresh and spring-like palate.
Rabb’s fringe-limbed tree frog silk scarf
A delicate and detailed design with hand-drawn illustrations on slate grey with flashes of magenta, burgundy, greens and yellows. It is of an elegant neckerchief size: 60cm2. This vibrant silk scarf commemorates the Rabb's fringe-limbed tree frog and species with which it was found in the Valle de San Anton of Panama. This extraordinary species, which was declared extinct on September 26, 2016, could sail through the air, change colours, and had an incredible way of providing snacks for its tadpoles. To learn more about this species read my blogpost. For every scarf purchased, £20 goes to support the Amphibian Survival Alliance. Sold out but more coming soon, and available on back order.