The Endeavourers

Last year I signed up for an online art quilt group, The Endeavourers.

Our first reveal date is coming up on February 1st, and our first theme is Nature.

That is such a huge theme and one that is so important to me.  I am just overwhelmed with ideas and choices!

In 2014 I made two large quilted wall hangings (which I have shown here before), running my own photos through filters in Photoshop Elements® to make them look more like paintings, and then using an inkjet printer to print them on fabric.  I bring those along when I volunteer at nature festivals, and they have served as a good conversation starter.  I would have liked to make more quilts like that, but I haven’t done so yet.  I have also done some smaller nature-themed pieces as technique experiments.

Butterfly quilt – photos edited and printed on cloth.

Pollinator quilt.

So here are some of the ideas I have had for this project:

1. Taking patterns found in plants and translating them into quilt blocks.  These are plant cross sections from an old book, but it would also be interesting to do this with seed shapes or pollen grain patterns.

Pages 730 and 731 of The Natural History of Plants, published 1902. Source.

2. Going further with intricate old scientific drawings.  Anything from the 1904 Kunstformen der Natur would be phenomenal.

Okay, who am I kidding?  The only way I would ever produce something like that is if I had it printed on fabric and then just stitched around the outlines.

3.  Sticking with this basic idea but moving back into the realm of possibility, I could take a simpler science illustration and computer edit it to create a piecing blueprint.

From Histoire Naturelle des Lepidopteres Exotiques, published in 1864. SourceIf you like butterflies, go look at this book online, scroll down to the second half of the book, and look at all the gorgeous illustrations.

The same picture run through a “stained glass” filter.

4.  I could take one of my own photos, even a bad one, and use it as a starting point for a nice abstract.

Great Blue Heron, with a “solarize” filter applied.

Zooming in on the burst of colorful plant life in the bottom right corner of the photo above, and applying the “stained glass” filter.

5. Another option is to not even worry about the subject matter, but to focus on using materials from nature, or re-using manmade materials, with the goal of keeping a small amount out of a landfill for a few more years.


Time has flown by since I signed up, and I am not going to get any of these wonderful projects done this time, although I will have a little something.  But I have really enjoyed thinking up possibilities.

Here are all the members of the Endeavourers:

Catherine –   @knottedcotton
Janine –
Nancy –
Carol –
Barbara –
Ruth –
Gwen –
Martha –
Julie –
Maureen –
Tonia –
Kay –
Soma –
Fiona –