I don’t think I’m allowed to not enter the first of the alien flora designs! (Yes, I promise there really are more coming!)
Morsafada (which is a slight mash-up and munging of the Spanish words for walrus and fairy because to me the design looks like both) was a bit of a lark on my Quilt Design A Day journey. I was initially unhappy with the design but then wrote “I only like this design if I think about it as the first of a series of alien flora designs.”
And that just stuck in my brain and would NOT GO AWAY. So for three weeks I designed more alien flora designs, all using the quarter-circle templates by BettyCrockerAss to tie them together. I wrote up little scientific descriptions of each of the flowers, inspired by the design seed for the day. It was a ton of fun.
And then I decided to make one. Even while designing them, I knew I wanted to bring in some e-textiles work because it has always fascinated me. I had to learn quite a bit about electronics to get this to work, but I did finally get the look I was achieving.
The flower stamen are made up of fiber optics, connected to an LED that can change color. The little dark circle in the center of the front is a light sensor. When the light levels drop (presumably because someone is standing nearby and cutting off the light…plants aren’t necessarily as smart as we are), the color of the fiber optics change until the person goes away.
This was all done to reflect the little blurb I initially wrote to go with my flower description. Which goes to show that I should write easier to follow blurbs. Because, seriously.
Most of the electronics are hidden on the back. In the future I’d love to do a design that incorporates the electronics as more of the design, but that I have not leveled up enough for that, yet.
Most of the design decisions on this quilt were made around the alien nature of the original inspiration. The quilting is on diagonal and in two directions to give it just a bit of a not-quite-normal feel, and the binding includes chunks of dark brown which I like to think of as the catalog number of the species.
The Morsafada plant has small pendulous flowers, which generally bloom in late summer to early fall. They are native to the planet Hadu and are prized as decorative plants by its inhabitants.
The stamen of the Morsafada plant change color when approached, so they are often planted near dwelling entrances to give a sense of welcome to visitors.
Dimensions: 24″ x 24″
Fabrics: Konas that were in my stash and unlabeled (oops), background is Spiceberry by Art Gallery
Binding: Spiceberry solid by Art Gallery, Kona Espresso
Backing: Stashed something or other – I cut off the salvage to keep and then my cat knocked the strip off the table and the dog found it and licked it a bunch and I decided I should probably just throw it away.
Electronics: Lilypad Arduino, Lilypad light sensor, standard RGB LED, fiber optics, and a few resistors
Templates: 3.5″ and 6.5″ quarter circle templates by BettyCrockerAss