Friday, March 25, 2011

Marine Snow

One of the quilts which I entered into the recent quilt show and which I haven't posted about here yet is called "Marine Snow." I also just entered it in a Weekly Themed Quilt Contest here (you can go vote if you'd like to!). I made it as a birthday gift for my fiance, who does research on marine snow. Marine snow is--in his words, the technical terms of a prominent researcher on the subject--"dead crud that sinks."

Here it is hanging in the quilt show.

More specifically, marine snow consists of dead algae, small plants, poop, and other detritus that clumps together and slowly sinks. (I just realized I made a quilt about poop. That's got to be a new low in quiltmaking...) It's called marine snow because it looks a lot like snow (sorry that video is a bit jargon-y, but it has a nice shot of the stuff at the beginning). The reason marine snow is interesting to scientists is that there is a lot of carbon in it, and when carbon sinks to the deep ocean it stays there for a long time. Carbon, as I'm sure you know, is important as a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It moves between the atmosphere and the ocean, and so if a lot of carbon sinks to the deep ocean that means it's not in the atmosphere contributing to the greenhouse effect.

I quilted it with long meandering vertical lines, which are supposed to represent the paths the particles take as they sink, although if you look at them horizontally they could also be waves in the ocean!

This quilt is the "Confetti" pattern from the book StrataVarious Quilts by Barbara Persing and Mary Hoover. His favorite color is teal, so I kept that from the original pattern and just switched out the colors of the "confetti" pieces. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out, although it was a pretty labor-intensive pattern and wasted a lot of fabric (something I am not a big fan of!). And he seems to be pretty happy with it, too!


  1. Hi, just discovered your blog and love your point of veiw, very unique and inspiring. i look forward to seeing where your sewing adventures take you!