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The Legend of the Bluebonnet

The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Cathy M. Winter of Houston, Texas

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Techniques Used:

Hot glue gun embellishments and beading (bluebonnets); sheer-overlays and candy wrappers (sun, storm scene); painted & distressed tyvek, Oak tree twigs, silk flower petals (fire), hand-dyed silks and handmade fabric using fibers, yarns, and more candy wrappers (dollsí dresses and bluebonnet fields). Fabrics range from cottons to upholstery, sheers to vinyl, corn husks to silks. Threads include Sulky Rayon, Sulky Metallic, rug yarn, cotton thread, and pieces of other funky fibers.

Artist Statement:

My journal quilt is a story quilt, depicting the poem the Legend of the Bluebonnet:

The Texas fields are covered
With a blanket of deep blue.
But for a little Indian girl,
This would not be true.

Texas land was buried and dry.
Rains just would not come.
Indians danced and prayed for rain,
And beat upon their drums.

The Chief made a proclamation.
He appealed to one and all.
A prized possession must be sacrificed
Before the rains would fall.

The Indian camp was silent,
While each person searched his heart.
But when it came to sacrifice,
With possessions they would not part.

Suddenly a little girl stepped forth,
Holding her blue-clad doll.
She placed it in the roaring fire
and raindrops began to fall.

The rain brought forth the grass,
Among its blades, flowers of blue.
To be a sign for all the time
Of a love so pure and true.
      - Author Unknown

Intrigued by the theme, I looked for an idea I could use to portray the four elements in one single piece. The folktale legend of the Texas bluebonnet seems to do exactly this: Earth being the harsh, barren land of the drought, Fire being the sacrificial flames which consume the young girls beloved doll, Water being the rains that do finally come, and Air being the wind that scatters the ashes of the dolls vibrant blue dress far and wide. After the four elements each play their part, the little girl and her people awaken to find that the rains have ended the drought and the once barren hillsides are magically filled with wild blue flowers. Today, the arrival of bluebonnets blooming in the Central Texas countryside announces that Spring has arrived again.

Additional detail:

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