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NEEDLEPOINT BUTTERFLY

1981

88 x 85

 

In one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books about her childhood as a homesteader, Laura's Pa had finally allowed the family to stay in one place long enough that they actually were about to harvest their first corn crop in their first cleared field. Now the corn was ripe enough to harvest tomorrow, but that day a flock of blackbirds showed up and completely devoured every kernel of corn. But that night the Ingalls had blackbird pie for supper. Laura's Ma, fond of proverbs said, as I remember: "There is no great evil without some small good." (meaning the hearty pie, no doubt). This quilt, maniacally made from a needlepoint pattern, was meant to turn Ma's saying on its head: There is No Great Goodness, without some small evil. For every beautiful butterfly, there was once a caterpillar that ate a lot of leaves, perhaps from someone's treasured ornamental shrub or tree or garden.

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