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The arrival of Hale-Bopp, Carl Sagan’s literary works and his death, along with the cult suicide becoming a prevailing media event, seemed to be a great mysterious contradiction. It was necessary for me to make something that would resolve the dichotomy of these events. I sat on our backyard rock (shaped like Pilot Mtn., NC my family’s old homeplace) and watched Hale-Bopp through binoculars in a sky chocked full of stars. The comet seemed to be set like a jewel in an immensely full vacuum that was intensely serene.

I squealed out loud when I first saw the Dec97 “National Geographic” for the first time. On page 94 and page 108 were the missing pieces of my design puzzle. There were the stars shining through the comet’s gorgeous tails in perfect fractured symmetry. Then I searched our back issues and found Apr97 and Dec95 issues titled “Orion / Where the Stars Are Born” and “The Hubble Telescope / From Space Time Exposures”. I spread out all the issues on my drafting table and began to select fabrics. Stars, planets, clocks, chili peppers, squiggly wormholes, ancient mosaics, pebbles, the backs of beetles, spider’s legs, even petals and leaves all seemed appropriate in a sky so full of cosmic material. Kaleidoscopic images of stars created from these materials and pieced together became the substance of this piece. This was the first of my quilts to sell in my first solo show at Cedar Creek Gallery. I sent a thank you on the postcard of the show to National Geographic Magazine. The piece and I were published in the April 1999 issue. It was also published in Astronomy Magazine and won an Honorable Mention at International Quilt Exhibition in Houston Texas.

This quilt hangs in a private residence in Raleigh, NC