Image By: WikiCommons
In 1876 a teacher by the name of Ellen Harding Baker went above and beyond her ordinary curriculum of teaching Reading, Writing and Arithmetic and made an extraordinary quilt tapestry of the Solar System to help her precious pupils learn Astronomy. In a recent article in My Modern Met, Ellen is described as having taken the time and energy to inspire her students in the best way she could think of including utilizing arts and crafts, which is that very thing all crafter’s love and that is the art of the handmade quilts through many generations in American history. Ellen was rumored to have spent 7 years embroidering her masterpiece, the entire solar system as she knew it at the time and that she would use the exquisite tapestry quilt as a visual aid for her numerous lectures.
The Solar System Quilt masterpiece Ellen made was 89-inches x 106-inches of pure genius and was made from black woolen fabric and embellished with colorful wool fabric hand-made appliques, and sewn with both wool and silk embroidery thread. It has all the elements that were known at the time, the Sun at the center, the eight planets circling the Sun, as well as a plethora of stitched stars, an asteroid belt, the Earth’s Moon, the Galilean Moons of Jupiter, as well as the Moons of Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus, are also represented as tiny dots. There is a large comet-like object in the upper left portion of the gorgeous tapestry work of art, thought to be Halley’s Comet, which had last been seen in 1835.
To look at this gorgeous, ingenious teaching tool made by Ellen Harding Baker is both humbling and a never-ending source of amazement for all to behold. Ellen must have been a wonderful lady, I only wish I could have met such an iconic educator.
Image credit: WikiCommons
Doesn’t this have you wanting to make a solar system quilt of your own? I am looking for a good pattern now and really want to make one for my grandson so he can learn about the planets at an early age and also be reminded of his Grandma.