Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: MARDI GRAS

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It's the week of "Fat Tuesday" and the crazies are out in full force. Now, I say that with lots of love: most of my extended family is out there sitting on the side of the road, drinking, eating, laughing and partying.  
Green Rock Candy- LimeIn Western Culture, the color purple is a symbol of wealth and royalty. People that rule places are often seen wearing the color purple. It is sometimes seen as artificial because it isn't often seen in nature.   Purple is also the color of mourning widows in Thailand.

I don't really know what these little golden nuggets of awesomeness are, but I need them.

Some of my folks are in Lafayette, others are in New Orleans, and still others went to the annual Courir du Mardi Gras.  I'll explain that later.  For now, I'd take advantage of the fun times and find inspiration in the colors: purple, green and gold.  

Mardi Gras MaskMardi Gras is essentially the last big party before the Lenten season begins.  Since Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last day that one can get fat, have fun, drink, and party.

Hand made Mardi Gras Mask by KRea11 on Etsy, $69.95  Lent is the time of year in which we prepare ourselves for Easter and that includes penance and sacrifice, prayer and good works.  Some people like to "live it up before having to give it up" and others just enjoy the costumes, the floats, the carnivals, and zaniness of too many nuts in one place.

One of my favorites are the masks, which can be small works of art.

Hand made Mardi Gras mask by KRea11 on Etsy, $89.95Mardi Gras mask in gold and pink Love The Mask  :)

Because I like fabrics and anything to do with sewing, I really appreciate the costumes, especially those that the kings and queens wear.  
Mardi Gras costume I think I could pull it off!!!

Mardi Gras ball costume. Not really the theme I was going for, but overall the idea!

Can you imagine wearing those mantles?  Would you believe that I found a parade of quilts in the mardi gras theme?  Goodness, I did not expect quite so many.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

"Masquerade"  by Birgit Schueller of Riegelsberg, Germany won Best in Show at Northwest Quilting Expo 2012
Rhapsody Song - spacers between bargello strips gives a stained glass look and helps deal with the bulk of seam allowances too

Tufted Tweets in Diamonds (Reminds me of Mardi Gras)

Mardi Gras quilt I saw at a quilt show.

Handmade Queensized Mardi Gras Quilt by TheMidnightHoneybee

Essence of Mardi Gras Quilt by CarolynsQuiltsGalore on Etsy, $450.00

This quilt was paper-pieced for Mardi Gras.

Mindy's Mardi Gras queen size quilt, made by me, Cindy Garcia.  An original design.

And so what is the Courir du Mardi Gras (Mardi Gras run)?  I'll give you the short version, but go to The Advocate Online for a great article that details the rules and history.  The Mardi Gras Cajun tradition in Louisiana in which riders on horses travel from one house to another begging for the ingredients of a gumbo.  The people of each house donate different ingredients, including the chicken.  Those chickens are live and, in the interest of fun, the chicken is set loose.  The (now drunk) riders chase the chicken and the hilarity is part of the entertainment.  
Nick Latiolais celebrates after catching a chicken during the Church Point Courir de Mardi Gras Sunday.
From today's  Advertiser online newspaper
Eventually someone catches the chicken and the riders move on. Once all the items are gathered, they are brought to a central location (the town square or festival grounds) and put into the gumbo.  There's usually lots of entertainment--music, parades, costumes, food and festival--and the riders finally have their gumbo.  In times past, these were small festivals and everyone shared in the gumbo.  Today, they are huge, drawing in thousands of festival goers.  The gumbo (and everything else) costs and is likely to be made by someone other than the riders, but that may be a good thing.

Happy Mardi Gras,

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