Earth Day, the anniversary of the beginning of the modern environmental movement in 1970, is celebrated by 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. Within that celebration is the acknowledgement that there is much more work to be done. Today, humankind has the opportunity to pause and honor our Earth… to start conversations and raise awareness of environmental issues… to set intentions, make plans, and dream big… to think about what can we do, what can we impact, and how we can get started.
In honor of Earth Day, we found inspiration through Dr. Karen Nyberg, retired NASA Astronaut & Engineer and Aurifil Designer. Karen spent nearly 6 months living 100 miles above the Earth’s surface, on the International Space Station. During that time, she had the opportunity to see our planet as few others have, capturing her favorite moments in photographs.
“Seeing Earth from space forever changed how I look at our planet– how I view the creatures who inhabit it and the ecosystems that keep it alive. It heightened my awareness of how we live on Earth and how we use its limited resources. I’m now finding inspiration in those views in my art and in an effort to draw attention to the beauty and fragility of our spaceship Earth. I hope that these thread colors, inspired by hours of viewing Earth from an orbit 250 miles above the surface, will inspire you to create something special.”– Karen Nyberg
Those images would become inspiration for Karen’s Aurifil thread sets and a remarkably unique fabric range in partner with Robert Kaufman.
With the support of Robert Kaufman and Dr. Karen Nyberg herself, we had the opportunity to provide 15 of our Artisans with fabric & thread, challenging them all to create something in honor of Earth Day. We hope you’ll take a moment to browse their works of art and learn a little more about how each maker has been inspired.
Titled ‘When it all Unravels’, Kathy’s piece looks to capture the ever increasing inescapable effects of our climate crisis. Kathy used Karen’s fabrics to create a globe and over laid it with thread painting. The melting water and dying trees were stitched onto soluble fabric and add a three dimensional effect to the piece.
Madeline took inspiration from her sketchbook to create a small wall hanging using Karen Nyberg’s wonderful fabric collection. She combined a variety of textile techniques to create this project for Earth Day.
For Steph’s Earth Day project, she laser cut a world map from two of her four fat quarters, and overlaid the cuts onto the other two fat quarters. She longarm quilted both pieces with 50wt Aurifil thread, one in a straight line pattern and the other in a pebble pattern.
Sarah designed the Cupola Views quilt in cooperation with Karen Nyberg to celebrate her Earth Views fabric collection and the coordinating Aurifil thread collection. The motif is based on the International Space Station’s cupola module, which gives astronauts a 360-degree view of the Earth below.
Sarah is a NASA engineer in addition to being a quilter, and this project was incredibly fun for her personally since she supported the ISS program from 2010-2020, including Karen’s time as a crew member in 2013. The ISS is such a special resource and significant human achievement, and Sarah found it so satisfying to capture a small piece of that in this quilt.
Karen’s quilt titled “The One” features Earth Views fabrics paired with Kona solids. It has an open and airy vibe, letting the visually complex prints float as if suspended in zero gravity. The One was designed to evoke a sense of hope and optimism and act as a reminder to cherish, admire, and protect our planet.
Bhiravi used fabric from Karen Nyberg’s Earth Views fabric line to create this simple, reusable azuma bukuro bag. She followed a tutorial from Coco Stitch to learn how to make it. Aurifil 50wt in color 4644, from Karen’s Aurifil Earth Views Collection, was the perfect finishing touch.
The Green Man; a symbol of renewal, and the natural world, to celebrate Spring and Earth Day 2022. Perhaps a chance for us all to reconnect with the cycles and rhythm of our beautiful world. The piece was created using Karen Nyberg Earth Views Fabric and stitched with Aurifil Thread in 40 and 50 weight cotton thread using free motion embroidery and a little hand stitching. Alison loves how Spring bursts forth with life, colour, and full of hope; She plans to continue to add new growth to her Green Man as he feels like he’s not quite finished!
Sherry made her own pot holder with Earth Views fabrics to add a homemade flair to her kitchen. She used 50wt Aurifil thread to sew and quilt the pot holder.
In Elise’s words: Starry starry night…ooh, I mean blooming night! Are there flowers out there in the universe? I sure like to believe so! If not, at least I can imagine it with this May Blossom squared mug rug. Blooms floating in the night sky. Why not, right? Thread used for piecing: 50wt #2024 and #2785 Thread used for big stitch quilting: 12wt #2510 and #2784.
Ama was truly inspired by the blues in this beautiful collection. They reminded her of denim and she wanted this statement collar to have a nod to patchwork denim. It’s just a great way to jazz up any outfit.
Breaking Symmetry is a quirky throw quilt made with four fat quarters and solids. It was quilted by machine with hand-look quilt stitches using Aurifil monofilament and 50wt thread.
Jen’s son is obsessed with all things space. The Earth Views fabric was perfect to create the phases of the moon rotating around our beautiful Earth.
Jamie was so excited to sew with this beautiful fabric and decided to hand-piece some rollin’ stars to celebrate this Earth Day!
Earth Views fabrics were the perfect palette for fabric napkins and a quilted zipper pouch for this silverware to-go kit.
Rather than waste, create a new way to use your clothing: Earth Day quilted jacket. Porfiria created this upcycled denim jacket using Earth Views fabrics & threads.
We are so grateful to Robert Kaufman for providing fabrics, to Karen Nyberg for providing inspiration, and to our amazing Artisans for sharing their immense and inspired creativity. We hope you’ll click through to learn more about each project!
So what’s next? What can you do to get started? We have a few considerations:
- Participate in the Earth Day Climate Action Summit. Click here to learn more.
- Click here to find a local cleanup.
- Find an organization that inspires you and donate donate donate! We love The Plastic Bank & Earth League International, but it’s important to do your own research and feel passionately about your contributions.
- How to Celebrate Earth Month: 12 Ways to Appreciate Our Planet via Pela
- 6 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day via Scholastic
How will you celebrate Earth Day? 🌎