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Friday, March 12, 2010

Butterfly project

Several weeks ago I read an article in our local newspaper, by William Denton, about a synagogue here in Connecticut that was collecting handmade paper butterflies to send to the Holocaust Museum Houston. The museum “is preparing an exhibit of 1.5 million butterflies to represent the number of children who perished in the Holocaust.” The exhibit is currently scheduled for spring of 2013 and according to the article the museum currently has 400,000 butterflies. The article went on to quote a poem “The Butterfly” by Pavel Friedman, who was born in Prague in 1921, deported to Terezin ghetto and concentration camp in 1942 and later to Auschwitz, where he died in 1944. In the poem he describes seeing a single butterfly.

The last, the very last.
So richly, brightly, dazzling yellow . . .
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly way up high . . .
For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto . . .
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one. Butterflies don’t live here, in the ghetto.

I love butterflies, I always have. I think they show us just how beautiful and fragile life can be. So I am sending some quilled butterflies to the museum. The butterflies I made are from 2-4” across and I used ¼” and 3/8” strips. I did spray them with Stiffen Stuff to make them a little sturdier (is that a word?) since I don’t know how they will be displayed. I put a note in my calendar book to start checking back with the museum’s web site in spring 2013. I can’t even imagine how great this exhibit will be with 1.5 million paper butterflies, but more importantly those butterflies will help us remember the children they represent. Perhaps some of you will also be inspired to send some along as well, please let me know if you do. The web site for the museum is www.hmh.org , here is a link for the Butterfly Project . The address for the museum is Holocaust Museum Houston, Butterfly Project, Education Department , 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004 If you live in Connecticut, you may send your butterflies (by June 30) to Temple B’nai Israel, P O Box 61, Willimantic, CT 06226 where they will be displayed at the temple and then sent on to the Holocaust Museum.

17 comments:

Cathy said...

I saw this story a few years back and sent off a few quilled butterflies that I had made. I keep wondering how they are getting on towards their target.

Quilling with Whimsiquills said...

This was the first I heard of it . . . I'm so glad there will be quilled butterflies as well.

Helen said...

These butterflies are beautiful!

elizabeth said...

I had never heard of this project before and now plan to send some of my own quilled butterflies. How wonderful to be able to contribute to such an important memorial. Thanks for the information!

Rosie said...

That's amazing, I do hope they get to their goal.

Rosie x

Karilyn said...

I've never heard of this project before, but it does seem appropriate. Butterflies were the first quilling project I ever made. In fact, that's what got me interested in quilling. (I still have the original one here somewhere.) Right now I have several of them downstairs to be sold, but I will save some to send off to the museum. Thanks, Pat for giving us the address to send them to.

Inna (Crafts, Kids, Quilling) said...

I've never heard of this project before, going to make a quilled butterfly. Thank you for posting this.

Quilling with Whimsiquills said...

pdavis25
Wow! What a response this post brought! It only reaffirms what I have always said; quillers are generous caring people; it sounds like there will be lots of quilled butterflies for this exhibit. Thanks to all of you.

Philippa said...

These butterflies are really beautiful, and I like the techniques you have used to create unusual wing patterns.

Jill said...

Pat I had heard about that before and forgot. Thanks for reminding us. I will send some. I always have butterflies laying around.

I'm Toni said...

Pat, your butterflies are beautiful! Thanks for making us aware of this wonderful project.

Dinithi said...

Thank you very much for sharing this... It's the pictures of your butterflies that got me to read it... I'm not a quiller, but I can send origami butterflies and ask others to send too

Quilling with Whimsiquills said...

Thanks so much, all of you who have decided to send butterflies; i am sure they will be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I have been to Germany. While I was there I went to of the camps. It was so gray and sad. Some colorful butterflys at that museum.

komnatachista said...

Pat,
I attempted a butterfly like one of yours. It's a lot harder than it seems to make it look as beautiful as you did! These are lovely. Keep up the good work!

Teddie Seeley said...

Pat,

I just ran across this posting and I am so happy to hear that this hasn't happened yet.

I too plan on contributing to this worthy cause.

I had noticed a listing for a "holocaust butterfly", in Dema's album, and had wondered about that, thinking it had been a private memorial for her, now it makes sense.

Pat, I really like the butterfly patterns that you designed for Paplin's Quilling kit and poster here.

This should be listed or relisted in the NAQG newsletter.

Thank you,
Teddie Seeley

shriya kolipaka said...

Ausome keep it up