Edmund Halley and the Dinosaurs by Rebekka Seigel is a quilt featuring a comet with the face of Edmund Halley and a number of dinosaurs surrounding the comet. Edmund Halley is the astronomer and mathematician who was the first to calculate the orbit of the now-named Halley’s Comet. Halley’s Comet is one of the most famous comets, returning to Earth’s vicinity about every 75 years. One popularly accepted theory to explain the extinction of dinosaurs is the impact of a comet or asteroid on Earth’s surface, possibly in the Yucatan Peninsula. Edmund Halley and the Dinosaurs is a whimsical play on the Halley as a scientific figure and this impact event.
Seigel is a textile artist from Cincinnati, Ohio who specializes in detailed quilts, focusing on color, layout, and design. Her quilts tell stories, ranging from her own personal history to the playful science seen in this piece. She started making quilts when she was expecting her first child. As she observed her grandmother making quilts, she thought it was something mothers naturally did. While she learned the basics from her grandmother, Rebekka chose to build her work on a base of folk art but go past traditional quilting. Her work has been included in shows such as Quilt National, Visions, and The American Quilt Society’s annual competition. She also represented the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the first American Quilt Competition. In 2000, she was chosen by the Governor to create the 11 prizes given as the Governor’s Awards in the Arts.
Appliqué, reverse appliqué, and batik are techniques Rebekka prefers to use in her work. She utilized appliqué in Edmund Halley and the Dinosaurs. Appliqué, pronounced app-lee-KAY, is French for the addition of decorative fabric to a larger piece of fabric by sewing or gluing. The technique is versatile, allowing for simple, elegant, realistic, geometric, or abstract designs. Quilting does not require this technique but can make for beautiful end products.
Fun Fact About Edmund Halley:
Edmund Halley examined reports of a comet approaching Earth in 1531, 1607, and 1682, concluding it was the same comet returning over and over again. He did not live to see the comet return in 1758, but his discovery still led to the comet being named after him. The traditional pronunciation of the name actually rhymes with valley but is often pronounced like daily.
Edmund Halley and the Dinosaurs, 1986
Donated to KMAC by Mary and Reverend Al Shands III in 2003
Rebekka Seigel. KMAC Museum. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
About the Artist. Cook & Watkins, PLC. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
Seigel, Rebekka. Kentucky Artisans Center. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
Edmond Halley. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
“Halley's Comet: Facts About the Most Famous Comet”. Space.com. Published September 20, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
“What Is Applique and How Is it Used in Quilts?”. The Spruce Crafts. Published August 11, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.