Two hydrogen atoms are in a bar. One says, sadly, “I think I’ve lost my electron. . .”

“That’s terrible!” says the other. “Are you sure?”

“I’m positive!”

Hydrogen has atomic number 1 and is represented by the symbol H. The name hydrogen means “water maker” in ancient Greek. It was chosen because water is a product when hydrogen is burned in air. It is the most abundant chemical element in the universe, is found in giant gaseous planets and plays a role in powering stars. Because H2 is lighter than air, with approximately 115  the density of air, it was once widely used as a lifting gas in balloons & airships.The largest applications of H2 are in the processing (“upgrading”) of fossil fuels and in the production of ammonia. Much research is underway to determine if we can move to a “Hydrogen Economy” to shift from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas to hydrogen. Free hydrogen does not occur naturally in quantity and must be generated from some other energy source by steam reformation of natural gas or another method and, so, hydrogen fuel is not yet considered economical or energy-saving.

Creating the block was fun — I chose a blimp graphic to represent the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg and printed it on muslin. I used a metallic fall leaf for the explosion/fire and added beading and embroidery embellishments.


by Jan Flack

Gadolinium is a chemical element with the symbol Gd and atomic number 64. It is a silvery-white, malleable and ductile rare-earth metal. Gadolinium has exceptionally high absorption of neutrons and therefore is used for shielding in neutron radiography and in nuclear reactors. Because of its paramagnetic properties, solutions of organic gadolinium complexes and gadolinium compounds  are the most popular intravenous MRI contrast agents in medical magnetic resonance imaging. Gadolinium is also used in other medical imaging such as positron emission tomography (PET) scans.

For the block I chose to reprint a brain scan found online — it is a “normal” brain and was printed on treated muslin. Hand applique using purple DMC thread and beading complete the block.