coral - a brain coral to be exact (you can see the resemblance). A Number of people got the right answer: Jan's was the first right answer with coral; Mags Ramsay was the first with the full answer of brain coral and also provided extra information (know what you mean about starfish Mags - once found an undamaged whole one on the beach near Bamburgh and put it on the wall near our holiday cottage to dry out - you can guess the rest!). That bit was easy - so goody bag to each of those. The two most interesting was more difficult but eventually settled on Nearby Tree's new government road system to prevent traffic congestion which made me laugh out loud; and Aischa for nearly making me lose my tea with stomach turned inside out! I don't have emails for Nearby Tree or Aischa so if you like to email me with details of where to send and preferred colourway I'll get goody-bags to you by next week. (email address on my profile page).
There was a serious side to this. I'm fascinated by the patterns you get in nature, and the way these patterns recur in different places. Helen Parrott's talk at the Contemporary Quilt AGM really got my ideas churning and I dug out the following:
Close-up of patterns on a stone in Whitby churchyard;
A drawing I did a while back of a savoy cabbage;
fungus on felled timber in Wytham Woods.
The photograph below, taken by my late husband, has a different kind of patterning but just as fascinating: