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When art imitates life or Nothin’ better to do

July 9, 2008

When I take note of my surroundings I usually have a ulterior motive…

 Juvenile Pileated woodpecker



Wild Ginger



Commom Mullien




 Damsel fly


Rare Maninja flower  ( I made this one up)

Embroidery is the first needlework skill I learned as a child.  I made this quilt as a gift for a friend to mark her graduation from medical school.  To make it special, I incorporated embroidery of flora and fauna that we both shared an interest in, or that had special meaning to both of us.  The quilt top and backing is 100% cotton and the batting is wool.  It is has been in continuous use for 3 years and I am glad to see the embroidery holding up.

I had taken photos of the quilt, but didn’t know our SLR camera wasn’t working properly and that my pictures wouldn’t turn out. 

We went to a party at their house over the 4th of July weekend,  and were able to take these pictures.  I had forgotten how much that quilt seemed like an old friend.  The design had been in my mind almost as long as it took me to complete the actual quilt.  Nice to see you, old friend.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2008 1:36 pm

    Your handwork and the quilt itself is stunning……..where in the world do you find time to do so much? The recipient must have been overwhelmed by such a wonderful gift. I’m sure that she will treasure it always.

    The beaded damsel fly is my favorite. I’ve been admiring it on the header of your blog for a day or two. Such a beautiful color.

  2. July 9, 2008 2:24 pm

    Anybody ever tell you that you’re just too darned talented!! Is there anything you can’t do? 🙂

  3. July 9, 2008 4:01 pm

    You are sooo talented! You amaze me.

  4. July 9, 2008 4:33 pm

    absolutely gorgeous work! I learned embroidery as a child – I’ve often wished I’d continued. When I retire I’m going to start knitting though, for certain! I’m already drooling over yarn…

  5. July 9, 2008 5:54 pm

    Beautiful embroidery work. I love things that are made by hand. I think the dragon fly is my favorite, the woodpecker is a very close second. Great work and thanks for posting these great pictures.


  6. July 9, 2008 8:11 pm

    That is beautiful! I have always been interested in quilting but I do not have a whole lot of patience…may be some day!

  7. Ingrid permalink
    July 9, 2008 10:22 pm

    Wow! That’s absolutely gorgeous! Your stitches are so consistent and the design and colors are stunning! How long did it take you to make it?

  8. matronofhusbandry permalink*
    July 9, 2008 11:12 pm

    Debi, thank you, I made that quilt before we had internet at home. So, many, many winter evenings. She was surprised, but she lovingly spun yarn using our beloved Belle’s downy fur and made a beautiful hat for my daughter. It is the softest thing you could imagine, and it is like having our dog with us. Not to mention other friend type things, like showing up with a dinner cooked and ready to eat when we were hauling hay, or just helping us haul hay before a rain storm – just always thoughful. I derived many hours of pleasure working on that quilt.

    I never can pick a favorite on that quilt – I didn’t post pictures of every motif, but maybe the chestnuts or blackberries, but then I look at the damsel fly and my heart melts.

    AMWD, there are lots of things I can’t do – cook gourmet meals, spin, weave, have a nice yard, etc. But thanks for the compliment!

    Linda, how can I amaze a saddlemaker and a woman who ropes cows for a living! You amaze me!!!!!!!

    Hayden, thanks, what do they say, you go back to what you learned first? I had to rebel and do something different than my Mom, she knitted, crocheted, tatted and did cutwork embroidery. She could look at an Aran sweater and just go home and knit one up. Amazing. I still knit, but just when DH needs more heavy socks. In my dreams, I am going to knit a Guernsey sweater. I know what you mean about drooling over yarn, there is been such a welcome resurgence in wool, I’m glad the acrylic stage is over! Good quality yarn is definitely something to stock up on.

    Chris, thanks, it’s nice when a guy can appreciate handwork like that. But, I can’t expect any less from a guy who sees the beauty in jars of home canned food. Your jam is gorgeous – I like the seeds!
    I can’t ever pick a favorite, but I’m pretty partial to the brilliant blue bug myself. Thanks again.

    Kim, thanks – don’t despair, I’m not known for my patience! Some day you may want to quilt, or maybe your daughter will.

    Ingrid, thank you. It actually took almost longer to get the idea out of my head. I did the handwork over 3 winters, but I thought about the design for about 2. The hardest was drawing the embroidery designs and then making the actual transfer. Then I was afraid to iron it on the quilt top. But, it was a labor of love – the best kind.

  9. July 10, 2008 3:13 am

    Those are simply breathtaking! What amazing talent! You have caught the very essence of each creature or plant in such an amazing way.

  10. Kristen permalink
    July 10, 2008 5:20 am

    All I can say is WOW!!! I sewed some buttons on the other day and was feeling pretty special….now not so much…lol

  11. matronofhusbandry permalink*
    July 10, 2008 6:30 am

    Threecollie, thank you, the good thing about art is that in can be interpretive – sometimes getting thread to look like feathers and flowers means you have to have a good imagination. thanks again – I’ll be thinking of you on your vacation! Have a great time!

    Kristen, LOL I can quilt for hours but mending I cannot do without grimacing. DH used to be very resentful about me not patching his jeans, until I explained that sewing for pleasure is not the same as mending and that my pants had holes too. He resolved it by buying some TEAR MENDER and he fixes his own jeans now and sometimes mine too!
    Kristen I think you’re special if you are sewing on buttons – I have a terrible time with buttons, I finally started putting pearl snaps on all DH’s work shirts – I can color match them to the pocket flaps and it takes the doldrums out of sewing clothes for me. Now it is a treat to pick out the snap colors – who would of thought… I quit buying snaps at the fabric store, they were all made in Mexico and the metal parts were poorly made, I would waste half the package just trying to get the project done. The BEE LEE Co. in Texas has a great selection and they are made in the USA. I’ve stocked up.

  12. July 10, 2008 8:13 am

    You stinker! I’m looking at the embroidery and thinking Wow, how lovely, and then I see the whole thing and it’s holy crap! A truly extraordinary piece!

  13. July 10, 2008 2:44 pm


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