Friday, November 11, 2011

Hand-Embroidered Loon - Art Every Day Month - Day 11

For the eleventh day of the Art Every Day Month challenge, I hand-embroidered an image of a loon for the Minnesota state quilt I'm making.

Fourth quilt square I've completed this month.

This quilt square is made from seven different cotton fabrics. There are 11 different pieces that make up the design.  (Perhaps a bit appropriate for this special day: 11-11-11.)

All the pieces are hand-stitched to the background fabric
using the blanket stitch.

All the pieces, once they are fused to the background fabric, are hand-embroidered using the blanket stitch. The straight stitch is used for the cattail stems.


The loon is Minnesota's state bird. According the Minnesota's Department of Natural Resouces website, "Minnesota's state bird, the common loon, is more at home in the water than on land. Built like a torpedo, it swims under water in search of prey. Minnesota has more common loons than any other state except Alaska."

The DNR shared these facts about loons on its website as well:
==> The bones of most birds are hollow and light, but loons have solid bones.

==> The extra weight helps them dive as deep as 250 feet to search for food. They can stay underwater for up to five minutes.

==> Because their bodies are heavy relative to their wing size, loons need a 100- to 600-foot "runway" in order to take off from a lake.

==> Loons can fly more than 75 miles per hour.

==> The red in the loon's eye helps it to see under water.

==> Scientists think loons can live for 30 years or more


I've been thinking about the quilt design and am leaning towards a simple patchwork pattern: five squares across by seven squares long (35 squares total). Of the squares, 12 would be hand-embroidered and 23 would be fabrics of different patterns.

My goal is to use only what I have on hand rather than purchase new fabrics. In that way, I can be resourceful and use what I have available.

Using only the fabric I have makes it slightly more challenging to create a quilt. However, then the focus to create a "perfect" quilt is no longer there. Rather, I can enjoy the process of creating a quilt, and having it be practical and usable.


Rita said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :) I see you are doing the AEDM, too. This is beautiful and I absolutely love the baby loon on mom's back!! I am Minnesota born and raised. Don't let the Fargo fool you--LOL! I just moved across the river in 2005 and am a mere hop and a skip from the homeland. ;)

craftattack said...

Beautiful work, your quilt will be a treasure! Hope you will show more pictures as it progresses! Valerie

Diana Evans said...

oh wow!!! this is gorgeous!!! wonderful work...

Come share something sweet with us on my blog tomorrow for Sweet Saturdays!!!

Gwen Hughes said...

This is just stunning I love the clear crisp lines. Fabulous!
Gwen xx

Tracey Fletcher KIng said...

That quilt is going to be amazing if that is anything to go by.... I can't sew to save myself... or a button... so I am in awe of this xx