My embroidery and creative stitching experiences.


For chapter 3 (part c) I am required to make strips of sewing based on animal patterns. This chapter is based on that request!

I have already gathered some owl images which I wanted to use but also spent some time researching other interesting animal ‘s patterns.

1-2 Great Grey Owl

3  Leopard Gecko

4  Giraffe

5  Map Turtle

6  Elephant

7  Zebra

(Some images are marked with ***. This indicates I have matched up stitch samples from chapter 3 to the animal patterns.

The Great Grey Owl

I looked mainly at the wings and how the pattern altered along the wingspan.

I made positive and negative sketches and tried to abstract the images too.

2a) reminded me of ballet shoes! I like the way these sketches have developed.


1a – 1f

Great Grey Owl patterns





2a – 2d

patterns on wings


The Leopard Gecko


stitching and animal patterns









3a – 3h

Gecko patterns

I liked this image because of the bands of stripes and spots.  From what I have read gecko’s have fairly smooth skin with nodules here and there.

The spots are made up from these and pigment marks so the spots could be flat pigment, a real ‘spot’ or a combination of both.

3h) shows the underside of a gecko’s foot. Scientists are fascinated how a gecko can walk over flat, smooth surfaces including ceilings and there is some interesting info out there if you are interested! The only fact that caught my attention was that they cannot walk over vertical sheets of aluminium!

Looking closer at their skin I could see hexagons gone crazy! 3g) shows an example of this. This was based on the edge of a gecko’s mouth where there  is a variety in size of shapes.

 The Giraffe

Looking at giraffe images, I realised their skin must be a bit like our finger prints… all unique. ( The same can be said for all animals). Before looking closely I just assumed their markings would all be pretty similar in design,looking like irregular squares or hexagons however their marks were really interesting. As I looked closer I could see all sorts of things going on!

I did initial sketches of the patterns, then decided to photocopy my sketches before filling in with black as the patterns were quite complicated and I wanted a ‘blank canvas’ incase I had to do it again.


giraffe skin interpretations,.











I focussed on the side and neck (4a- 4d).


(a’ and ‘b’ are on the larger image, ‘c’ and ‘d’ are above).

4c is my interpretation of the side of the giraffe. As I was drawing I thought I saw birds, a whale and a moose antler! (I am not taking any drugs!).

I did initial sketches of the patterns, then decided to photocopy my sketches before filling in with black as the patterns were quite complicated and I wanted a ‘blank canvas’ incase I had to do it again.







4e is the negative image of 4c.

giraffe skin patterns











I thought I was done at this point and showed my daughter who for some inexplicable reason is a fan of giraffes! She was not impressed I had not included any heads. ‘That’s the best bit mum!!” she exclaimed, so I added an image with heads! Continuing on I noticed the pattern on the chest of this giraffe. (4gi).I think my impression of this pattern looks like the sole of a rubber shoe. The negative looks more like a flag!

 The Ringed Map Turtle.


turtle pattern

There are lots of species of turtle and all have interesting patterns on their carapace and skins. I was attracted to the linear markings on this one (5a)

I had not realised that the dark areas are actually raised parts of their shell which is called the ‘keel’, until I looked into it further.





I had copied an image concentrating on the carapace but also wanted to do something about the skin. My original print was spotty but the other one I have here (5fi) is much more interesting! I am a bit annoyed with myself because I have made the dark ring around the right eye too thick!





As I was sketching 5b and c  I was thinking this reminds me of applique and work I did in module 1 on the ripple  effect.


turtle marks



The Elephant. (6a – 3e)

I must admit to a bit of a cheat here! I used my own photograph of an elephant which I took on a trip to Blairdrummond Safari Park. However it came out quite dark and seeing detail was tricky so I found one I liked elsewhere, but I can’t promise it is from the same elephant! I do think it is roughly from the same spot indicated though!

This was really tricky to sketch because I kept seeing lots of different shapes in the folds of the skin. Triangles, diamonds, squares, rectangles within squares etc, so I started by roughly sketching the basic patterns I was seeing before fitting them all together.  I found 6d more interesting than 6e which surprised me a bit as so far I have liked the abstract sketches I have made.



The Zebra (7a – c)

My first impression of the zebra image was ” this one looks easy to do, it’s just a big diamond shape!” Well yes it is but looking closer it is quite fascinating how it is made up of lines and connections of white and black lines. It took me several attempts to draw 7b!













*** The numbers beside the small stitch samples refer to the reference numbers given to each stitch in chapter 3.

This is the first and original work I did for chapter 4. Over the summer I completed another short course which helped me to develop my ideas further and I will post the work relating to this in a ‘part 2’ blog.




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