The Pink Land Iguana is found only within a small area along the Wolf Volcano, Galápagos. As of an expedition in 2021, there were only 211 identified, which puts them on the brink of extinction. While they were first spotted by National Park rangers in 1986, they weren’t classified as a separate species to other land iguanas until 2009. Research efforts to learn more about this species is ongoing as protection is vital. To learn more, click here.
Aurifil’s Pink Land Iguana thread set was created in tribute to this unique creature. It features 3 large spools of our 40wt thread in 3 hues of pink— a warm, a medium, and a dark— 2410, 2425, & 2530. When purchased via Shop Aurifil, this set includes a custom designed foundation paper pieced PDF pattern by Aurifilosopher and pattern designer Cassandra Beaver / the (not so) dramatic life.
This block finishes at 16″ x 16″ and we’re entranced!
We enlisted HollyAnne Knight of String & Story to share some tips and tricks for quilting this block. With her help and expertise, you’ll have this stitched up and on display in no time.
Happy May, Rockstars! I am so thankful for the opportunity to share quilting insights with you each month and suggest quilting plans for your Endangered Species Block of the Month! Today, let’s take a look at a handful of quilting motifs and discuss how we can create nature-like textures on our blocks and quilts.
FMQ Motifs for Natural Textures
As you may remember from the Sea Turtle block in March, the Endangered Species Block of the Month is a fun opportunity to use the quilting in the background of our blocks to provide a little “context” for our critters. Just in case you want to get a little more creative on your own, I thought I’d share six motifs for creating natural textures with your FMQ.
Swirls are a classic background motif, and they are a perfect way to add a feeling of water or waves to the background of your quilt
Woodgrain is one of the most versatile motifs– stitched at a medium size, it suggests its name– the grain of cut wood. Stitched larger, however, it looks like fire, and stitched smaller it can look like the wrinkly texture of dry skin (like on the iguana quilting plans below).
Rocks, bubbles, stars, fruit on a tree… Pebbles are another very versatile motif that can be used to customize the background of your Endangered Species.
Smokey Swirls are, as the name suggests, very similar to swirls, but more elongated. They can be used to look like clouds, smoke, mist, waves, etc.
Paisleys are arguably my favorite motif. I’ll conjure any excuse to use them, but for textures, I think they make excellent “foliage”– leaves, flowers, and the general impression of shrubbery.
This motif is straight up addictive. It makes great wrinkly skin, vague desert-like dirt, rippling water, etc.
(Psst: watch the video below for a brief discussion about how I think through quilting motifs for each animal as well as my quilting process for this month’s block)
This month, I spent some extra time scrolling pictures of the Pink Land Iguana on Google. Most of the animals so far I’ve been at least vaguely familiar with, but I needed a little contest for this critter. In the end, I decided to mix and match meander, switchbacks, pebbles, McTavishing, and woodgrain to provide a variety of challenges and effects while also creating a number of combinations that mimic the natural textures of the Iguana in its home environment.
Introductory Level Quilting Plans
This month’s lovely Pink Land Iguana by Cassandra Beaver has small piecing around the face but larger pattern pieces toward the back of the body. Thus, I would recommend stitching in the ditch around the face, but allowing more creativity on the Iguana’s body. My primary goal with all the quilting plans was to emphasize the textures of the sparse landscape and the bumpy, wrinkly skin of the Iguana. The results were pretty fascinating even at the most introductory level.
Beginner Level Quilting Plans
If you have a little more experience under your belt, check out the textures we can create with this Beginner level quilting plans. I added pebbles and woodgrain to the mix with these for more intricate textures.
Intermediate Level Quilting Plans
Since the pieces are bigger this month, my custom quilting loving heart is excited for the opportunity to pull in dense motifs like McTavishing and woodgrain. McTavishing creates a really fascinating option for a gravely background while woodgrain creates a unique option to imitate wrinkly Iguana skin.
Aurifil’s 40wt Color Builders
If the Sea Turtle has you feeling inspired, you’ll be delighted to know that it’s one in a series of 12 mini collections, dedicated to some of our world’s most Endangered Species. Each collection features 3 large spools of our 40wt thread in 3 hues– a warm, a medium and a dark– and comes with a coordinating FPP pattern custom-designed by Cassandra Beaver.
Thanks so much to Cassandra Beaver for her stunning block design and to HollyAnne Knight for giving us all the quilting confidence to turn this block into a dazzling mini! this year? Stay tuned as we’ll feature one animal per month throughout this year. Will you sew along with us?
Don’t forget to tag us in your project images on Instagram– we love the opportunity to celebrate your work!
** If today’s quilting plans inspired you, but you’re brand new to free motion quilting, check out HollyAnne’s Intro to FMQ Mini Course to learn the basics!