Moth Pond Wool Felt Embroidery Quilt

Photo by Alan Rodriguez on Unsplash

The vision for Moth Pond is to eventually become an embroidery quilt to use as a wall hanging. It will have squares representing different elements of the ecosystem alternating with plain fabric squares to give the eye space to rest. Unfortunately for this ultimate vision, I always start to get tired of wool felt in about May, and I move on to projects that feel more crisp and lively. Hopefully Moth Pond can come to completion in winter 2024. I love wool felt embroidery in the winter.

Science and Free-flowing Art

I drew on specific riparian ecosystems to design Moth Pond. All the moths and butterflies are based on real lepidoptera who live near ponds, although I did collect them from around the world and not just my local area. The flora that is embroidered in more detail is also scientifically accurate, although some of the simpler lines are a general inspiration.

That said, I stitched virtually all of this free hand. I did trace out some of the butterfly shapes to get the detailed proportions right, and I sketched out some designs on paper. One of the things I love about wool felt applique is that it can be so spontaneous, which provides a canvas to show the individual style — as well as the art style. If you sketch a bleeding heart with a pencil, it comes out differently than if you swoosh it in with a paintbrush, and that comes out differently than if you start by “drawing” with your needle and thread. Free hand embroidery has a different flavor that recreating pen or digital work with thread (which are both also excellent and valid styles of embroidery).


  • wool felt (obviously)
  • threads made from cotton, wool, alpaca, jute, rayon, and silk
  • upcycled kimono fabric
  • quilting cotton
  • other upcycled fabric
  • rickrack and other sewing room notions
  • wool roving

hollyhock in progress

detail of moth pond embroidery

different shimmering textures

detail from Moth Pond embroidery

detail of a lily

Note: I do not know where all my pictures of this project have gone. Much more fascinating information coming once I find them again.