~ Stay tuned for the September Giveaway ~When we think of Texas, we think of all things Western: cowboy boots, hats, saddles, and horses. Oh, yes: and prickly pear cactus... steer skulls... and armadillos. These Texas cowboy motifs, Texas Wildflowers, and more, can be found in Susa Glenn's fascinating embroideries and quilt projects. We love her intricate designs, one-of-a-kind themes, and inspiring tutorials.
Cowboys Crests Embroidery Project, 44 x 54", including The Bronco and Dancing Boots, by Susa Glenn at Susa Glenn Designs
Susa Glenn took up digitizing machine embroidery in 2005 because she wanted to embellish her bag patterns and quilt tops with it. She says: "All of the embroidery designs on my site were designed and digitized by me. I take a lot of time getting the design and the stitching just right. Sometimes the drawing/digitizing takes just a few hours and sometimes it takes days (examples: The Bronco and the Dancing Boots). I enjoy digitizing three dimensionality into my embroidery designs that makes them come to life when they are stitched using rayon thread. Rayon has a nap which gives it the same light reflective characteristics as velvet and corduroy. It reflects light if viewed from one direction and absorbs it if viewed from the opposite direction." Susa even includes one or more projects, such as the quilt shown above, with each of her embroidery collections. For closeups of all of the cowboy crests, click here.
Texas Wildflowers, 30 x 36", including Armadillos, by Susa Glenn, at Susa Glenn Designs
Susa Glenn tells us: "The Cowboy Crests collection was inspired by my group of Japanese Crests that I digitized and designed a quilt for several years ago. Immediately after completing my Japanese Crests quilt, I created my Texas Wildflowers embroideries." The downloadable wildflower collection includes Texas Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, White Yarrow, Black Eyed Susans, Wild Daisies, Indian Blankets, a Sulfur Butterfly... and the Armadillo crest, because "A Texas meadow is just not complete without an armadillo or two."
Armadillos are mammals that are known for having a leathery armor shell; the Aztec called them azotochtli, which means “turtle-rabbit.” Although they are interesting creatures, armadillos can be a big nuisance to homeowners, because of the digging and the damage they cause with their powerful claws. Susa Glenn explains the inspiration for her armadillo: "I didn't have a satisfactory design with which to embellish the corner blocks, and I wanted to add some humor to the wall hanging. We were being invaded by armadillos at the time and they were wreaking havoc on my wildflower meadow. Early one morning it came to me as in a vision that what I needed was an armadillo crest for those corners, so I jumped out of bed and created one! The ones at the top are the 'bad' armadillos and the ones at the bottom are the 'good' armadillos as they have assumed the dead position (!)"
Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of Susa Glenn. At her site you can also find Hibiscus Cowboy Leather Tooling Designs, Cowboy Boot Stitching Feathers, Bodacious Sunflowers, an adorable ladybug Fly Away Home quilt project, and many beautiful Asian designs.