Meryl Ruth

Felted Owl Quilt

Merino Wools, cotton fabric, fabric paints, multi-colored thread

24.5" x 18"



"Felted Owl Quilt" is the third in a series of quilts based on an original photograph I took of a screech owl I saw on a visit to my daughter's home in Florida. I was very excited to have been able to photograph a close-up of the owl.

In the first two quilts based on the photograph, I used the photo-silkscreen method with fabric paints as inks to produce a 12-color separation print on white cotton fabric. Once this was complete, I went back to the surface and airbrushed more fabric paint, using the applique technique, as well as free motion thread painting.

For this, the third quilt in the series, I decided to experiment to attempt to better capture the amazing plumage of this tiny owl. I therefore decided to try the needle felting method using variously colored Merino wools. I didn't feel that the wet felting method could produce the detail I was after. I wasn't sure needle felting would work as I hadn't previously produced an entire quilt of such large proportion with this very labor-intensive method. In particular, I wasn't even sure the cotton fabric panel could sustain all the puncturing needed to produce the dense texture I was trying to achieve. Using this technique, I feel I have better achieved my goal of portraying the rich, complex plumage of this magnificent owl. Framed dimensions: 28" x 21.25"