Embroidered bat and a weird technique

I saw another bat yesterday. It was too big to be a silver haired. I need to learn my bats. But back to last months invader.

Embroidered silver-haired bat

The entire piece

Last week’s Lasionycteris noctivagans turned out okay. The first draft turned out to be anatomically incorrect. The silver hairs on the silver haired bat are only on the back and I had shown the bat from the front side. Photographs do not always adequately represent black critters well. The wings needed to be darker, and the body from the dorsal view needs to be less v-shaped and more shaped “like a potato”, in the words of the museum mammalogist. Anyway, the face was removed, which was a bit sad as it was a rather good face, the wings painted darker and the back hair fluffed out a bit. Too bad about the face, but it is a work in progress. I hope to try again with another bat, but will have to work on how to do the wings.

Detail of bat showing bleeding

Help me! I’m bleeding!

The technique I used on the wings is an old one. None of the stitches I know would have given the thin, dark translucency that bat wings have, so they were painted. It was tricky as the water colors bled underneath the stitches. This will take some practice but I am pleased with the results. Adding painted details was commonly done in America of the 1700s. It allows finer detail than standard cross stitches.

I saw another bat yesterday. It was too big to be a silver haired. I need to learn my bats.


Swan, Susan Burrows. Plain & Fancy: American Women and Their Needleworks, 1700-1850. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1977. Look at Plate 36.

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12 Responses to Embroidered bat and a weird technique

  1. Thats cool, love the techniques. Happy batwatching šŸ™‚

    • Thanks. Working on a closeup of the head this evening. This is one way to REALLY learn to id stuff.

      • I bet! you will know every species by the time you are done šŸ™‚

      • Problem with bats is that unless you’ve actually got the damn things in hand, they’re impossible to id. That or you have a bat monitor, which I have used but don’t own. We’ve been finding rabies in the local population. I am working on a sampler of the local turtles that should cement turtle field sign into my head. Hope to have it done by the end of the month as there are some big public events around here based on turtles coming up.

      • Oh dear, I wasnt aware of a rabies problem in bats. Is there anyway of treating them? I adore turtles šŸ™‚

  2. No way to treat them. There are vaccines, but that would require you to handle each bat three times. Lotta bats in North America. And handling them would be a disaster for the bats. We’ve got a lethal fungus called white nose syndrome that is decimating a number of bat species. The state mammalogist was telling me about how she has to disinfect herself and all her equipment in between bats whenever she has contact.

  3. I desperately need one of these.

  4. Nope. Same silver haired. I didn’t get his head right (according to the Museum’s mammalogist) so I redid him. A brown long-eared bat is in the planning stages, but won’t be done until the fall.

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