Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Barking Geckos

barking geckos in Vanuatu

31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

One of the things I really like in Vanuatu is the barking gecko. Actually, I like all geckos, full stop. They do the job of spiders without being anywhere near so nasty about it. We have geckos at home in Adelaide, and there are geckos in many of my favourite destinations in Australia. All different sorts and shapes of geckos, but all a variation on the non-threatening, insect-eating, big-eyed and big-toed small nocturnal lizard. Most geckos make noise of some description, but the barking geckos in Vanuatu are LOUD. It is unbelievable how much noise a tiny lizard can make!

barking gecko

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 11

I have been intending to add Vanuatu’s barking geckos to my everyday quilt inspiration series pretty much since the beginning. I would love to be able to FMQ their shapes onto a quilt such as the Tanna Island quilt design from Monday, or maybe even the black, white and red quilt I am planning for the Splash of Color QAL. They would also make great silhouette shapes for appliqué. For that matter, appliqué is an easier place to start with a new shape because it does not require drawing skills in real-time. You can edit until you’re happy. 🙂

barking gecko

How was I inspired by the Barking Geckos?

To start me on my gecko journey, I photographed several barking geckos as they hunted their evening meal by the light over our backdoor. Then I traced their forms. This gave me instant shapes I can use for appliqué silhouettes, but also a place to start working out a formula to quilt them freehand. 

Would you like some gecko shapes for appliqué? Here are the six that I traced today. They are small so I could fit them all on one pdf page, but you can enlarge them as you need. Download my barking gecko silhouettes pdf here: Barking Geckos

How to quilt Barking Geckos

What makes a shape a gecko? Well, for these geckos it is a distinctively shaped head, the angle and size of the legs, the bulbous toes, the fat tummy and a tail that is about the same length as the rest of the lizard combined. When I can recreate these shapes with relative ease, I will be able to quilt barking geckos.

Here is my first attempt at free-hand drawing a barking gecko. Only happy with one of the four legs…..

barking gecko outline

Here is my second attempt.

free-hand barking gecko outline

Better. Three legs are great. The head is right. The tail could be a touch longer, but who would notice? Actually, if I could quilt geckos that looked no worse than this reliably I would be happy. If anyone is analysing my quilting shapes that closely and critically, we are not likely to see eye-to-eye about life’s priorities! So, my conclusion is…. with a bit of practice I think I will be able to quilt geckos. Yay!

barking geckos, Vanuatu

I hope you like geckos. I do! If you like quilting critters, you might also like my post in this series about hermit crabs

You can also find the start of my 31 Days of Everyday Quilt Inspiration blog post series here. And you can find the Write 31 Days website here, for hundreds more 31-day series on all sorts of topics. 

Also, the Fall 2017 Art with Fabric blog hop is now well underway. You can find Day 2 here. My favourite blog post from this set of artists is by Heather about her quilt “Dancers”. She describes how she takes her inspiration and turns it into an abstract representation. If you are looking for more ways to turn your everyday observations into quilt designs, I think you might like her post.

See you tomorrow!

Now it's your turn.... what do you think?