With their delicate forms and iridescent colors, insects make the perfect subjects for arts and crafts projects. Embroidery artist Megan Zaniewski is one creative who’s celebrating the beauty of bugs. She creates handmade embroidery designs with three-dimensional wings.
Zaniewski uses the stumpwork embroidery technique when she hand-crafts her designs. This involves stitching over padding, wiring, and other elements to create 3D textile designs that are raised up from the fabric. Zaniewski uses thin jewelry wire to sculpt the form of each wing, and then fills in the shape using a combination of long and short stitches. The talented textile artist then embroiders the 2D body of the insect onto the fabric with painterly stitches.
From bumblebees to butterflies, each finished design highlights the fragile beauty of insect wings. In one piece, Zaniewski uses rainbow-colored thread to stitch the Madagascan sunset moth. And in another, she uses shimmering tulle fabric for dragonfly wings. Each beautiful bug is mounted inside decorative frames, ready to be displayed on a wall.
When she’s not stitching insects, Zaniewski uses colored thread to render portraits of other animals. Check out some of her designs below and find even more on Instagram.