Sonia Ruiz – Country – Flora/Fauna

The flora and fauna of Mexico …  where do I begin.  Mexico is estimated to have more than 10-12%  of the entire world’s species.  Up to date around 108,000 species of animals and plants have been described in Mexico, and the list keeps growing.   Mexico ranks first in biodiversity in reptiles with 707 known species, second in mammals with 438 species.  Mexico is also considered the second country in the world in ecosystems and fourth in overall species.

Since I cannot possibly include all the species in my quilt, I have decided to pick just a handful. From top to bottom here are a few of the flora and fauna species I have chosen.


Coral snake –  are one of the most deadly species in the world

Vaquita porpoise – is one of the smallest cetaceans in the world and the most endangered

Axolotl – “the Mexican walking fish” and close relatives of the tiger salamander are in danger of extinction

Blue/grey/humpback whales – Baja California is one of the most important regions for whale watching in the whole world.

Loggerhead turtle – Mexico is home to six out of seven turtle species that nest along its thousands of miles of coastline every year.

Monarch butterflies – Every year hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate to the oyamel fir forests of Michoacán.

Toucan – these exotic and colorful birds are found mainly in the tropical rainforests of Yucatán.

Black spiny tailed Iguana –  it is a moderately large lizard which are endangered and protected


Saguaro cacti –  are large, tree like columnar cacti that only grow in the Sonoran desert

Barrel cacti – is found in northern Sonora

Prickly cactus – the prickly pear cactus grows wild all over Mexico.  It is a powerful symbol in Mexico and is on their national flag

Pine tree – the conifer forests are unique to Mexico because they are the only multi-species Mediterranean climate forests in the country

Palm tree – some of the worlds most beautiful palm trees can be found growing wild on Mexico’s gorgeous Yucatán peninsula.

I used hand dyed fabric, accidentally burned some areas (opps, which I liked), commercial batiks, drew the flora and fauna appliqués with sharpies, acrylic paint, machine quilted and finished it off with a sacred heart applique.

Detail views:


  1. What a clever idea to capture the richness of Mexican natural world, well done!

  2. It was a challenge to decide what to include in the quilts and you have done this beautifully.

  3. Wow! I am really impressed by the number of flora and fauna you have managed to include in this piece without overcrowding, very clever work.

  4. You represented Mexico as the centre of the world, with much of the flora and fauna circumnavigating it. The circular quilting also reminds me of the Mayan calendar. A clever and well-executed quilt. Bravo.

  5. studiociboulette

    Gorgeous piece full of the extensive variety of fauna and flora. I love your concept and attention to details. Bravo!

  6. I really appreciate the many details you put into the work and the use of color .

  7. What a clever idea to present the wide variety of the flora and fauna in your piece in this way. I really love the contrast in color of the country and the surrounding sea. The circular quilting makes it all come together. Super!!!

  8. It’s good you picked just a few species. Your quilt is too small to take them all, ha, ha. I didn’t know Mexico has such a huge amount of animals and plants.
    You created a beautiful piece. Nice colors and effective quilting.

  9. It took me a while to realize it was the shape of Mexico. Good representation of flora and fauna. I like those burned areas as well, and as Els mentioned, circular quilting ties everything together.

  10. What an inspired idea for including a representation of Mexico’s vast and varied wildlife. You have made a lovely job of this, and the quilting is perfect to draw all of the elements together

  11. Chantal Guillermet

    What a good idea to select several fauna and flora elements ! I like the circular quilting too !
    I learnt a lot by reading your statement.

  12. It is immpressive that you were able to include so many images on your quilt and to be able to make them legible. The circular layout was a wise decision, causing the viewers’ eye to travel effortlessly from one area to the next. Brava!

  13. A great idea to include so many species and to link them with the circular quilting. The detail in the map is also interesting.

  14. With the circular quilting you have emphasized the centrality of Mexico in your quilt. Thanks for telling us in detail about the abundant flora and fauna. How I hope I can visit! A lovely idea to place the flora and fauna elements in a circular motion around the country. Well done!

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