Welcome to everyone visiting from Amy’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival! Many thanks to Amy for hosting and organizing this fun event. I’m linking up to Amy’s site and submitting this entry to the festival. Make sure that you pop over to Amy’s Creative Side and check out all of the wonderful quilts in the Festival and vote for your favorites. I’d love it if you voted for mine, if you’re so inclined.
Category entered: Art Quilts
Techniques: photo imaging, fused applique, thread sketching, needle-felting with cat fur
Finished size: 8 x 8 inches
Just before Christmas last year, I received a request to create a portrait quilt of a cat named “Baby”. Bob and his wife Barb already owned two of my Rainy Day People pieces and he wanted to commission a portrait quilt of their cat Baby as a surprise gift for Barb.
I love working on commission projects – especially with a client as engaged and creative as Bob. It was a truly collaborative effort and a rewarding experience.
Bob sent me many photos of Baby to work from. After exchanging several brainstorming emails, we agreed I would print one of the photos on prepared fabric, cut around the edge of the cat’s head, then fuse that to a fabric background. I added lots of thread-sketching of fur, whiskers, etc. and a bit of pen and ink to enhance the eyes.
Bob suggested adding some of Baby’s own fur (which he and Barb saved for the birds to line their nests in the Spring). Bob mailed me a couple of baggies of fur (which really helped with making the thread colors accurate), and I needle-felted the fur onto the quilt around the ruff.
Bob asked if I could make a collage of some of the other photos on the back of the quilt. I didn’t want the quilting from the front to interfere with the photos on the back, so I used 2 thin layers of batting and quilted the front and back separately. Then I fused them together and attached the binding.
It’s a small quilt that includes a lot of collaboration, experimentation, enthusiasm, and fun! I thoroughly enjoyed working with Bob to create this unique quilt.
Here are some of Bob’s comments about our project:
Barb was absolutely surprised and thrilled with the your work. The emotion of seeing Baby was overwhelming, but after she calmed down, she got into the detail of what you had done. She noticed right away the thread painting (certainly more than thread sketching). She really liked the fluff created by the fur. But it was the realistic image that she was in awe of.
I gave it to her on Valentine’s Day . After the emotional part Barb suggested we put it temporarily on the mantel (in a stand) for the evening since we would be in the room. It stayed there for a couple days until it was moved to our bedroom where it has a very prominent spot. Almost nightly one of us makes a comment about the piece, admiring how well you captured the image……we hold the memories of her so dear that we would notice any disconnect. In the weeks, months to follow, “Baby” will most likely get moved to our “family portrait” wall where friends and family can also enjoy the piece.
Just a personal note to you from me…..Thank you for taking the challenge of this project, an idea in my mind that expanded with time and you were able to transfer to fabric. You listened to my ideas, wishes and thoughts to combine what was comfortable for you, to best come up with as a final project. I chose you to do this piece because of the artistic and quality craftsmanship we had seen from other pieces you had made. You know now it was your “Rainy Day” series that originally caught our interest and enjoyment in owning. But this piece (“Baby”) goes beyond “Rainy Day”, as you recreated an image that defined boundaries and likeness. “Rainy Day” is abstract and the images had room for imagination. “Baby” did not, as she was an individual with strong mental images in our minds of 16 years. You caught every part as if you had known her and had the skill to apply those images on fabric with a realistic pallet. You far exceeded my vision on how this would turn out. Thank you for the professionalism and the fun/enjoyment waiting to hear from you as different stages progressed.