Your Pet in an Art Quilt!


What do you do if you can’t be sewing an Art Quilt?

Dream about and plan an Art Quilt!

I do quite literally day “dream” about a potential subject or direction for an Art Quilt. When I was in one of my favorite illustration classes in college, under awesome illustrator Frank Robert Dixon, he passed on to us a way of finding the next idea for a work of art that was passed on to him by his art instructor…who called it Bird Watching. It was simply a quiet time of checking out those ideas that come floating by in your minds birds flying by…one by one. Some ideas… you just… let… keep floating… on by… others you pluck down and put in an art journal for later to take to the next level.

Well this is an idea I plucked down to take to the next level! I was thinking that a direction for mini art quilts might be based on my pets! Or better yet, YOUR pet! But first let me tell you how I’m preparing our pug Chisum here for a possible mini art quilt. After looking for just the right pose in my photo stock of his cute little face, I’ve chosen this one for several reasons.


The first is his big beautiful whiskey brown eyes piercing my heart!  The next thing I hope to have, but not imperative, is good color. I like the colors here, warm rust and dusty teal. Anybody who knows me, knows I like orange and teal. Put a pug in that mix and we are good to go! But I could have changed the color as we get to other designing levels. It’s a bonus I like these. His color is more important. And here it pretty perfect! if I were to do an art quilt for a customer I would not necessarily have the benefit of actually seeing their pet in person so the photo needs to be clear, have good lighting for the fur (or feathers), good contrast and be a captivating pose. Animals can be hard to capture if they move a lot or have dark coloring. I have a black Chihuahua and I rarely get a good shot of him…black has to be the hardest to capture on film! As it was, I had to take this photo into photoshop and use the levels to bring out his muzzle a little more.

The next thing I did was to posterize the photo which is what you see at the top of the post. This can sometimes be helpful in rendering color sections quickly and simply. When the time comes to choose fabrics for the foundation of this adorable creature, having those simplified sections will be very helpful. I will most likely make a few more distinctions of my own since this method can tend to over simplify at times. I will go back to the original photo and in my case, the animal himself, to make a few more shape adjustments. But if you were to try to make an art quilt of your pet, this is a very helpful tool to use to get started.

So I’m here at Disneyland for most of the week and sewing is not an option…but quilt planning and designing is! I’m actually here with my husband for his work convention – so nice us spouses could go as well. I do believe a visit to some local quilts shops is in order as well!

AND a visit to San Juan Capistrano…

and the beach… with a friend!

All potential places for inspiration to happen for MORE art quilts! Yes and the Disneyland Park for one day with my daughter and granddaughter…who knows… I may even find inspiration there that is not a copyright infringement!

I do think pets will offer a lot of fun thread painting. If you have a special pet and you would like a pattern custom designed for you, just go to my store and choose “Your Pet Pattern” by following this link. I can even be convinced to make the custom art quilt! Just drop me a line…

This awesome guy came from Black Powder Farm Little Dogs in Kansas.



About Sew Laura Artisan Quilts

Longarm Quilting Service, Digital Designs, Free Motion Quilting, Custom Quilting, Quilting Patterns
This entry was posted in Art Quilt, Designing, Dogs, Mini Quilt, Mini Quilt Ideas, Patterns, Pets, Quilting, Raw Edge Applique, Thread Painting, Thread Sketching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Your Pet in an Art Quilt!

  1. What a great idea for a quilt! I agree that a black dog is extremely difficult to photograph. Your article is very interesting an informative, and I love the idea that was shared by your professor. This can be applied to many areas of art, including writing!

  2. Thanks Kim! You are so right!

  3. Pingback: Your Pet “Photo to Art Quilt” Tutorial Part One | Painting With Thread

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