Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Our Canine Friends

Dogs are often our best friends, which explains why more than a third of all homes own at least one dog. As the book Marley and Me: says: "A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he'll give you his.” Here's a tribute to our canine friends, as shown by some of our favorite dog quilts from the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.

King Charles by Virginia Greaves (Georgia, USA)

We loved this handsome dog portrait by Virginia Greaves.  Virginia says, "This is my little contribution to the 2017 IQA Silent Auction. It’s from a picture I took some time ago, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that I saw in passing."

On her website, Virginia Greaves says: "Through the progression of years, my work has become more focused on portraits. I find them challenging when portrayed in fabric, both commercial prints and hand dyes, and I delight in finding that little spark in each individual and showing it in my work."

Cruisin' by Lea McComas (Colorado, USA)

This is the third in Lea McComas' series "A Dog's Life." She says, "This is a great way to spend an afternoon - the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and your human at the wheel." The composition was inspired by a photo taken by Alicia Urie of Boulder, Colorado.  The image was not printed to fabric, but was the inspiration for the pattern that was made and used for this piece.

Cruisin' was created with fused applique and thread painting.  Lea McComas used commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabrics; polyester organza; and a variety of threads to create this piece.

Daddy's Boy by Kay Donges (Georgia, USA)

Kay Donges says, "A trip to our local quilt store inspired me to create this quilt. The owner of the store had her dog, Chester, there because the dog gets upset when her husband has to travel. My husband had placed his jacket and hat on a bench by the door. We walked away, then turned around, and Chester was lying on the coat and hugging the hat."

Kay used fusible applique with cotton and suedecloth fabric to create Daddy's Boy.  She really captured the dog's emotions in those eyes!

Cookie? PLEEEZE Cookie! by Sarah Ann Smith (Maine, USA)

This little quilt was created by Sarah Ann Smith to honor her beloved pug.  Sarah says, "I wanted to try a portrait in completely non-representational colors.  For the Dallas Quilt Guild 2010 challenge, I used the opportunity to make our pug's portrait.  I selected lights, mediums and darks... the turquoise became the background, quilted with doggie cookies in his dreams."

Sarah Ann Smith was one of two debut artists in the Rising Stars exhibit at International Quilt Festival Houston 2017. You can see a photo of Sarah with her dog on her website.

Green Dog with Orange Ball by Cindy Cooksey (California, USA)

Cindy Cooksey says, "Inspiration can appear like graffiti, often unbidden, and it is the job of an artist to recognize and interpret it however she can. In this case, I was inspired by the soulful gaze and graceful pose of my sister-in-law's dog, Gaia.  I attempted to elevate her into an iconic figure, and I added the orange bll, just because she seemed to need one."

Cindy achieved a wonderful modern art effect with her choice of colors, fabrics and motifs. Green Dog was hand embroidered, machine appliqued and quilted, and painted.

Puppy Love by Lea McComas (Colorado, USA)

Lea McComas says, "There is nothing so pure and joyous as the unconditional affection of a new puppy.  We should all wag more and bark less."

Puppy Love was created with fused applique using commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabrics.  The thread painting was done with cotton and polyester thread.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Exemplary Cat Quilts

If there are any animals who seem to really love quilts and are curious about them, it has to be cats.
Here's a tribute to our feline furbabies, as shown by some of our favorite cat quilts from the 2017 Houston International  Quilt Festival

An Interrupted Still Life by Pamela Seaberg , Washington, U.S.A.

Pamela says, "Last summer, I set up a still life of flowers on an old chair for a watercolor painting. Omar, my curious cat, turned my still life into this quilt."  Here's Omar, standing on his hind legs, tentatively trying to figure out the purpose of a vase on a chair, as cats will do. This quilt is made from hand-dyed and commercial fabrics, cotton, rayon, and silk embroidery threads, plus polyester threads.

Close-up, An Interrupted Still Life

We really admire Pamela's beautiful and accurate technique !  She used hand applique, hand embroidery, painting, and thread painting.

Sami, aka Tree Kitty by Lisa Steinka, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Lisa writes,  "This is a reproduction of an original photo of my cat, Sami, that I took, developed, and printed over 40 years ago. The applique was done in the style of [quilt artist] David Taylor."

Close-up, Sami a.k.a. Tree Kitty

Lisa's original design uses cotton fabrics and cotton batting, with hand-piecing, hand-applique, and embroidery. She has done an excellent job at conveying the dignity and nobility of Sami in his devotion to enjoying life in the tree tops.

Kitten's Dreams by Hiroko Miyama and Masanobu Miyama, Tokyo, Japan

The quilters explain,  "This [work] expresses the kitten's desire to look down on dogs that chased her whenever they met. The flowers are original design, manually punch and machine embroidered. The kitten and dogs are also original design and were appliqued by using an original applique technique."

Close-up,Kitten's Dreams

What a wonderfully realistic depiction of this sweet kitten's face !  Hiroko and Masanobu used machine piecing, fused applique, machine embroidery, and original digitized embroidery to create this adorable quilt.

Can I Keep It, Pleassse?  by Kay Donges, Georgia, U.S.A.

Kay notes, "I was asked to make a quilt to be donated to the International Quilt Association to be placed in their silent auction at the  Houston International Quilt Show. The inspiration was a stock photo I purchased to use. It is fused applique and thread painting.
It is titled, "Can I Keep It, Pleassse?", because I believe that the girl is pleading  [with her voice and emphasizing the word 'Pleassse']  with her parents in order to keep this soft kitty.

Close-up, "Can I Keep It Pleassse?"

Kay has done an amazing job of  capturing the intent expressions of both the little girl and the kitten. It appears that the kitten wants to stay with the little girl as much as the little girl wants to keep it ! We also admire the elegant thread painting on the face and head of the kitten.

Cats on the Roof by Cecilia Koppmann, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Cecilia comments, "Every December, we wrap up the year with a celebratory breakfast that I host for all my students. It's a really fun party. I asked the students to bring with them a piece of fabric for me, from which I cut the cats and built this quilt. Now I have them 'meowing' in my studio all year
We think that a breakfast party is a wonderful way to honor the students, and it looks as if the cats here are getting ready to do a little partying of their own !  

Close-up,  Cats on the Roof

We love Cecilia's arrangements of colors in creating a high contrast, vibrant, contemporary design that shows these nocturnal kitties with their prominent whiskers, out enjoying the night sky amongst the tall buildings.
Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2017 Houston International Quilt Festival.
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