“Ruby” 🐾🐾

My studio is still full to the brim with WIPS related to my Really Big Project ;)…all to be revealed soon! Because one of my favorite cats makes an appearance in the current issue of Quilting Arts magazine- a fast and easy way to create a pet portrait- I thought I would share my original interpretation of Ruby, titled “Unforgiven” (created for IQF’s “Raining Cats and Dogs” 2014 Special Exhibit).
It all began with an email from a dear friend, trying to console me for the outcome of the AFC Championship game on the previous evening. (Hint: my beloved NY Jets lost!) She had snapped a truly hilarious picture of her cat during an early Christmas celebration:

First step was to turn to my favorite app, Mobile Monet, to turn it into a more easily-traceable illustration.

Then, enlarge and trace a pattern on the back:

I should note that this was before I discovered the wonders of MistyFuse, so I had to work in reverse for my paper-backed fusible. Next step, gather my reds from my Superior thread stash and head to my local quilt shop and buy LOTS of fat quarters of reds for that bow…

Then make a key so that I would not lose my mind putting the 51-piece bow together:

Lots and lots of tracing and trimming later, Ruby and her bow were coming together. 

I had a great deal of fun with her lovely eyes, which I nearly always create on white/light fabric and fuse to the face:

Tsukineko’s Fabrico pens are one of my favorite tools! 

Next challenge, the background (which was too busy in the original photo). I opted for a batik background that would contrast nicely with all of those reds, and added a suggestion of a human holding her by stitching in a cashmere “arm,” bit of body and hand. The inside joke about the cashmere is that is was thoughtfully provided by my feral cutie, who had chewed so many holes in one of my sweaters that it landed in my stash. It was a flat surface so I quilting in a cable pattern and “cuff” for fun:

This piece spent quite a bit of time on the longarm (that bow!!). I used marching thread in the bobbin each time to create a ghost image on the reverse:

After quilting Ruby’s face and bow so densely, I needed an equally dense background fill…bubbling (pebbling?) is one of my favorites.

Lessons learned:

– paper-backed fusible has its place, but the construction process would have been much faster with MistyFuse! This was the last piece I did without it.

– get over the fear of stitching the eyes! I was so afraid to make a mistake and ruin my ink work…in retrospect she would be even prettier if I had. This was also the last piece in which I did not stitch the eyes…they are now my favorite step.

And the title? It referred to my question to my friend: would Ruby ever forgive her for the indignity of that bow ;)?

Published by neonkittyquilts

Laurie is a fiber artist who combines her passion for animals and quilting by producing pet portraits though a technique she calls "Pet-lique." A frequent teacher at IQF's Open Studios and The City Quilter in NYC, she has been published in Quilting Arts magazine and The Canadian Quilter. Her art quilts have been juried into special exhibits in Houston and the National Juried Show of the CQA. She sits on the board of the Quilt Alliance and is an enthusiastic member of SAQA. Laurie lives in NYC and Connecticut with her husband, their two angelic German Shepherds and three mischievous felines.

2 thoughts on ““Ruby” 🐾🐾

  1. I’m getting ready to do a black and white piece and appreciate the tips! Takeaway: use more thread πŸ™‚

  2. I would like to get in touch with you regarding the possibility of a presentation at one of our guild meetings. We meet the first Monday of the month. Our guild is in the Albany NY area. I am the program chair for the 2017-2018 year. Please email me or call me at 518-393-5469

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