Thread Obsession and Westies😉🐾🐾

Ok, so you have probably noticed my predilection for REALLY BRIGHT colors and my fave brilliant Aurifil 50wt spools. But…have you thought about venturing beyond the orange spools we know and love, and working with the heavier weights?

The photo above shows my ‘paintbox’ of pet portrait threads. Lots of grey bottoms — the 28wt is awesome for fur…one red — super heavyweight white for whiskers…and a selection of 50wt for different eye colors.

This treasure trove really came in handy for my latest project, a portrait of little Sophie:

What a fun Christmas gift to create to a friend’s daughter! I went for lots of different textures (which do not really show up in the photo) to compensate for a Westie’s monochromatic look…the different thread weights were perfect.

First, the photo…

Then, work with apps, and some decisions re background color…

Black was requested as a background…at first I was worried this would be too severe, then remembered my black silk dupioni — texture!

Time for some MistyFusing (of course) and tracing…

Positioning this cutie on the background sandwich, it was now time for thread selection! Who knew there were so many near-whites?

At the bottom left, you may notice I also snuck in a spool of wool “Lana” Aurifil thread…I love it, just remember to use a large enough needle and be gentle with tension.

I like to ink in the subject’s eyes first…and add any other necessary bits (here, a scrap of leather for her nose, pieces of pale peach for her ears, and a piece of silk ribbon for her collar) before revving up my Bernina.

Vroom! Many many layers later…it was time to quilt down the background then add a final feathering of fur around the edges, before trimming and binding.

So, for the New Year…I hope you’ll play with some of my favorite “fur weight” Aurifils! They create a lovely dense fill that is perfect for our favorite companions 😁.

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.

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