My latest piece all began, as they so often do, with an amazing piece of fabric from Carol Eaton…a 2-toned piece she added to my order for fun. The nanosecond I laid it out, I thought…hmm, black cat would look awesome on the red background, buff cat also awesome on the blue/violet.
I had pre-MistyFused pieces of Carol’s custom-dyed solids for Jesse’s other portraits and black silk from another piece featuring Jackson. Aha! I ended up not going with the other hand-dyed you see here, but instead the last precious scrap of Cherrywood black. (As you may know, black is a very difficult color to achieve in hand-dyed fabric…Cherrywood is my favorite, darkest black.)
The photo I immediately thought of was this one:
Summit meeting? Plot to overthrow human management of the house? Who knows…but it is a favorite of mine. The MobileMonet app turned it into this image:
…which gave me a paper pattern. Well, eventually…I played with re-sizing each cat half until it was the right size for the background. From there it was fast work to trace the outlines of my subjects onto their respective fabrics!
A brief side note on eyes: for very dark-toned pets, I sometimes prefer to use reverse appliqué for their eyes…so Jackson’s eyes were traced, cut out then backed with a bit of Carol’s brilliant green fabric-
Next…arranged and fused…and ready for LOTS of thread 😁!
For the backgrounds, I just had to try the dark red Aurifil in a slightly heavier (40) weight…for the blue-violet, well, when you cannot decide, use both! (Using monofilament in the bobbin makes life easy when you plan to change top thread colors frequently.)
Then my favorite part: whiskers! I love using very heavy 12wt thread for this detail as it helps them to really stand out:
If you do this, don’t forget to switch to an even larger needle…I use a 100 Topstitch needle for whiskers (90 for nearly everything else).
Time to complete this piece: about 8-9 (all-consuming) hours. My biggest time-saver, by far, is to MistyFuse my fabrics in advance-this enables me to go right to the cutting-composing-fusing-changing my mind and re-positioning phase. (The biggest time drain was trying to adjust the highlighted sections of Jackson’s fur…too dark!…whoops, too light…oh, SO much fabric ink…)
Now, to decide on a title 😂…what do you think?