Pets are our companions, our jesters, and our family members. But to fiber artists, pets can also serve as a muse for textile art. Creating pet art and fabric art projects for your furry friends is a wonderful way to celebrate your relationship and honor a beloved family member.
If you’re going to create fabric art projects for or about your animals, here are some tips to consider:
Pet Quilts and Portraits
The simplest way to capture your pet in a quilt is to use a photograph. You can print an image onto prepared fabric or create a Thermofax® screen from an image and make a print from that.
You can also use a photograph to create an image of your pet using fabric collage techniques. By tracing the photo and assigning fabrics of different values to the details in your pet’s face you can create a pet quilt that looks like the real thing. Add thread sketching techniques, and your pet quilts can look even more realistic.
Whether you make dog quilts, cat quilts, or quilts featuring other kinds of animals, decide beforehand if your quilt will be used (and therefore washed) or whether it will be considered wall art. Then choose your techniques and materials accordingly.
Fabric Art Projects for Your Pets
If you’re making a quilted project that your pet will wear or use, make sure the fabrics, embellishments, and surface design techniques are washable.
You should also be sure an embellishments are securely attached, or avoid them altogether. Wearable pet quilt projects should be comfortable for the pet and be easy to put on and take off. You can use your sewing and quilting skills to make collars, leashes, placemats, and beds for your pets-there are many patterns available for you to follow.
Here are some of my favorite dog and cat quilt patterns, pet art ideas, and other fabric art projects that you and your pets might enjoy:
Capture your favorite fish in the Freeform Fabric Collage article from Quilting Arts Magazine Apr/May 2010.
Capture your animals in pet quilts with Pet-ty Journal Portraits from Quilting Arts Magazine Apr/May 2010.
Browse through pet quilts that express their owners “Pet Peeves” in the Quilting Arts Magazine Dec 11/Jan 12 issue.
You too can make a stitched dog quilt with this featured project from Quilting Arts Magazine Dec 11/Jan 12.
You’ll love these great dog quilt patterns, including this comfy bed, from the 10 Pet Projects eBook.
Postcards with a twist, learn to capture your four-legged friends on a mini pet art postcard, with Fabric Postcard Pets.
Learn how to create realistic pet and dog quilt patterns with the methods in Pet Picture Quilts Made Easy.
Feature your favorite feline in a cat quilt using all sorts of fabric art techniques with the 10 Pet Projects eBook.
Keep your pup warm with this dog quilt cover, another fun fabric art project in the 10 Pet Projects eBook.
Featured art is by (left to right, top to bottom): Pauline Salzman, Faith Cleary, Jane LaFazio, Pokey Bolton, Faith Cleary, Susan Carlson, Pokey Bolton, Sandra Bloom, Faith Cleary, and Vivika Hansen DeNegre.