Furry Family Friends

One year ago today, I had to say goodbye to the best quilting buddy I could have ever wanted. My cat, Onyx, had been my constant companion for over thirteen years and I have missed having her around.

When the weather was warm, her favorite place to sit was looking at my flower garden through the screen of our front door. Unfortunately, I never thought to take a picture of her sitting there while she was alive. So, this summer, I decided to make a wall quilt that depicted the scene.

After sketching out my idea, I hand painted fabric dye onto a piece of white fabric. The gold color on the fabric below is a dye blocker to keep some areas from dyeing.

Next, I quilted the fabric, stitching out the sun, clouds, tree, flowers and brick garden edging.

Using Inktense Dye pencils, I then colored in the leaves, tree trunk, flowers and bricks.

I then secured some nylon mesh over the “door” section of the scene using MistyFuse Ultraviolet. I selected this type of fusible web because it is very sheer and is treated to prevent discoloration and aging when exposed to UV light. I used a strip of shiny organza to create the “sidelights” of the scene, cutting out the diamonds where our sidelights have clear glass.

The leading of the sidelights was created using a tight zigzag stitch.

To replicate the umbrella basket next to the door, I used 1/8″ leather strips woven into the shape of a basket and hand stitched onto the quilt. The umbrellas were hand dyed silk fabrics stitched onto wires that were attached to a heavy wire. The heavy wire was bent and the end covered with polymer clay to create handles. These umbrellas actually open like real umbrellas.

To replicate the ceramic vase near our front door, I embroidered a design onto another piece of hand dyed silk fabric, shaped it into a vase form and hand stitched the vase onto the quilt. The Eucalyptus branches were made by hand painting fabric dye onto Lutrador Mixed Media Fabric. The painted fabric was folded over, glued to copper wire, cut into small circles and twisted into branches to go inside the vase.

I used more polymer clay to make the hinges and knob for the door.

Onyx was made from hand dyed heavy wool fabric, washed to cause felting and stitched onto the quilt. Her eyes were made using fused glass.

I am very happy with the result. I may not have Onyx to keep me company when sewing, but I do have a reminder of her on my wall.

And, while we are now a pet-free home, we have had several other furry friends in our household. So, this fall I decided to add them to the wall as well. Using some photos taken of these pets, I created paper pieced 6″ x 6″ tiles of Striker (German Shorthair Pointer), Squigglez (Orange Tabby), Comet (Orange Tabby) and Duke (Yorkshire Terrier).

Mounted above and below the Onyx quilt, the pets finish off the décor of one wall in my sewing room very nicely.

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