Friday, August 19, 2011

Quilts of the Wild West Part 3

Toni Whitney is a pre-eminent wildlife painter and quilt designer. Her home and studio in Northwest Montana is nestled up against miles of wilderness, where a never-ending abundance of inspiration walks by her studio. Toni's wild west designs include moose, bear, elk, buffalo, cougar, wolf, and eagle. Of horses, she says: "I am deeply inspired by the beauty of the horse, whether standing, running, grazing... Any horse lover knows that a mere glimpse into the eyes of a horse can stir the soul."

Royal, 19-1/4 x 22-1/4", by Toni Whitney at Toni Whitney Design, as seen at the Bigfork Bay Cotton Company

"Royal" is (was) Toni Whitney's own horse, whom she rescued from the meat market at three years old.This magnificent palomino appears to be leaping right out of its quilted frame ! As for all of Toni's art quilt patterns, "Royal" is designed for fusible applique. For more beautifully realistic horses, check out "Guardian", "Pride and Joy" and "Lazy-Days" at Toni Whitney Design; and 4 Ever Friends, Spring Storm, Wild Girl, and Wild Horse Canyon at Bigfork Bay Cotton Company.

Midnight Glide, 13-1/2 x 21-1/2", by Toni Whitney at Toni Whitney Design

The Great Horned Owl is an impressive bird, with a wingspan of 40-60 inches (101–153 cm). Owls have spectacular binocular vision allowing them to pinpoint prey and see in low light; they hunt at night by waiting on a high perch and swooping down on prey. The eyes of Great Horned Owls are immobile within their sockets; their neck must be able to turn a full 270 degrees in order to see in other directions! Toni Whitney's "Midnight Glide" perfectly captures the majesty of this bird in flight.

Backdoor Bear, 8" x 10", by Toni Whitney at Toni Whitney Design

This little black bear hung around the back door of Toni's studio for days, just waiting for his close up. Two small black beads in his eyes give off just the glimmer that you see when they look right at you. "Backdoor Bear" is designed to be mounted on canvas (instructions included) or to be made as a wall hanging using the background fabric with thread play as borders. Right now, Toni is off teaching "Backdoor Bear" on a quilting cruise to Alaska (wow !)

Image credits: Images are shown with the generous permission of Toni Whitney. In addition to North American wildlife, her quilt patterns include an elephant, lion, giraffe, tiger and zebra. The quotation in the first paragraph is from an interview with Toni Whitney at whohub.


  1. Thank you very much.
    I was interested to learn more about Toni Whitney's.
    Pictures of adorable!

  2. I don't usually go for art quilts but I am an owl person and that owl is beautiful.

  3. What a very nice article about Toni! Very well done.


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