Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Raining Cats and Dogs: Part 1

The 2013 Houston IQF had a special, juried exhibit called "It's Raining Cats and Dogs".  This exhibit was among the most popular of the entire show.  In addition, there were some fantastic miniature cat quilts, such as "Princess Daphne", shown below. These skilled artists used either photo transfers, applique, or fabric paints, combined with masterful thread painting. We are in awe of their talent!

Princess Daphne, 23 x 14", by Karen Ponischil (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Karen Ponischil is a graphic designer by day and an art quilter by night. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and four (yes, four) kitty cats. Karen says: "My husband has encouraged me to do projects other than flowers. We had along discussion about this one evening in my studio. I thought, “what else could I do?” I looked over to see this face looking at me from the top of my fabric shelf… perfect!"

close up, Princess Daphne by Karen Ponischil

"Princess Daphne" was whole cloth painted, thread painted, and the blue area was hand appliqued and free motion quilted. This piece, which is only 14" high and 23"wide, won honorable mention in the Art-Miniature category at the 2013 Houston IQF.

Georgia by Mary Ann Vaca-Lambert (Austin, Texas)

Mary Ann has a BFA in studio art/ceramics and MA in drawing and printmaking; she has worked in many different artistic media, often incorporating textiles. Starting in 2006, she has focused on studio quilts and has started exhibiting her work.   This piece, "Georgia", was juried into "It's Raining Cats and Dogs".  The cat was drawn and painted, and the texture was enhanced with thread painting. As shown in the close up photo below, Mary Ann created a third dimension with whiskers that protrude from the quilt!

close up, Georgia by Mary Ann Vaca-Lambert

Mary Ann says:  "Georgia is the head of the household, so she thinks. She is a very strong-willed 'senior kitizen'. She had been abandoned as a one-year-old before she came to live with us in 1998. she has become my husband’s shadow and sticks to him like Velcro."

Tiger by Jeannie Palmer Moore (Escondido, California)

Jeannie Moore is a lifelong artist/watercolorist, graphic designer and professional art director; she is the author of the Mixed Media Quilt Art DVD.  She says that "Tiger" was inspired by a photo of her cat, Tiger, who was basking in the sun: "I’ve always loved having my Tiger alongside of me while I work in my studio. This is a tribute to her for 16 years of unconditional love, purrs and cuddles... I thought it would be fun to do a subtle background combining modern quilting with my newspaper transfer".

close up, Tiger by Jeannie Palmer Moore

We were intrigued by the artistic effects in this piece, which make it appear as if Tiger is sitting on an actual quilt.  The cat appears to be subtly drawn on the quilt in a watercolor style, while the thread painting adds the texture of real fur.  Jeannie explains: "Recently my quilts are taking on a more painterly style with the use of Tsukineko inks. I also enjoy combining the inks with my mixed media techniques. With the addition of stitching on the painted fabric, the animals come alive."

Firecracker, 29 x 25", by Virginia Greaves

Virginia Greaves is an award-winning art quilter who focuses on portraits.  "Firecracker" was shown as part of the "It's Raining Cats and Dogs" special exhibit at the Houston show.  Virginia explains the inspiration for this piece: "My mom was grieving the sudden loss of her Maltese recently and was given a Yorkie to love… when a visitor comes, she gets so excited, she acts like she is going to explode, just like a firecracker."

close up, Firecracker by Virginia Greaves

The close-up photo shows the hundreds of miniscule strips of fabric, in many different values of brown and beige, which were appliqued to create the dog.  On Virginia Greaves' blog, she explains: "In case anyone wants to know — yes it really is an applique piece. This is NOT a photograph — this is NOT an inkjet printed piece. It was insanely difficult but I feel like I’ve solved a difficult puzzle."

Caught in the Act, 32.5" w x 29"h,  by Barbara McKie

Barbara McKie has had many careers (see her bio here); in addition to being a professional quilt artist, she has consulted in the computer field.  Barbara carries her interest in computer graphics into her art quilts, which often feature her photographic images. She says, "I urged my cousin’s cat, Taz, to come to the kitchen sink to drink, and she obliged as I captured her in this funny pose."

close up, Caught in the Act by Barbara McKie

We are amazed by the results, which combine the realism of photography with a quilted surface. It is the uncanny look of the cat's eyes, which appear to be staring right out from the surface of the quilt.  Also check out the silvery stream of water as it hits the cat's pink tongue.  Barbara added to the realism by using trapunto on the cat's features. The face is heavily thread painted with tiny stitches.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Houston IQF.  The special exhibit included fabric animal postcards, donated by hundreds of quilters, which were sold to benefit Houston's no-kill animal shelter, Friends for Life.  To read more see the article at the Houston Chronicle. and the original call for postcards at Pokey's Ponderings.


  1. Wow! I don't even have the words to describe how magnificent these quilts are.

  2. Amazing what some people can do with fabric and stitches.

  3. I'm sorry but they are all alike. Princess Daphne, yes. But I think this quilt would get a high price at any "normal" category.

  4. Sure wish I had the means and talent to create my cat like this.


We love reading each and every comment... thanks for visiting our blog!

Related Posts with Thumbnails