Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mt. Ruffmore and more: the quilts of Pauline Salzman

We had a wonderful time meeting very talented, multi award-winning, and vivacious quilt artist Pauline Salzman at the Houston International Quilt Festival. From Treasure Island, Florida, Pauline creates outstanding, whimsical art quilts honoring man's best friend, the canine.

Pauline Salzman with "Mt. Ruffmore" at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival

Here is Pauline with "Mt. Ruffmore", a quilt based on the American monument, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, where the heads of American Presidents are carved out of a mountain. Pauline has ingeniously designed a quilt where the dogs owned by several Presidents appear in a venue which looks very similar to the mountain itself.

Mt. Ruffmore by Pauline Salzman

Pauline notes, "These are the Presidents' dogs:  Bo (a Portuguese Water dog owned by Barack and Michelle Obama), Buddy (a chocolate Labrador retriever owned by Bill and Hillary Clinton), Barney (a Scottish terrier owned by George W. and Laura Bush), and Heidi (a Weimaraner owned by Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower)."

close up, Mt. Ruffmore by Pauline Salzman

For this well-known and always beloved quilt, Pauline used fusible applique and fabric pens to help with the shading. She also used machine quilting on  cotton fabrics with Hobbs wool batting. We love the way that the dogs portray a sense of gravitas and dignity, just like their owners.

The Great Crate Escape by Pauline Salzman, Treasure Island, Florida

Pauline notes, of her original design inspired by her pets,  " [My dogs] Ally and Lucy are impossible to crate. The howling and barking that ensues is unbearable. They, however, have no problem riding in a different kind of crate. All crates are not created equal."  This very colorful work, complete with the complementary tropical hues of  Florida in the background, is done with fused applique and blin stitching.

Close-up, The Great Crate Escape by Pauline Salzman

We really enjoyed looking at all the fun details here. First, the convertible is rendered very realistically, including its BMW logo. Then, Ally and Lucy have a wonderful sense of hope and expectation on their faces, now that they're out of their dog crates. Even the embellishment on their collars is cute -- check out the little bell.  To us, these happy pooches seem to know that they're headed  off on a lively adventure.

Doggieminiums by Pauline Salzman

Doggieminiums, with its fascinating details and delightful striped border, was one of the most popular quilts in Houston. Hordes of admirers stopped by to gaze lovingly at all the darling dogs. Pauline says that the design source for this pieced and appliqued work is based on Kaffe Fassett's Cabana blocks.

Pauline humorously writes, "The rules are different here. No one over 120 pounds. Howling and barking are allowed before 10 pm. No growling is ever permitted.....All doggie doors on garage dog houses must be closed at dusk for the night. [Owners] association fees are one bone per month, penalty if late. Late fees are one more bone. " 

Close up, Doggieminiums by Pauline Salzman

This cute Dalmatian puppy wears the traditional FD  (Fire Department) hat, as Dalmaltians have traditionally been associated with fire fighters and firehouses. (Isn't this some of the cutest fabric you have ever seen)? 

Additional resources and information about Pauline Salzman:

Pauline is a highly entertaining story teller; we think you'll really enjoy what she has to say in this Quilters Share Our Stories video. 

She shares valuable and information about her expert techniques on Home and Garden Television's "Simply Quilts" with Alex Anderson. Pauline also has been featured on  Quilting Arts TV.

In addition, please check out her  Facebook page, Pauline Karasch Salzman.

Many thanks to Pauline for taking time to  share so much valuable and interesting information with us. It was a real pleasure to be able to talk with her in Houston, Texas.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.  The quilts by Pauline Salzman were exhibited in the Festival Awareness Project: It's Raining Cats and Dogs.


  1. I saw both those quilts in the show in Houston. Amazing!

    On the Dogominiums I found a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (my beloved Swissys) and my current bane, the Bassets. I wonder if she has done a basset? they are so funny, it would be great fodder for her creative imagination.

  2. Oh My!! How creative!! so much work!!!! Love it!

  3. As always absolutely beautiful.My mouth is still open

  4. Of course, I love dogs!! We have 6 year old Maddie living with us, she is a white lab and I adore her!!! Mt Ruffmore is awesome!!!! Genius!!!

  5. Thanks for your reply. I searched your site and was happy to find your post of FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010. Not free but a start of where/what to look for.


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