Ears to You

Maggie's pawtrait is down to needing the body and neck now. The face and ears are finished. Here's what I did yesterday.

First, I checked back several times after Wednesday's session to see if I was liking the bright spot on the right side of the face any better. Each time I looked at it, it seemed more wrong than the time before. Eventually, I realized that the bottom fabric was lighter than the highlight piece fused to the top...which was the exact opposite of what I was going for.

Also, I think that fabric has too much yellow in it to be of any use. Maggie's colors are so nuanced that fabric begins to feel like a clumsy medium to use in an attempt to reproduce them. I decided that my best bet was to use both sides of the same fabric, and so I used the right side for the bottom piece and the wrong side for the lighter top piece.

I think that looks better now.

With that settled, I continued on with the rest of the right side of the face. I'm still teaching myself to do these animal pawtraits, and it occurs to me that they are best worked with the eyes at the center of one's attention and then outward from there.

At this point, I had the face finished, and I was ready to start on the ears. After studying the photograph for a while, I decided to go with the whole shape of the ears and the top of the head in one color and then add the shading in smaller pieces. Here's how the ears looked before adding any details.

As I do each piece, I "X" it out on my template. For these smaller pieces, I decided to number them as I went so that I could keep straight which piece went where.

To choose the correct color fabric, it helps to lay the template over the original photograph again. When I did that, it became clear that the portion of the ear that was X'd out was really a detail I needed to include. I decided to make the top two pieces from one piece of fabric since they're both the same color.

I'm realizing that I'm going to need to rely on thread to add more of the details since it becomes too difficult to do with fabric. I have these three nice variegated tan threads. I like the lighter colors of the one on the right best, I think.

When I stopped for the day, the head was pretty much finished. 

Today I'm hoping I'll have time to finish the neck and body, and then fuse it to a background fabric.

Maggie is comfortable enough roaming the house that I dismantled her little retreat in Mike's office. She hasn't used it in weeks. That meant I moved the little bed down to the sewing room again, and she took advantage of it after thoroughly snoopervising what I was doing. A gal's gotta get her beauty sleep, you know.

This morning I'm having breakfast with Erik, and then if the weather holds, I'll go for a walk. Sue has abandoned me for warmer climes for the month of March, and so I'm on my own.


  1. It's looking good. You are right I think about the thread helping with the details and blending....it should bring it all together. Once you get her under the needle you will know. You might need all of them!

  2. That is wonderful, she has beautiful markings to use in quilting.
    Mine are black and white, so not a lot to be creative with, lol.


  3. This is looking fabulous Barbara!!!

  4. She looks so peaceful laying there - think she has decided her new home is her forever home. Great work on the pawtrait and do love all that varigated thread.

  5. Wow, I knew she had a lot of colors but didn't realize just how many until I see the drawing, good catch on changing that one out, it looks so much better.

  6. That is so cool! How do you cut such intricate little pieces?

    1. Lana Ku, you are no-reply, and so I can't answer you personally. I use small and sharp craft scissors, and it's a bit of a chore. It helps to turn the piece rather than the scissors. Some are so small, I hold them with tweezers as I cut. Some folks would use an Xacto Knife, but I don't feel I have as much control as I do with scissors.

  7. Great work Barbara, it is looking fantastic. You're spot on with the piece you switched out as it is now much truer to Maggie's colouring. You share your home with two very beautiful cats.

  8. It really looks great so far. You are definitely an expert at creating pawtraits.

  9. I am amazed at how you can reproduce your photo in cloth. You have such a keen eye for the subtleties of color. Very impressive!!!

  10. Wow! Maggie's pawtrait is really turning out beautiful!

  11. I think it's unanimous, we are all in awe of your work on Maggie's pawtrait! Great job!

  12. You do amazing work on these pet portraits. I am not sure I would attempt them!

  13. Maggie's pawtrait is coming along beautifully!