Fabrications and Pet Portraits

I learned this technique from Marilyn Wall at John C. Campbell Folk School, who asked me to take on the class when she retired, which I did for a few years. It’s an amazing technique that’s hard to explain. I do some image processing in my computer, print out several copies, temporarily adhere the images to various pieces of fabric (usually gradations of the same shade), cut out the fabric+paper with tiny sharp scissors, peel off the paper, stack ’em up, and fuse them together. It’s easier than it sounds, but takes a lot of patience and good eyesight. With it you can create smallish wall hangings that stand alone, or integrate fabricated images into larger quilt projects, as I did with the Swannanoa String Band, 1895.  I love doing pet portraits on commission. They all come out at around 16″ x 20″, and range from $90 to $140, depending on complexity and level of detail. Please email me at [email protected] if you would like to commission a portrait.

Hosts of Celtic Winds – a gift for my husband Tom’s friend Richard Beard. They’ve been cohosting a Celtic music show on WNCW-FM for the last 25 years. About 16″ x 20″

Angus – Commissioned for Christmas 2022. 14″ x 16″. Private Collection

Ivy – Commissioned for Christmas 2021. 14″ x 16″. Private Collection

Huck – Commissioned for Christmas 2021. Around 16″ x 20″. Private Collection

Penny – Commissioned for Christmas 2021. Around 16″ x 20″. Private Collection

Ruby – Commissioned in 2021. Around 16″ x 20″. Private Collection

Capo and Ceili – Christmas gifts from Richard Halford to his lovely bride Melinda, completed fall 2019. Both are around 16″ x 20″. Private Collection











And here they are with their respective quilts!











Lula – my friends Cindy and Greg’s dog, completed in time for Christmas 2019. About 14″ x 22″.  Private Collection


Happiness is a Banjo in a Bottle – When my friend and Renaissance Man Clyde Hollifield showed me this picture of him in the spring of 2019, I knew I had to ‘fabricate’ it. It showed in the 2019 Asheville Quilt Show. About 16″ x 20″. Private Collection

This is what friend and Master Puppeteer Hobey Ford did with the same photo (and what inspired me to give it my interpretation):

The Prophet Bert – snapped this one of my buddy Bert Ivey when he and Aisha stopped in for a visit in the fall of 2018. Finally got around to fabricating it this winter. 16″ x 20″, roughly. Private Collection

Still He Waits – my own dog Ben. Good model, works for cheap. 16″ x 20″, roughly, $100 (yes, I’d sell my dog — his image only!).

A trio of Dog Portraits – commissioned by Helen and John Sullivan of the Arrowhead Gallery and Studio (thank you for your patronage!!!),  these were made as 2018 Christmas gifts for their fellow dog-owned friends. Each measures about 16″ x 20″, which is turning out to be a standard size. Each sold for $100, but the price has gone up a bit since these were done. If you’re interested in a pet portrait like one of these, please contact me.

Alexis in Okinawa, 1982 – a chance photograph that seems to capture my mother’s artistic spirit so well. Border is hand-done sashiko embroidery, a nod to our family’s Japanese connections. About 16″ x 20″; completed 2018. Private Collection

The Instructors of Acoustic Corner – It was an interesting challenge to ‘fabricate’ this image at this scale. First time using an patterned final layer to tie everything together. These wonderful musicians were our instructors when we owned the music store, and this was taken just before the annual concert in 2012. 40″ x 17″. Private Collection

Toby-in-the-Grass – Black dogs are hard to do, unless you get them in good light.  About 14″ x 14″; 2014. Private Collection

Simon Sleeps – proof that the technique applies to cats, too. 17″ x 14″; completed 2018.  $80 SOLD

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