This is our beautiful Wire-Hair Fox Terrier Sparky - the epitome of "Strong" in his strength and his courage. Sparky is a rescued dog who adopted us December 21, 2012. When we first made his acquaintance, Sparky was quite a mess.... he'd been thrown out of and/or hit by a truck and was found wandering on a rural highway. He had huge ear-to-ear stitches across the top of his head; was skinny as a rail; was on medication for his injuries; and had just been neutered! From head to tail he was hurting, but this beautiful, funny, high-energy canine stole our hearts the moment we saw him. Sparky came home with us that same day and our family has never been the same ! We completed our first year just a few weeks ago, and we're thrilled that Sparky's adoption is complete - we are a "Forever Family."
To accomplish this Canine Portrait, I took the picture shown below and uploaded it to iPhoto on my MacBook computer. The only changes I made were to crop the photo and "blur" the background a bit. The photo was then printed onto Jacquard "Ink Jet Printing" Cotton (for use with inkjet printers & copiers).
Wanting to try some new techniques, I enhanced some areas of the printed image with Derwent Inktense water soluble Ink Pencils, and Caran D'ache water soluble wax (crayon-like) pastels that were purchased on-line from Dick Blick art supplies. I had a blast "painting" with these water soluble pencils and crayons ... no rules... just play time :-D
I heat-set the image then fused it onto black ultra-suede. Inspired by Jennifer Day's extraordinary quilts at the Houston International Quilt Festival, I "thread-painted" over the entire image using several different colors of 40 weight, 50 weight, and monofilament threads. Hours and hours of time were spent on this part of the quilt, which was time well spent !
For the border area, I free-motion quilted various sizes of round "pebble-like" circles to give depth and interest. This quilting was done with 30 wt. Madeira rayon thread (my favorite of all the threads !)
This quilt was so much fun to make ! I was able to try new techniques, play with thread, and pay tribute to one of the strongest characters I've ever had the pleasure to meet - Sparky !