My Aurifil Dog

I attended the New Zealand Symposium in Manawatu earlier this year and was privileged to take a class with Melissa Burdon. Melissa transforms photographs into works of art.
I chose a photograph of my beloved Jack Russel, Dougal. He is 13 years old and has become MY dog even though he was a pet for my sons when they were young.

Meet My Dog, DOUGAL

Meet My Dog, DOUGAL

Using the computer program GIMP, the photograph is altered removing colour and leaving a gray scale image. This technique allows a tracing to be made of the subject separating areas by their shading.

My photo after GIMP

My photo after GIMP

For this class, our photos were shaded into 6 levels. Each of these shades translated into a shade of our chosen colour. I chose purple.

The process begins

The process begins

The picture is slowly built up a piece at a time until it is ready to place onto a background. Finding just the right background took some time until I found a print of his favourite thing…TENNIS BALLS.

The background

The background

Once the background was complete and Dougal was fused in place, it was time to quilt.

Aurifil Matches perfectly

Aurifil Matches perfectly

Using Aurifil Cotton Mako 40wt and 50wt threads the ‘fur’ began to ‘grow’.

The 'fur' grows

The ‘fur’ grows

Quilting the Toes

Quilting the Toes

Quilting the Collar

Quilting the Collar

All of the quilting was done with FMQ. Each tennis ball was carefully outlined so they would ’bounce’.

SIT....Good Dog!

SIT….Good Dog!

If you have a photo of someone or something special, have a go with GIMP and create your own fabric photo.

10 Responses

  1. I was in your class, and I’m so please Dougal is finished – you’ve done a terrific job and he and the background look fab – I haven’t touched my daughters face since the class, but have my next one posterised and ready for action – congrats on your wonderful art piece – cheers Helen C

    • Great to hear from you Helen. Melissa’s class was inspiring. I am glad to hear you have continued with the process. I plan to do another photo as well. Thank you for your lovely comments about Dougal.

  2. OK, Your quilt photo looks great now I want to see the real thing!

    • I am happy to show you the ‘real’ thing next time I am in the shop….I assume you are referring to the textile piece and NOT the real dog.😄

  3. Oh my goodness, dear Dougal looks absolutely fabulous in cotton. What a great finish. I specially love the eyes but the entire piece just makes me feel he is staring up at me and waiting for me to throw another ball to chase. Well done!

    • Thanks Dorry. Melissa Burdon is an excellent tutor. It is nice to actually finish a project I started at a symposium.

  4. I love the technique. Please tell more about the stitching Same type all over with different shades. Could you use decorative stitches for texture?


    • Hi Debi,
      Thank you for your comments. Melissa is a wonderful teacher and any type of stitch could be used to create texture. Many people in the class were creating portraits of family members and I would think a straight stitch would be used. I like your suggestion of using different stitches to create texture. There are no limits to the possibilities. Have a look at Melissa Burdon’s website. Her pieces are incredible!

  5. Love him. I have a JRT x Mini Foxie, similar in looks to your furbaby.

    • Thanks Sharon,
      These little terriers just become a member of the family. It was fun make my boy in my favourite colour as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: