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How I Make Pet Portrait Pillows

I've had quite a few folks ask me how I make the pet portrait pillows, so here's an overview.

The latest is a portrait of Zelda, Yoshi's little sister. Katie sent me a photo of Zelda and OMG, she is a cutie patootie:

From there, I play with the photo in Paint, starting with turning it into a pencil sketch, so it looks like this:

I print this page about 10 times. Then, I start cutting things up based on colors and shading. For Zelda I used Moda Solids in Espresso, Silver, and Lead and then red from my fabric collection for the tag.

I also pick different thread colors. I inherited a bunch of thread from a neighbor, so I don't know the manufacturers or official colors, but they were silver, gray and black, mostly.

Zelda is a fuzzy bunny dog, so I used my pinking shears to cut out the basic outline from one of my 10 photo copies:

I attached it with Wonder Under to a thin piece of muslin.

From there, I use the other photo copies to cut out different pieces and parts based on shading:

With the pieces cut out, it looks like this:

The next step is the thread. I free motion the thread on my machine. For folks that don't know, free motion quilting is like drawing with thread on your machine. You get to move the fabric any which way you like. It's my favorite part. I usually start by roughly marking some lines with a fabric pencil, then go nuts.

This is the point that I add the image to the background fabric. Katie said she has teals, yellows and grays in her home, so I added a variety of those colors into a brickish type background. At some point I'll do different backgrounds, but this is a good standard.

And then constructed into a pillow:

And the back:

Luke Haynes is my inspiration in these portraits, his work is a must see. His website it is

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