Friday, September 11, 2009

Custom Bunny Portraits

I have been working with Nakisha at bluedogrose for the last few months, recreating her beautiful Little White Rabbit watercolors into lovely quilted wall art. As I was working on New Blue Ribbon I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be fun to quilt a bunny portrait!" There are many quilters that specialize in portraits, but I wanted to try something different. I wanted to compose a story....with background elements having as much weight as the subjects.

My friend Ellen has two adorable bunnies, named Hudson an Honey. Hudson is charcoal grey and white and Honey is the color of...well... honey. Elle had the most precious photograph of them snuggling nose to nose on flickr . They were laying on the prettiest rag rug and I knew the composition would make a beautiful quilt.

Isn't this great! This is the original pic.

The kicker was going to be recreating the rag rug. If I didn't get that just right the quilt just wouldn't work. So I spent two weeks (a three tries) to recreate the rug as I saw it in Elle's photo. I used the needle turn applique technique to create the brightly colored rag strips. After they were applied, I embroidered the connecting threads with floss. I did it. Even the tassels! Now to step two.

This is the rug that took three tries!

I contacted Ellen and asked if I could recreate her photograph to fabric. She gleefully gave her permission and I was off to unite two beautiful bunnies with their favorite rug.

Hudson and Honey are applied to the quilt with needle turn applique as well. This seem to be my technique of choice these days. I think it's because it's so portable. Hudson's white body was applied first. I then overlayed the black. Honey was a challenge to do. She is a fluffier bunny so I cut some very low loft cotton batting a quarter inch smaller than the applique. I used a glue stick to hold the batting to the applique and tacked them both to the quilt body at the same time. To finish it off I embroidered their outlines in 2 strand of floss, in a medium grey.

Hand painting the eyes and the ears were last. I think I'm a glutton for excess stress because this is always the last step. One mistake and I'm in big trouble. I crated the dog and bunny so I wouldn't be bumped, took a deep breath and with brush in hand, started painting. I wait until the quilt is finished , because the eyes and ears bring the bunnies to LIFE!

I finished the quilt with a small black inner border and and outer border in a primary stripe to coordinate with the rag rug. I sent the quilt off to Ellen. She was very happy with my interpretation of her photo and added the quilt picture to her flicker collection.

A special thank you to Hudson and Honey for being fantastic subjects.
To my dear friend Ellen, thank you for the opportunity to play with your bunnies and to recreate your photo to fabric.

Bunny kisses


  1. That's amazing how you can turn a photograph into a quilt! I wish I possessed even a tenth of your skill! Great stuff! Can't wait to see more!

  2. I love this dear quilt and more so, I am so grateful to have made a new wonderful friend. Cindi, you're tops!
    Hugs (and nose-nudges from H+H) to you : D