Quilt Your Pet, Interview with Gigi Gould

Gigi Gould is a quilter who started quilting animal portraits after exploring a specific quilting technique during a class at the Folk School. She will return this summer to share her methods for how to create a beautiful quilted portrait of your beloved pet.

Read more about her process and learning journey below! Interested in her class? Register today to secure your spot.

JCCFS: Tell us more a bit about yourself and what brought you to making your pet portrait quilts.

GG: I have been quilting for many years, and I focused in on pet quilts when one of my dogs passed on. I made my first one in a class taught by Marilyn Wall at the Folk School, and I am forever grateful to her for encouraging me to do this. Since then, I have done many pet quilts, often as memorial quilts, and have found it incredibly rewarding to see the reactions of the recipients. No amount of money can replace those smiles and tears.

JCCFS: What’s the process like for creating one of these quilts? 

GG: Each student starts by sending me a few pictures of their pet. I will then help the student decide which one is most suitable for a pet quilt, which we then make grayscale copies of for use in class. I will then guide each student through the process of creating a template, selecting fabrics and assembling the quilt. My objective is that each student will leave with a finished (or almost finished) project that they are proud of, as well as an understanding of the techniques involved in creating the quilt.

Poodle portrait by Gigi!

Students working in the Quilting Studio!

More of Gigi’s pet quilts!

JCCFS: What is your favorite aspect of the John C. Campbell Folk School?

GG: I love the layout of the studios, as well as the flexibility afforded by being able to work in the studios after hours, beyond “class” times. I have found that a wonderful sense of community develops as well as a welcome sharing of ideas amongst the entire class.

JCCFS: Where do you draw inspiration from for your work?

GG: My love of animals and the unfortunate loss of my pets originally inspired me to memorialize them in quilt form. I find that my pet quilts help me grieve their loss and hold them forever in my heart.

JCCFSWhat projects are you working on right now?

GGI am currently working on a pet portrait quilt for a friend who lost her two beloved dogs. I am also exploring watercolor and mosaic medium as new interests; I believe that creativity can be expressed through a number of mediums and that each helps the other flourish individually.

JCCFS: What tips would you give an aspiring craftsperson?

GG: My one suggestion to all students is to follow their instincts. If moved by art of any form, explore it and let it speak to you.

JCCFS: Thanks for chatting about your upcoming class. We’re excited to have you teach at Folk School!

The quilting studio is an expansive, well-lit space with plenty of tables, chairs, sewing machines, and wall boards.

Upcoming Class with Gigi

Pet Portraits

August 4-10, 2024

Discover how to translate a photograph to fabric as you design a quilted wall hanging of your pet. We will cover all steps: creating a pattern, assembling the quilt top with raw-edge appliqué, joining the top to the batting and backing, and enhancing with final quilting. The instructor will contact students prior to class to discuss images and aid with project selection. Basic quilting skills are required, as we will focus on design, rather than quilting techniques.

About Gigi Gould

Gigi Gould attributes her creative inspiration to a pictorial art quilt class taught by Marilyn Wall at the Folk School in 2007. Most of the students created landscape designs, but Marilyn let Gigi work on a quilt depicting her dog, Daisy, and that sparked a passion! The support and acceptance Gigi received were the foundation for her delving further into creating pet quilts, of which she has now made many, and she looks forward to sharing what she has learned with others. Besides quilting, she has also explored stained-glass design and spent several years painting furniture in folk-art style.

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