"Chi-Town Dog"

"Chi-Town Dog", 24" x 15", 2020

"Chi-Town Dog", 24" x 15", fused applique, 2020

"Chi-Town Dog"

March 29, 2020

A Chicago style hot dog has no ketchup, but celery salt is too confusing on fabric.

There's just something about food as subject matter that seems to catch my fancy. Probably I'm just attracted to the bright colors of highly processed foods. Equally likely it's because food is fun and I can eat the models at the end of the photo session. (Ooh, "photo session". Sounds like I do more than take pictures with a cell phone. No worries - I do not ever pretend to be a photographer!)

A while back, I put this image on a small canvas. (You can read more about that near the end of https://www.katesfunart.com/Blog/Transitions  There is also an image of it at the end of this post.)  I wanted to remake "Hot Dog!" into fabric and the "Abstract, Traditional and all In-between" show was the perfect time.

One of my goals while making the pieces for the show was to use what I already had (or found on the "free" table at a guild meeting).

I had the perfect piece of yellow fabric for the mustard, but it was too short. A seam would have looked wrong which is why the mustard "skips" on the hot dog. That's what is called a "happy accident" since mustard tends to do that anyway. The seams for the onions and tomato were hidden under the outline stitching.

Every artist knows that you can have 600 different greens and none of them will be right. (Don't fret, I don't have that many fabric greens.) Pickle relish is such a deliciously fake green it was necessary to hit the quilt store. This batik did the job. (I added the white dot highlights at the end using a mix of ink and acrylic paint.)

I used water soluble crayon to show the baked top and bottom of the bun. To avoid the risk of having this food look too real, the other coloring was kept very subtle.

A good Chicago dog should be served on a poppy seed bun. My small supply of beads leans toward gaudy so I had to buy black beads. Of the two sizes purchased, I went with the larger ones because this doggie is two feet wide and each of those beads was sewn on by hand.


Here are some process pictures:




Pieces are fused on and ready to have the edges stitched.

(I had already done the full size line drawing to use as a pattern.)







Starting the black satin stitching.

The outline makes it come to life!




More stitching seen front and back. The back right now is the stabilizer to keep the fabric from puckering. This phase of stitching is finished and it is now ready for the final fabric back.






Almost done with the poppy seeds.

All that's left to do is the facing, sleeve and label.




"Hot Dog", 10" x 8", mixed media on canvas, 2015

"Chi-Town Dog", 24" x 15", fused applique, 2020

"Chi-Town Dog", 24" x 15", 2020


Sometimes inspiration comes from wherever - and sometimes it comes from a previous work done in a different medium. Either way, a deadline gets it done!

Would I do this hot dog again? No, I think I'm done with it though I would take what I've learned from it and apply it to another project.


Watching this piece come to life with the black outlining was incredibly satisfying. It would be fun to do a whole series of foods in this style.


Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In