Needle Painting Embroideries: Cats

Needle Painting Cat Embroideries by Tanja Berlin

Please see below embroideries that I have stitched of cats in technique of needle painting.

Needle painting also known as Thread Painting, Painting with a Needle and Silk Shading is a surface hand embroidery technique in which long and short straight stitches are blended together using a range of DMC embroidery cotton colours to create realistic portraits.

Visit the Needle Painting Information Page for more information on the needle painting technique.

Siamese Needle Painting Embroidery by Tanja Berlin

The embroidery of Smokey the Siamese cat measures 4 1/2 inches by 4 3/4 inches (11 1/4 cm by 11 3/4 cm) and took 45 hours to stitch. I used 20 different shades of DMC embroidery cotton to work the embroidery.

The embroidery of Smokey was worked from the photograph on the left.

Smokey’s fur has been worked in a long and short stitch. The inside of his ears are worked in shorter long and short stitch are smooth in contrast to the longer fur on his head and neck. Smokey’s right eye has a shadow cast over the top half and the eye is stitched in various shades of blues so that his eyes are dimensional and realistic.

The Siamese cat is featured in the A-Z of Thread Painting Book and is an advanced project.

I have beginners to advanced kits in the Needle Painting technique and suggest you try one of my beginners needle painting kits prior to trying the Siamese cat design as the instruction booklet with my beginners kits are very comprehensive enabling you to get a good foundation in the technique. Where as the instructions int the A-Z of Thread Painting book are concise so you need to have a background in needle painting to work the Siamese cat.

Cat Needle Painting Embroidery by Tanja Berlin

The embroidery of the cat measures 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches (11 1/4 cm by 11 1/4 cm) and took 49 hours to stitch. I used 22 different shades of DMC embroidery cotton to work the embroidery.

Hundreds of long and short straight stitches are worked to make the full white mane of the cat, shorter long and short straight stitches are worked for the face of the cat.

I was provided with several photos of cat to work from and chose the one with the most striking, fierce character and I am happy to report that I was complimented on how I captured his true nature.

If you are interested in stitching your own cat I suggest you get some experience in the long and short technique first. Good designs to get you familiar with working fur are the Baby Burrowing Owl Needle Painting Embroidery, the Red Fox Needle Painting Embroidery and the Grizzly Bear Needle Painting Embroidery.

Siamese Cats Needle Painting Embroidery by Tanja Berlin

The embroidery of the cats measures 4  inches by 4 inches (10 cm by 10 cm) and took 57 hours to stitch. I used 14 shades of DMC embroidery cotton to work the embroidery.

Oliver and Maudie, Siamese cats have been commissioned by Sharon Gray to be worked as a cover picture for the book she is putting together, the following explains the reason for writing the book, the book will benefit cancer research.

Sadly Jennifer has left us now. Jennifer and all those who have suffered from Cancer are in our hearts.

The book is available at McNally Robinson bookstores this would make a great gift and 20% of the book sales profits will be donated to Cancer Research and/or other cancer related organizations.

Book Title: Letters To Jennifer
Author: Oliver and Maudie Gray, Sharon Gray
ISBN: 0-9686942-2-5
Publisher: Avililo Press, Po Box 897, Teulon, Manitoba, R0C 3B0, Canada
Book details: Paper back, 90 pages, 8 inch by 6 inch.


In the early eighties, I met Jennifer and we became friends. The first time she came to my home she met Basil and Sage, my two Siamese cats.  She looked at them and said, “I am a dog person.”

Over time she accepted them, particularly Basil.  They frequently shared taco flavoured chips on the kitchen floor.

She move away, met Ted and married him.  Ted was living with two gentlemen cats, Norman and Charlie.  Of course, she became a “cat person.”

We remained friends. Over time we became employees of the same company and Jennifer was my supervisor, living in another city.  I was now living with Oliver and Maudie, two Siamese cats.  At this time I was experiencing health difficulties and I ask her if she would care for Oliver and Maudie if anything happened to me.  She said that she would be delighted.

Whenever we met, she would ask:  “How are my niece and nephew?”  Those who heard this would not realize that we were discussing two very spoiled cats.

In October 1999, Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer and had one breast removed and started on a journey of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.  Christmas that year, a parcel arrived with Christmas presents for Oliver and Maudie from “Auntie Jennifer”.  I was overwhelmed by this kind, thoughtful act.  Of course, they had to write a letter of thank you.

She told me that she really enjoyed the Christmas thank you letter.  Ergo, the first of more than thirty Letters to Jennifer from Oliver and Maudie.

The letters were a non-threatening, non- invasive way of keeping in touch with her during this difficult time.  A letter was written for each treatment that she received.  In humour, Oliver and Maudie describe their lives – living with Lip (live in person), their neighbours, events and generally their philosophy on life.  Often, Jennifer said that she enjoyed the letters and although she did not look forward to treatments, she anticipated that a letter from Oliver and Maudie would be coming shortly after.

Jennifer – and others who have read them – urged that the letters be published and for her they will be.