Monday, February 25, 2013

Buddies Portrait Quilt~Part I

For my second portrait quilt, I chose to use a photo of hubby and his buddy Zeke. I don't remember when this photo was taken but it was sometime in 2001 or 2002 most likely. It is not a digital image so I had to scan it into my computer so that I could edit it in Photoshop. When scanning an image like this you will loose some quality so it's best to scan at 600-720 dpi if possible.
This image was also a challenge because it was shot indoors & with a flash. But while the quality left something to be desired I really liked the photo & the feeling it portrayed.

To help me see color value, I converted the photo to black and white and used Photoshops cutout filter, until I could visualize cutting the areas out of fabric. Some people might prefer to use Posterize instead. Poster edges is also a helpful filter. I then blow the image up to the actual size it will be in the quilt. If you are using standard size paper you will have to print in sections & tape them together to make the whole. From this, I create my "master copy" on clear plastic. I get mine from Joann's, from the quilting section. It comes in 12 X 18 inch size so I needed to tape 2 together to get it the size I needed. For this process you can use a light box or a large window (which only works in the daytime obviously so I have treated myself to a light box). From the clear plastic master you can make tracings on Wonder Under, freezer paper, & your muslin base. You can also lay it over the quilt as each section of fabric is placed down to make sure everything is precisely where it should be.
In the above photo you can just see the bottom of my plastic master copy. On the muslin base, you can see the pencil markings of the main feature of the quilt which is also helpful when positioning. The muslin base is pinned to a foam core board during the "building" process. It must be carefully unpinned and transferred to the ironing surface when you are ready to fuse if you are using Wonder Under or something similar.  I use Wonder Under on all the pieces of hubby but just the eyes, nose & mouth area of my animals because I like their fur areas to fray a bit. Everything is made out of fabric again, most of them calicos and batiks but some solids in small areas.
In the above photo you can see everything fused or held down with a temporary fabric glue (just a tiny bit of glue is used to keep fabrics from shifting until they can be stitched. The fabrics are now ready to be attached with tiny zig-zag stitching. At the bottom of this photo you can see the tear away fabric stabilizer I use while doing this stitching.
When doing the fabric painting portion of the quilt, which is where I add highlights (like the light in the eye) and shadow, emphasis and areas too small to be made with fabric (like the crease down the middle of Zeke's tongue), I use the warm and natural (sometimes warm and white) by itself and before adding the quilt backing. This gives the quilt stability while stitching and allows most of the  thousands of threads to be hidden in the quilt sandwich, without having to hide them with a needle & thread. Once the backing is applied I quilt in areas like around the subjects, on clothing, or on the background. The back is nice and neat because no zig-zag or thread painting shows. I do not quilt heavily on hair, faces or fur.

In Part II I will show the completed quilt, with stitching, thread painting, quilting & borders. Stay tuned...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bearbits Give~a~way

Want a chance to win the cutie above? Who wouldn't?! Click here to visit bearbits to find out how to enter for your chance to win this lovely little bear.