Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fabric Portrait Resources : What I've Found Helpful ...

If you haven't figured it our yet, fabric portraits is/are one of my interests as an art quilter. Here are some resources I've found to be helpful with this journey:

Tutorials / Classes :

This amazing quilt is "Rundy" by Marilyn Belford.

Realistic Fabric Portraits with Marilyn Belford is an online class through Quilt University.
If you haven't taken an online class, it's a wonderful way to
* work with world-reknown teachers
* meet people all over the world
* be inspired by your fellow students
* and get the benefit of the problem-solving brain power of the class.
* And the best part is that you work at home--no schlepping a car-load of stuff to live classroom.

I was able to finish the face of The Oliver (aka Bubble Boy) Quilt by taking Marilyn Belford's class.

Painted Face for Beginners : Workshop on DVD (ASIN: B000XTVALG) by Bonnie McCaffery
and Portrait Quilts : Painted Faces You Can Do (ISBN-13: 978-0976693437)
I got the DVD more than a year ago, watched it, but have not been brave enough to DO it yet. Mostly because the tv and dvd-player at our house are nowhere near my studio space. Bonnie is a good teacher. Have you seen her monthly vidcasts, interviews and demos with world-reknown quilt artists? They are great!

Faces on Fabric - online class with Terri Stegmiller
A class combining quilting with a painted face. This class got me drawing faces, first. Then I wondered why I haven't been drawing faces for the last 20 years!
The photo above is the work-in-progress I made in Terri's class the past few months. I think this might be my new preferred way to do portraits.

Pam Holland has a nice tutorial on her website about portrait quilts.

Although I haven't had a chance to see these DVDs by Lura Schwartz Smith, they are on my wish list :

Workshops to Go : Faces in Fabric

Jukebox Quilts Presents : From Snapshots to Art Quilts

Here's another one on my Wish List :

The Quilting Arts Workshop : Making Faces (ISBN: 9781596681880) with Maria Elkins

Books :

Portraits for Fabric Lovers (ISBN: 978-1-4116-9735-5) by Marilyn Belford. Marilyn Belford explains how to go from a photo to fabric with an applique method. See also the Realistic Fabric Portraits online class at Quilt University. Marilyn is a wonderfully encouraging teacher.

Deidre Scherer does some amazing work! Her books, Threads of Experience (ISBN 0918949920) and Work in Fabric & Thread (ISBN 1571200444) are worth a look just for the inspiration factor alone.

Photo Album Quilts (ISBN-13: 978-1600591891) by Wendy Bulter Berns
Another book the explains the process of taking one of your treasured family photos and rendering it in fabric. Wendy is also an encouraging and enthusiastic teacher. Take one of her classes if you ever have the chance!

Free-Style Quilts : A No-Rules Approach (ISBN-13: 978-1571201027) by Susan Carlson
Susan Carlson is an amazing artist ... The book contains some amazing portraits like this one called Twilight :

I even purchased the autographed lithograph poster (and framed it!) just so I could study her amazing work. This is absolutely gorgeous! I can't wait to see what Susan Carlson does next!

Faces & Places (ISBN-13: 978-1571200006) and Focus on Features (ISBN-13: 978-1571200532) by Charlotte Warr Andersen are two excellent books that explain the process of going from photo to finished quilt. Very useful for drafting patterns from photos, though I admit, I never did figure out her method of reverse applique. Faces and Places, if available is out-of-print and expensive. Don't forget to try your local public library if you want to look at at these books.

The Dog Lady Speaks (ISBN-13: 978-0970349606) by Sharon Malec is about pet portraits. It contains step-by -step instructions for Sharon's unique free standing applique plus a section on how to design your own Picture Quilt pattern. The how-to-do-it section is useful in creating your own patterns (not just for dogs). Although Sharon has patterns for various dog breeds, you'll want to make your own if your dog is a mutt (like mine).

Photo Fabrications (ISBN-13: 978-0952106074) by Angela Madden offers a good basic process for going from a family photo to a pattern to a finished quilt. Look at some of the other resources listed above for the details you'll want to add.

Do you know of other tutorials, classes, books, resources on fabric portraits? Please leave a comment and I'll add it to the list.

Paulette Insall offers an online mixed media class called All About Faces.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sienna, So Far ...

Took the day off of work to make some progress on the class project for Terri Stegmeiller's Faces on Fabric class. This piece is called "Licking Frosting Off the Moon," or "Mama Let You Lick the Spoon" in honor of a couple of John Hiatt songs. Her name is Sienna.

This is the stitching on the stabilizer side. Most of the stitching you see is to hold down the applique pieces. There's some thread painting on the spoon and her eye brows. This is very similar to the drawing I started with.

Detail of her face. I still need to finish her nose, but that will have to wait for another day!

One of the practice faces I painted before working on the real thing. Good idea, too. The shading does take practice to get just the right amount of paint on the right brush--and then to put it in all the right places. This picture looks better than the real thing. In real life, she looks like she needs a bath.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Progress on Little Gardener

Here's the latest progress on The Little Gardener quilt from the Wendy Butler Berns workshop a few weeks ago. The flowers got stems!

And I did some thread painting on the flowers :

I'm not quite sure what to do with her shirt/jersy. Any ideas?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Felted Slippers

Aren't they lovely? ;-) Kind of reminds me of Elmo ...

I am not a knitter--just never could get past the stage of impossibly tight stitches. So I asked a co-worker and knitter (Thank you, Deb S.) to knit me a pair of these unusually large wool socks so I could felt them down into a pair of custom fit slippers. Instructions here.

Deb said her kids were laughing while she made these gigantic socks:
"So how big are this woman's feet?"
"Do these socks go OVER a pair of hunting boots?"

They need to be big because the felting process takes up the slack and thickens the fibers. This should give you an idea of how much bigger the big sock was (traced and cut out of white paper below) before felting. The finished felted slipper is sitting on top.