Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Constructing a Portrait Quilt--Part Two

After I had the cartoon--the enlarged-to-final-size traced image of the photo--it was time to start tracing each boy onto freezer paper.  I started with Dawson, the little boy on the left.  Laying the shiny side down and tracing onto the dull side of the paper, I traced first his clothes and hair.  Then I went back and traced his entire body.  Of course, his body is partially covered by clothes, but I just roughly sketched the hidden areas.

Then I cut out the shorts, shirt, and his hair.  These were ironed down to my chosen fabrics, shiny side of the paper down.  This wonderful product sticks to fabric when ironed but is easily removed.  (And it can be re-used.  I could have used my other patterns from the first quilt, but I am making this one slightly bigger.)

Then I cut out Dawson's entire body, ironed the pattern down on flesh-colored fabric, and then cut it out.  This ends up looking much like a cloth "paper doll"!  I put the body up on my design wall and then dressed my cloth paper doll, laying the various clothing items on top.  Lastly I cut out from my pattern his hair and put it up on his image.  Eventually, I will adhere Misty Fuse, my favorite fusible, to all of these pieces, but that's still another step not yet taken.

In Stein's class I learned a lot about fabric choices!  I had brought for the skin-colored areas a piece of fabric by Maywood Studios, EESO, #513, called "Shadow Play."  This is very flesh-like in color, rather pinkish, but Marcia thought it showed up very well against my yellowish/tan beach fabric.  So I've used that again for the skin areas.  For Dawson's hair this time, I used one of the Stonehenge fabrics from Northcott's Sunshine Cottage line, specifically #3951.  For Dawson's shorts for the first quilt and this time, and probably for the other boys' shorts, too, I've found that Moda Marbles is great.  Its mottled look imitates the shadows on the clothing wonderfully well.  By fussy cutting, I was able to get the dark areas to appear where the shadows are in the photo.  Brown mottled-looking batiks will likely be used for the other two boys' brown hair.

So now some pictures of this second stage of the portrait quilt:

This is the cartoon--the enlargement made at the copy shop

To the left of Dawson now up on my design wall,  you can see my various versions of the photo.
 To the right, the pattern pieces.
I probably should have taken a picture of his
unclothed body, but I'll do that
for one of the other
little boys!
As usual, click to see enlargements!  I do love his shirt!


  1. That posting will be a lot of help to people who want to work from a photo to make a quilt and there are many people who would like to do that. The choice of photo is super.

  2. I've been sharing yours and Linda's blogs with some artistic friends. Your blogs should broaden their horizens . They do mine. ss

  3. I do like the blue of Dawson's shirt. Good choice. And that is a yummy shade for the red shorts, too. Very clear directions, Alice, as usual. Very interesting narrative.