Monday, May 20, 2013

The Quilting Arts Book, Making Portraits from Fabric

You must have figured out by now that I am by no means a young person by the size of the font!  Wow!  It's quite the little scare or heart palpitation when you go to read something important, like the paper than comes in little tiny medicinal containers that you have to read to make sure you can take the medicine, and you can't read the print, even with your glasses on and a magnifying glass!  Good LORD!! 

Well, bad eyes or not, I got rid of another project that has been cluttering up my desk for YEARS!  Yup.  I've said it before that I learn best if someone can show me what I want to learn.  I can learn from a book but wow, I have to read it so many times and do it or try to do it as I go along.  Well, I guess that's the way it is supposed to be done but I think I'm in too much of a hurry to learn slowly so I want someone to show me and then I want to get on with it. 

As usual, I build a story instead of just getting to the point.  

I bought this book a few years ago.  Saw it in the library and had to have it so I could do some of the projects in it so I got it.  I love it!

What a great book and I see that today it is on sale at Interweave!  (just click on the book above)

One of the projects in the book is to make a portrait from a photograph out of fabric.  Wow!  I just HAD to try that!

It does help immensely that you have some sort of photo editing software.  I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 that I found somewhere on a fantastic sale.

I took this photo of my Mother, 

Took a real close up of her face and then tilted the photo ever so slightly to the right to get this.

 I then converted the photo into grayscale.  After this, you do something called "Posterizing" which is picking how many shades of gray you want.  You can keep changing how many shades you want until you get the result you like.  The book suggests you go for 3 shades.  In hind site, I wish I chose something a bit simpler for my first project, or cropped the face closer as I ended up with 4 shades and had to reverse the order than one would normally work in.

In any case, after grayscaling and posterizing, and then reversing my image because i was going to work on "Steam-a-Seam", I ended up with this:

Because I have 4 shades in my grayscale, I chose 4 fabrics in the same colour range and started building.  In the instructions, you were to start with your lightest and keep adding the darkest, but I realized at this point, that I would have to reverse this process and layed my darkest fabric on the stabilizer and progressively added the lighter.

What you do is, you print off one less copy of your photo than the number of colour shades that you have, so in my case, I needed 3 copies of the gray scale photo as I had 4 shades.  

This photo shows the darkest fabric on the bottom, with the first layer of the face on top, fastened down with steam a seam.

The process is quite easy.  I will show what I did with the final layer.  

You take your photocopy and outline the colour you are working on, and in this case, the lightest colour.

After outlining the colour I want to use for my fabric in blue marker, I use my scissors to cut along the blue line and I ended up with 3 little templates, the lightest areas shown above.
I then took my lightest colour fabric, ironed some Steam-a-Seam to the back of it, and then, on the back of the fabric, on the paper of the Steam-a-Seam I use my paper templates to trace out the outlines that I have just cut out.  I then cut out the pieces of fabric, pull the paper gently off the Steam-a-Seam, lay it in place on the face and iron it down.

This is the final result:

 I might still go back and add some additional pieces of fabric to outline her face better around the chin area, but I am totally pleased with my first project using this procedure.  I've wanted to do this for ages but thought it was just too hard.  I confess it took me a long time (as in an hour or two) of sitting and figuring out my dilemma when I realized that I couldn't do as the book instructed and start with my lightest colour first, or didn't want to, but things worked out slowly.  I just needed to take time to think about it.

So again, from here:

 To here:

And on a different note, spring is well on its way here, though judging by todays temperatures, you wouldn't know it!  BRRRRRRR   But, there is colour in the trees and it is totally the most amazing time of year! You don't see these greens often!

The fields are breathtaking!

 Enjoy your day!

One day you will wake up & there won't be any more time to do the things you've always wanted to. Do it now! -Paulo Coelho


1 comment: