Posts Tagged ‘embroidered self-portrait’

What the quilts reveal

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Okay, so that was a LOT of fun! Not just making the quilt, and plotting and planning and scheming and thinking (then sewing and cursing and sewing and stitching…

Bevs June Self portrait

But maybe the most fun was “The Reveal” — i.e. show time!

Here’s how it happened. I arrived in the UK in June, after a month in Europe, and we were staying with old friends, Roger and Di. Roger was my “Man in Redbourne” – my fence – my parcel-keeper and message man – i.e. he received and kept the first Posted Stitches parcel until I could pick it up, several weeks later.

- “Hello folks, lovely to see you. – Oo! It’s my parcel!”

- rrrrrrriiip! Shred, shred, shred…


Excited, fabric in hand, the stitching and embellishment began – I’m a gal with a deadline, and there’s only two weeks of June left. There’s been thinking, but now I need to stitch.

Two weeks later, late one evening in London, cosy in the flat of best friends, an email from Jennifer: ‘are you there? Can we chat?’

Now, bear in mind that we’ve never met. We’ve chatted once on Skype, but this was even more fun – we got the video conferencing going and talked away until the wee hours (my end), late afternoon (her end). “And here’s what I put here…. and this is what I did with that fabric you sent me…” It was ace! Odd to talk to a mostly-stranger – wonderful to find someone so on the same wavelength.

And amazing to see what each other had done with our fabric packs. When you pack the parcel, you get a vague idea of what might be made with it – for example, at the last minute I threw in a scrap of brown fabric, because I knew Jennifer’s hair is brown. But she embroidered her hair: the brown became a different part of the quilt entirely.

Somehow both of you get a hand in the creation of this thing, this little piece of art that is all learning, all stitching and thinking, and a tangible part of a new and growing friendship.

Hurrah for technology, I say. Let the second challenge begin!

This Is Me… In Fabric And Thread

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Hi Bev.

Well, this is it. My first quilt is done. Can you believe we’re actually doing this?! I’m so glad you were willing to take me up on this challenge. If you had dismissed me as crazy, it’s doubtful that I would have went through with the project on my own.

My strategy for this first quilt was to do a lot of thinking. I mulled over my ideas until midway through the month. So I didn’t actually start stitching until about two weeks from our deadline. This was a little scary considering the fact that I’ve never made an art quilt before. Thankfully, once I started stitching it came together fast. It helped that I spent about two weeks leading up to that first stitch thinking about this project and what I was going to try to do. I find working this way so much better than trying to create something on the fly.

Here is the process that led me to my finished piece:

I started by taking a self-portrait using the camera on my MacBook. Then I used a light box to transfer the image to fabric.

I used a paper piecing technique to applique the hand.

Then I started stitching like mad. The hair was easy. The eyes were tough. The nose proved to be the most difficult.

I kept stitching and stitching, and when the front was done I decided to do the back, too. Here’s how that came out.

I made a paper template by tracing around my hand and used a piece of apple fabric from my stash to balance the “treat” fabric on the front of the quilt. I cut the butterfly from one of the swatches you sent.

This quilt could be interpreted a number of ways. Perhaps I’m saying “no” to sweets and “yes” to healthy eating.

I don’t know about you, Bev, but I surprised myself with this one. I wasn’t sure I’d be successful embroidering a likeness of myself and I’m delighted with the outcome. What a kick to have my first art quilt out of the way!