Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Sneak Peek – Part 4

OK…..it has now been over two weeks since I created the young man (even though I only posted about it yesterday) and I was ready to start on the woman. She is not proven to be an easy or fast creation, but I have certainly learned a lot. But, lets start at the beginning……


Firstly, on Saturday afternoon my friend Anita arrived at my door with a bag full of hand dyes that she had made as possible flesh tone fabrics. This was in payment for some quilting that I did for her last month.

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Secondly, as I looked at the pattern that I had drawn, and went back to the original photo to see the details of the picture, I realized that the photo taken from the internet was too small to be blown up to show the needed details. So, I asked my husband to take photos of me sitting in the same position as the woman in my pattern and then I used the 8 mega-pixel photo to create the pattern for her face and hands. My thought was that, when translated into fabric, you wouldn’t be able to tell who it was.

I drew the patterns out and then used my photo copier to enlarge them to an appropriate size. On to the studio……

When I started, I was planning to turn under the edges (except for the REALLY small pieces) and then use machine applique (blanket stitch with monofilament thread) to attach them. I started out by cutting the face and other needed shapes out of freezer paper. I spent some time looking at fabrics and decided which ones I would use. In the back of my mind, I remembered reading that you had to use a lot of contrast, but thought that I had picked my fabrics well.

Then the rot set in…… As I was working on the first of the face shadows, I realized that I had not used the proper side of the pattern and that the face was going in the wrong direction. So, I re-cut those pieces and started again.

I decided to go ahead and sew one of the larger shadows onto the base fabric, but really didn’t like how it looked, so I changed my mind about the type of applique and decided to fuse all of the shadings onto the background.

SO, I started again!!! This time I was really happy with the look of the face. The shadings were good and it was really looking like a face. As I quit for the evening, I put the face up on the design wall, next to the original young man and walked away.

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As I turned around to turn off the light, I realized that…..1) in comparison with the young man, the face was too small, and 2) there was not enough color or contrast in the face…. when viewed from a distance it looked like a light pink blob with brown hair!!! Oh well, there was always tomorrow!!!

On Sunday afternoon, I sat down again and started working on yet another face…this time about 10% larger than the previous one. I took the darkest fabric from the original face and made it the base fabric for the new face. The first shadow that I wanted to add was the darkest one and I couldn’t find a piece of fabric that was the correct color. After thinking about it, I finally pulled out the black RIT dye again and dunked a small piece of the hand-dye to darken it.

I drew the shadow design on freezer paper, applied it to the fabric and then realized that I had, once again, used the wrong side of the pattern and the piece was backwards (By the way, this has been a recurring theme…you would think that I would learn !!!)

After re-doing the first shadow, I continued adding fabrics and getting really excited about the result. I had always been told that a face is not made up of lines, but of shadows and I can now see what they were talking about.

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I think that I will stop the saga here and continue tomorrow, but here is a photo of the final face….and it really does look like me!!!

2 thoughts on “Sneak Peek – Part 4

  1. I'm really enjoying following this project. Thank you for sharing it, especially all the difficulties you're having, and the way you work through them. You're going to have something wonderful when you're finished.

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