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Pieced Portrait

misscransto1 | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

Recently I saw a portrait quilt made of many small squares, which looked like a photograph when viewed through a little eyepiece. Does anyone know of a book or article I might buy to find out how to make such a quilt, or even what this type of quilting is called, so I can do more research?

Thanks!

Replies

  1. rjf | | #1

    Some years ago, Newsweek had covers that were made of bits and pieces of pictures and the result was an image you would swear was a photo.  One was a portrait of Princess Diana and the bits and pieces, if you looked closely, were photos of things you would connect with her.....flowers and such.

    That's a really ambitious project.  I haven't seen directions for making one but I can think of some starting points.  First, scan the picture into your computer and then print it out on graph paper.  Enlarge it by sections and print it out.  Then you can start matching colors with fabric.  I'm guessing you would have to pick all the fabrics first to be sure you've got the look you want and then do the piecing.  Let us know how it goes.                     rjf

  2. Crafty_Manx | | #2

    I did something similar in art class a few years back; I think the method could be applied here.

    Get a digital copy of your picture.  Draw a grid of squares on the picture.  Keep this copy as your "map".  Enlarge this grid-ed picture to "full-size".  I know this wouldn't really work for a full-size quilt, but maybe a wall hanging.  Or you could enlarge it in sections.  Cut out the grid pieces (make sure you number/letter them like row 1 pieces A-z, row 2 pieces A-z, etc.).   Number your "map" in the same fashion.  Now look for fabrics in colors and that have lines/patterns that match each piece of your grid (or sew your own piece from two different ones).  Don't forget to account for a 1/4" seam allowance!!  Label each fabric piece.  Finally, sew them together according to your grid/map.  Add a fun border.  And remember, details like eyelashes can be done with embroidery thread, and eyes/lips could be applique (especially if you want a cartoony feel).

    I did a painting in this manner, using a black-and-white photo and matching paint in shades of grey.  I haven't applied this to a quilt (yet) but it seems like it would work.  I would love feedback if anyone tries it!!!

    ~Cat

    1. rjf | | #3

      Good suggestions!  I'm wondering what would a good size for the pieces to be.   Small so you get the right effect but big enough to work with easily.  Maybe sew them to a backing like log cabin(?)  That might be easier than seaming them.  I wonder if anyone has tried this.        rjf 

      1. CarolFresia | | #4

        Rjf, when you're trying to piece postage-stamp sized patches, using a foundation is indeed a very good idea. No matter how accurate you think you're being, you can end up with some pretty major ripples in the finished product--if you even manage to get all the pieces matched up properly! I'm not an experienced quilter, however, and I suspect there are other tricks as well that make piecing tiny patches a little bit easier.

        Carol

      2. Crafty_Manx | | #5

        I once saw a TV show where they were making quilts for dolls.  They took fusible interfacing that had a grid on 1- or 2-inch squares preprinted on it and fused the cut pieces to that.  Then they folded along the gridlines and sewed a 1/4-inch seam.  It seemed to work for them, but I imagine that using interfacing would make for a stiffer, bulkier quilt top.  Of course if you did something similar with a lightweight muslin...just an idea.

        ~Cat

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