New to my toolbox

Last week my blog post discussed taking on challenges and how they force me to step out of my comfort zone. I have another one to share with you this week. Last December I accepted a challenge from Lesley Riley to take a black and white image that was printed on fabric and do some thread painting on it. At the time, Lesley was compiling material for her new book, “Photo Memory Quilts.”

When the portrait of Helen Louise Gilson (a civil war nurse) arrived, I had to really think about what to do. I couldn’t fill the portrait in like I would a fuzzy owl or cat. And, just adding a few stitches would overpower the tiny details in her face. Also, if I put a lot of stitches in one area and not many in another, the fabric would become very distorted. I really had to think about this. Before I came up with a solution, I ran some experiments on a sample image and then cautiously worked on the final project.

I chose to add some stitches in the detail of her hat brim and focused the denser stitch work in her shawl. I realized I needed to add some other colorwork so that the portrait looked balanced with the colored threads. So, I opted to give Ms Helen a little “makeup” using colored pencils. I feel I succeeded in the challenge and can confidently say I have a new tool to use for enhancing people portraits. And there’s how a new challenge added something new to my tool box.


Do you want to hear more about this beautiful book which is filled with inspirational techniques on making photo memories with fabric? Lesley has a NEW podcast Photo Memory Quilts PODCAST. Full episodes start May 2nd and every Tuesday after. She will have in-depth interviews with the contributing quilters, including one featuring ME!

Here’s the line-up:
May 2 – Margaret Abranshe
May 9 – Whitney Dahlberg
May 16 – Judy Gula
May 23 – Susan Price
May 30 – Lorie McCown
June 6 – Anne Sonner
June 13 – Bobbi Baugh
June 20 – Al Krueger
June 27 – Susan Brubaker Knapp
July 4 – Michelle Umlauf
July 11 – Wen Redmond
July 18 – Christine Vinh
July 25 – Beverly Smith
August 1 – Lindy Trenholm
*** August 8 – Nanette Zeller ***
August 16 – Patty Kennedy Zafred
August 22 – Gina Louthing Stanley
August 29 – Clare Murray Adams
September 5 – Katherine Wilson
September 12 – TBD


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