Saturday, 21 April 2007


As I mentioned in a previous post, I am running a challenge for a small sub-group of four ladies (including me) that attend my monthly Saturday quilting group. The rest of the group are doing a more conventional brown bag challenge (which I am doing as well) because they thought that this Picture challenge sounded too hard. I got the idea from some Group quilts which I saw at Houston and Paducah, where a group took a picture and divided it into several pieces and each person made one piece, then they assembled it back into a Group quilt. For my challenge, I asked each participant to choose a photograph, and draft a pattern at A2 size (about four letter-sized pieces of paper together). They then had to divide the pattern into four pieces and give one piece to each participant (keeping one themselves) and also give them a copy of the colour photograph. At the end of the challenge, they will receive back a fabric version of the pattern piece from each participant, which they can reassemble into a fragmented version of their photograph. The challenge is designed to stretch us, and to inspire us, and to give us something a bit different to attempt.

Today I tackled the first one of these, which is a portrait of one of the early black visitors to Britain. This is my friend Pauline's choice, and the moment I saw it I knew that this was going to be challenging to both my stash and my skills because of all the low lights and highlights, and because all of the colour is broken up in some way.

In this photo you can see at right is the pattern segment that Pauline gave to me, and at left is the photograph - I have applied some masking tape so that only my own segment is revealed, to help me make colour choices. In the middle is my fabric version of the portrait, which includes seam allowance to the right as Pauline will be joining my segment to the next segment. You can see that the black skin tones were quite a challenge to represent - you can see a close up of my version in the next photo.

Here is a close up of the face, and I have cropped it to remove the seam allowance. This is a mixture of hand applique plus fusible applique for the finer detail. I am quite pleased with my batik background piece which closely mimics the aged appearance of the original painting's background. The highlights of the face look a bit cruder when you are this close to it, the effect is better from a slight distance. I haven't yet finished the edges of the fusible applique as I am waiting for Pauline to clarify what she will accept - normally I would zig-zag over in the edges in invisible thread, but Pauline had ticked the 'no invisible thread' box on her instruction sheet.

This was a great project, it required a lot of concentration but I feel very satisfied with the end result and I can't wait to see what the final portrait will look like when Pauline assembles all four segments. I hope she is pleased with what I've done.

Oh, and in a postscript to the last post, I did press the heck out of the Sisters block and managed to grow it out to the correct size on three corners, and to 12 3/8th on the final corner - so, as my old stage band teacher used to say when we were trying to tune up the instruments, "close enough for jazz", and it has now been sent off.


Kathy Wagner said...

That is quite a difficult challenge and you did a great job!

Carole said...

Wow, that's quite the challenge! You sure know how to pick them! Looking forward to seeing the finished result!

swooze said...

This looks great! I can't wait to see the finished product!

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