16 April, 2011

April: Workshop with Loretta O'Brien - from photo to quilt

On a previous visit to Galway, Loretta O'Brien showed us some of the fabric portraits she had created and of course we all wanted to know how she made them. So in April 2011 Loretta returned to Galway to give a workshop and teach us the steps involved.

Working from photographs which we had enlarged to A3 size, we traced the design using tracing paper, baking parchment or clear plastic.

By placing our tracing over graph-paper with small squares we were able to count the number of squares in the height and width.

We then moved to graph paper with large squares and plotted out our image by scaling the line drawing up to the larger paper. Although this is a slow process it is one that really helps to create a very good likeness of the original photo.

Loretta gave us an outline of what to do next.

  • Copy your paper template so that you have a paper pattern to cut into the individual templates.

  • Iron bondaweb to a piece of fabric larger than the template piece.

  • Cut out your fabric using the template.

  • Iron your fabric pieces to a background.

  • Using monofilament (clear thread) on the top and in the bobbin, stitch the pieces in place using a blind hem stitch (----^----^----).

  • Add in any details using free-machine lines, etc. in an appropriate coloured thread.

Below you can see some of the drawings in progress:

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