Friday, 1 March 2013

Quilting Oneself

Last year I came across a couple of quilts which blew my mind.  Both quilts were portrait quilts. The details and techniques used to create these works of art fascinated me.

You can see them  Here & Here

 At the end of last year Shruti, of 13 Woodhouse Road put out the call for people who wanted to join her and participate in a portrait quilt along.  I signed up immediately!  The schedule was set, fabrics purchased and picture prepared.  I settled on an old photo from my early twenties.  It was a glamour photo, from the only photo shoot, where I have been in front of the camera.   Those who know me know that I am usually the one behind the viewfinder!  

 I cropped, as I wanted to concentrate on the face.   

While a portrait is usually longer down the sides, who says you can't make a portrait in a landscape?  

This quilt along was as much for me, a chance to make something I thought I never could, as it was to challenge my own view of myself.  The images of the famous Marilyn paintings by Andy Warhol, played a lot in my mind while planning this.  I usually try to stay out of the spotlight, I even have a social networking profile in which I choose to remain anonymous.  This piece has greatly challenged this anonymity and my comfort zone of being able to choose how others view me.  I had to make the choice to concentrate on how I viewed myself.  When I was obese, I would often catch my reflection in windows and think ... who the hell is that?  That isn't me.  In my mind I always saw my slim self.  The self that I know I am.  Having lost 40kg since that time, this image is the image I had in my head while hiding in size 20 clothes.

I had never done a project with appliqué. What a project to start on! Not one to bow to the unknown, I just went for it.  What was the worst that could happen?  My iron getting gunked?  I end up looking like a demented vision of myself?  

Another first ... using invisible thread.  In the bobbin I used the colour of the fabric on top, so if my tension was a little out, you wouldn’t notice as much!

With all the pieces down, I basted and then got quilting.

 I used Aurifil 50 wt in 2021, 4663, 2630, 5005 and 2692.

Thanks to everyone in the group who participated, made comments and generally encouraged me.  I have been walking around on a high ever since I completed this piece, as much because it is finished and it is pleasing to my eye, but because it also challenged me on so many levels. 

Who knows what I’ll try next!!!


  1. That is beyond awesome. Wow!

  2. That is gorgeous. Well done.

  3. I think you did a very good job!

  4. Wow! You are amazing at this! I have seen a few portrait quilts lately and wondered if I should give it a try,., inspiring work!

  5. I love it! You've done a fabulous job here. Congratulations. x