My Quilting Nerdom is about to reach new heights…

March 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

Okay, so last night I received Lesson One of my much anticipated Realistic Portraits Class with Marilyn Belford.  Wow.  Yeah, it’s pretty involved and really stretches the creative mind in ways most quilters are probably not used to.  The first week is very intensive, but I already like it.  Seeing photographs turned into quilts is amazing.

Our main task this week is to gather most of our supplies, select the subject and photograph of our practice quilt, prepare the photo properly and get the base onto the Muslin.  That’s a lot.

Most people choose a family member or loved one as the subject for their quilt, which makes sense.  I have a long list of portrait quilts I want to do over time, mainly a family quilt, one of my parents, and finding a way to do a firefighter quilt combining photos of both me and my Pop.

But as I learned in my previous class, the projects we use in these classes… well, let’s just say I am learning so many techniques and skills that I’ve never used before that the finished project leaves much to be desired.  For instance, in my previous class, I was not thrilled with the actual elements of the piece.  However, I am currently using the technique in a current quilting project and the difference is night and day – the piece looks amazing!

I’m afraid if I choose a picture or a subject that I really want to make into a beautiful quilt to keep, I’ll be too nervous and scared about messing it up that I won’t enjoy the learning process.  I think I’ll just be too tense and I don’t need that on such a complex project.

I was discussing  my plight with Paul last night just as I was about to head upstairs and dig through my stash of photos.  Then he had a moment of brilliance.

“Why don’t you use Ronald Reagan?” he said.

Okay, I know to the average person that just sounds silly.  But anyone who knows the Barneys would know that this is a truly acceptable subject for a permanent future heirloom in this house!  Choosing to use Ronald Reagan solved a whole host of potential dangers in doing a project like this.  First, I would have a broad pick of photos of him.  Second, the majority of them are professional photos which eliminates worrying about lighting or shadow issues.  Third, he’s just a darn good subject : )

And so, here is the photo I’ve choosen for my first realistic portrait quilt:

Isn’t that a handsome man?

In case you’re curious, here is the finished product of Marilyn Belford’s first-ever portrait quilt:

My Parents

Seriously, I wish I could post the detailed version of her quilt, because seeing the different colored and patterned fabrics within this piece is absolutely amazing.

And now I must go prep Ronnie.

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Upside Down Applique First “Photo Shoot”

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