The Self-Portrait Project
My art quilt group has a new challenge (which we started talking about in January or February) and I finally got inspired this week. The original idea came from the self-portraits of Yvonne Porcella, a multi-talented quilt artist who just recently passed. Red was a neutral color to Yvonne–look for her books online and at your local library. I believe her website is still up and there is a challenge out there in her honor. Technical difficulties today–cut and paste the following link to your browser.
The only rules we have for our group challenge is that the portrait should be on a darkish background (no white or pastels) and can be any dimension or shape as long as it fits within a 20 x 20-inch square. I chose a purplish-blue from one of my hand dyed parfaits. My inspiration was sugar skulls that you see in Dias de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, November 1) celebrations. Candy, sugar skull–get it? So I drew out a classic head and started with the mouth. I am using Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 by The Warm Companyon on all of the fabrics. Follow the directions that come with the product, which is a fusible with two backing papers. Take off the paper which comes off easily, finger press the fusible to the wrong side of the fabric, draw your shape on the remaining paper, and cut out your shapes.
If the shapes are small, run a dry iron over the piece. The best thing about this project is that you can stick your shapes to your project and move them around until you’re ready to permanently fuse. Then use steam for 15-20 seconds. So far I have only fused my head shape to the background and zigzagged the edge with mono-poly clear thread. Here is my drawing, traced to a sheer non-fusible interfacing that I basted to the background. Cut your shapes, lift the tracing, and put in place.
Backing up, I traced the teeth onto a white star fabric and ran a dry iron over it, the pieces being really small.
I started in the middle to place the teeth, cutting out one tooth at a time. As you can see above, I numbered the teeth but you have to remember that everything is backwards so the number order didn’t totally help.
After placing the teeth, I pressed on some fusible to the back of the black fabric and cut out the entire mouth, placing it on the head.
Last night I cut out a ton of flowers. Today, I cut out some more and some centers.
In 2004, I took a fabric painting class from Phil Beaver (actually his assistant as he had just had a heart attack) and I used some of the sunflower templates for my hair. So here is my portrait so far–I have teeth and hair and a few flowers. That’s it for the day. Next time, I’ll show you more progress and talk about another challenge I have going with a secret FB group. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get out and finish up my garden project and plant my pansies. We have another freeze warning tonight–hope it’s the last one. I was going to photograph my new dogwood every day but there really has not been much to photograph with the cold nights we’ve had–maybe next week. Can I hope that it will bloom this year or just be content with the area dogwoods. Here’s one of my photos from years past. For now, I have dogwood envy.