Portrait Art Quilts From Our Readers

12 Jul 2011

It seems as if summer is just flying by and I can't believe we're already well into July. Here at the Quilting Arts offices we're hard at work on the August/September 2011 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. And while I can't wait for this issue to hit the stands, in the meantime  I thought it would be fun to celebrate both summer and the Quilting Arts June/July 2011 portrait issue by sharing some summer-themed portrait quilts from Quilting Arts readers.  It is so exciting to see how different artists translate portraiture to fabric and stitch and to have the opportunity to learn more about their individual working processes.  So a warm welcome to Maggie Dillon and Robbie Porter!


Maggie Dillon; Art Quilt Maggie Dillon

"Celebrating family memories with a glimpse of a personal relationship and natural daily life exemplifies my work. My goal, when executing a piece, is to bring a photograph to life, not just recreate the image. With each batik fabric differing, the tangled pattern is always a mystery. The irregularity of batiks lends itself to the shapes I use in my layering technique. Variances in pattern cause shadow and highlight, giving my work its characterizing appearance. The thread work blends the stitching around the edges. Whether it's a couple sitting at a waterfront, an old man reading his bible, or a family portrait, I enjoy capturing a moment. I use photographic references to create representational portraits of an occasion among friends, a glimpse of a relationship and natural daily life, or a celebration of family; my artistry presents memories."

To learn more about Maggie and her work, visit maggie-dillon-designs.blogspot.com/ 

Photo by Maggie Dillon


Robbie Porter

Robbie Porter, art quilt, portrait quilt "The idea for this quilt happened when my daughter sent me a cell phone picture of my granddaughter Katie in the garden smelling a coneflower. What struck me the most was the flow of her hair and how beautiful the colors would look  in fabric.

It took two years to select and collect the fabrics and plan the idea. The face image is hand drawn on fabric and painted with acrylic paint combined with fabric medium. A portion of the fence behind her face was also painted. A hole was cut in the hand-dyed purple background fabric to create an opening to insert the painting of the face and the fence. The remainder of the design, including the hair, portions of the fence and the coneflowers was created with a fused-appliqué technique. After all of the fusing was complete and the quilt was layered I began the joyful process of free motion quilting the designs. I have always loved to draw and for me free motion is a natural extension of that skill.  I think of my sewing machine like I would a sketching pencil. 

My granddaughter Katie loves her quilt and it will become hers after her grandmother has an opportunity to enter it in a few quilt shows."  

To learn more about Robbie and her work, visit embellishedspirit.blogspot.com/ 

Photo by Robbie Porter


If you were inspired by the June/July issue of Quilting Arts to try a new portrait technique, or if you've been making portrait quilts for years, we encourage you to share your work in our online photo gallery.

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