creating a quilt from a photo

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bridesmom wrote
on 27 Aug 2009 8:16 PM

I have a head shot of my son's golden lab that I would love to do into a quilt for him as his dog has osteosarcoma and won't be around much longer. I haven't actually done any art quilting yet, though I have ideas galore and have my ideas in a journal, ready to start trying them out. I'm curious though, how would you go about breaking down the photo to create a quilt design? I'm thinking of more of an applique style with irregular pieces. Any help would be appreciated! Before I actually start working on this, I do have my fabrics all ready to go for a landscape quilt, so the dog photo won't be my first art quilt!

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Muppin wrote
on 28 Aug 2009 8:20 AM

Hi bridesmom-

There's a bazillion books on this subject, but here's how I do it...  Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV)....

Take photo to Kinkos and have them enlarge it to the size you want in B/W.  (You may have to lighten the copy to capture the subtle shading).  Get a couple of copies of the final size.

Using a lightbox, turn the photo over and draw with a Sharpie the areas that are shapes that will need to be appliques in your design.  Make sure to outline the lighter areas, not just the dark ones.  Turn off the lightbox.  You should have a reversed version of your photo as a line drawing.  If not, turn the light box back on and fill in the details with more appliques.

You can use this reversed pattern to make your freezer paper designs for traditional applique or fusible applique.

That's how I do it!  Here is a picture of my dad with a photo quilt of my grandfather made with this method.

Cheryl / Muppin


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bridesmom wrote
on 28 Aug 2009 9:24 PM

Thanks Cheryl, that's what I needed to know! And I really like how your grandfather's photo turned out! Now to just get at it!


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Lyric Kinard wrote
on 6 Sep 2009 9:48 AM

Sharon Malec has a book specializing in dog patterns - 

Maria Elkins "Making Faces" QA DVD workshop is also a very excellent tutorial in how to manipulate a photo in photoshop elements and easily produce a pattern and product. 




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