Thursday, March 26, 2009

Portraits in Fabric

Here's a project I just finished up as a gift. It is a fused portrait, done from a photograph. Last summer, I took a class from Julianne Kravetz, of Lexington, KY. From a photograph that has good contrast, she provides a pattern with 5 to 7 layers, to create a very accurate portrait of a person (or a pet, or even a building.) Her pattern comes with fusing directions, and is very easy to use. (Her website is There is a lot of tedious cutting with very sharp scissors, but the tiny details are necessary for an accurate result.

The trick is to choose fabrics that read solid with a gradual transition from light to dark. If you are PhotoShop savvy, you could probably create your own pattern, using "cutout" and "layers", but the pattern from Photofabrique is excellent, and very reasonable priced. After you have fused them, starting with the darkest layer on the bottom, you can machine quilt around the edges with a tiny blanket stitch, or you can frame it.

What was the most fun in the class was how the image became recognizable after combining just the first two or three layers. There were "oohs" and "aahs" in the class as this happened!

Warning: When you show this to people, they are going to want one!

You can see the resemblance to the original photo. When I gave the portrait to her, she immediately decided that she wants a portrait of her four-month-old son, Josiah.


  1. That portrait looks great! I wish I had the time to finish mine.

  2. That IS kind of beautiful, excellent, neat work, like portrait and generally pretty ....