I am writing today to recommend that if you are even remotely interested in doing portraits in fabric, that you purchase or borrow the current copy of Quilting Arts Magazine, the June/July 2011 issue.
It is called the "portrait issue;" there are several excellent articles, and lots of photos and advice on making portraits in fabric.
Several years ago, I took a portrait
class from Julianne Kravetz, of Lexington, KY, and made the portrait shown here.
Julianne was an excellent teacher, and in addition, she made a pattern for each person in the class, based on a photograph supplied to her before the class.
Using computer software, she prepared 5 to 7 layers for the pattern, and you worked from back to front, dark to light, to create the portrait as shown.
The amazing thing was that, after only two or three layers, it was perfectly clear whom you were depicting.
Since then, I have figured out how to make a similar pattern using PhotoShop and going to Grayscale, then Filters, and then using the Cutout feature. Depending on the effect you want, there are several other features in Filters that one could use. I have a friend who has done pet portraits using Filters and the "posterize" feature.
If you want to see more about the class options, here is Julianne Kravetz's website:
But go right to your friendly bookstore and grab a copy of the Quiting Arts, too!