Faces in Fabric Part 3- Free Spirit

 Free Spirit

Free Spirit

Here we are at Part 3 in the Faces in Fabric series.  I call this one Free Spirit.  I loved doing the hair on this one!  I forgot to get photos earlier in the process, but if you look closely at the photos below you'll see what a difference a tweak in the hair makes. 

I became a bit more confident with the quilting here.  I like how the face came out.  Someone mentioned feeling like machine quilting this way was a bit too much for them.  If that applies to you too, I suggest taking a look at Melissa's book.  There are many examples of straight line cross hatch quilting that covers the whole piece.  I think it looks really great.  I will give that a try at some point too. 

There are two more parts of this series to come.  Meanwhile, to catch up follow these links:  Part 1, Part 2.  Just curious, would you be interested in greeting cards made from these faces?  I am considering it after getting the suggestion from one of my readers.  Thanks!

2018 Free Spirit (1).JPG
 Added a purple bit in the bottom left.

Added a purple bit in the bottom left.

 Adjusted the bangs a bit.

Adjusted the bangs a bit.

 Added another bang piece and trimmed the bottom edges.

Added another bang piece and trimmed the bottom edges.

Faces in Fabric Part 2- Woman with Flowers

 Woman with Flowers

Woman with Flowers

So, here is face #2.  This one measures accurately at 12" square.  Today I'll talk a bit about my process, but I have another post with even more in progress photos so details will come later.

At this point I figured out that I needed to have a template for the face in order to keep myself on track size-wise.  For this I drew a general face on a 12' square piece of paper and traced the face outline onto tracing paper.  It includes the eyes, mouth and nose for placement.  

I recently emptied a storage box in my closet and decided to make a "fabric face" box.  It's got everything I need to get started on a face without too much thinking.  It includes Melissa's book, fabric bits and pieces with fusible already attached, my face template, extra fusible, and some freezer paper scraps.  

Face Box and Contents (1).jpg
Face Box and Contents (2).jpg
Face Box and Contents (3).jpg
Face Box and Contents (4).jpg
Face Box and Contents (5).jpg
Face Box and Contents (6).jpg

This template has been so helpful.  I don't cut anything to a pattern so it's really just to use for eyeballing eyeballs and other features.  I create as I go, cutting freehand and fusing features together before moving on to the next one.  For instance, I like to create the white of the eye, then add the iris, pupil and life light and fuse it all together before considering the eyelids.  I create all of this on top of the template and when the eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows are ready, then I'll use the template as a placement guide on the face fabric.

A little note on skin color- I really think anything goes.  It's very hard to find anything that approximates real skin color, so it just doesn't make sense to worry about it.  I've been wanting to use some darker skin tones and I happened to have this piece of walnut dyed fabric.  It is very subtly textured because it's hand dyed which is nice.  In Melissa's book there are numerous examples of different skin colors including lots of unnatural colors that look fabulous.  So, don't let finding the perfect color keep you from trying this.

Face 2- Woman with Flowers (1).JPG
Face 2- Woman with Flowers (2).JPG

Once I have the features placed on the skin fabric I add some line definition for the side of face, chin and neck.  Then I fuse everything down and cut around the neck and head, leaving plenty of forehead 

Here I tried out some extra green on the eyelids, but didn't use it.  These little pieces are so insignificant that trying out a bit of fabric really doesn't seem like a waste at all.  In fact, I have saved teeny tiny bits of fabric in one of the ziploc bags above just because they are so useful.  

Face 2- Woman with Flowers (3).JPG

Next comes of the fun of choosing a background fabric.  Here I used a very nubbly and loosely woven fabric from the stash.  I think it has some silk in it.  At this point I will decide on the hair.  Luckily, I have some wonderful prints that are just perfect for hair.  I fussy cut the flowers to add to her hair.

Face 2- Woman with Flowers (4).JPG
Face 2- Woman with Flowers (5).JPG

Lastly I added the earrings which are fussy cut trees turned upside down.

Once again, the machine quilting is where I just hold my breath and go for it.  I tried to be more deliberate and take my time here.  It's not perfect, but it still looks great.

Face 2- Woman with Flowers (6).JPG

I love they eyelashes.  I don't remember how I chose to do them in that magenta color, but it looks great.  I think it's important to consider value in your thread perhaps more than color.  Another thing I decided to do starting with this face was to add a couple of hand stitches to the iris and life light in matching thread so that I didn't have to worry about catching them with the machine quilting.  I do that way back when the eyes are first made.

Face 2- Woman with Flowers  (2).jpg
Face 2- Woman with Flowers  (3).jpg
Face 2- Woman with Flowers  (4).jpg
Face 2- Woman with Flowers  (5).jpg

I started machine quilting my initials on these.  They'll get a label too, but I wanted to sign my work right on the front even if it's just a subtle addition.

Faces in Fabric Part 1- A Selfie

Selfie #1 (5).JPG

So what does a fabric face phobic person do when someone in their group suggests everyone make a fabric face?  In my case, she goes a little overboard learning about and getting comfortable with fabric faces.  I ended up spending most of the month of April working on various faces with a little help from this book by Melissa Averinos.  I requested that my library get her new book, Making Faces in Fabric, and within a few weeks they had actually gotten in 2 copies.  I went to town as soon as it came in.  Today I'm starting a new blog series about the various faces I made over a monthlong period.  


So, it was someone in my Undercover Quilters group who suggested that we all make a self portrait in a 12" square size.  At first, I was thinking I'd just do a bird and call it good, but then everyone argued that it had to be an actual human face.  Photographic likeness wasn't necessary, but it should have a good approximation of skin color, hair color, eye color and hair style.  On this one I didn't actually try to make it look like me except for those 4 features. 

I forgot to take photos earlier in the process, but after doing several of these I have a process that I follow and it always starts with the eyes.  Once the eyes are staring at me, it's so exciting I can't wait to continue.  The most fun to me is making the hair. It's the perfect opportunity to play with great prints.  I happen to have several good possibilities in the stash, so I know I'll keep making faces for a while.

Selfie #1 (1).JPG

The other thing I noticed with these faces is that the slightest adjustment of features or hair can make a huge difference, so I take a ton of cell phone photos as I go.  

Selfie #1 (2).JPG

Once the features all fused to the face fabric I started looking for a background.  The one below is a bit busy even though I liked the colors.  Also, you'll notice that on this one I fused the hair down to the face fabric.  On all the others after this I trimmed around the face before deciding on a background fabric and then added the hair at that time.  I learned a lot making this first one and refined the process in later faces.  

Selfie #1 (3).JPG

I finally decided on the turquoise linen below and fused it all down.  It was at this point I realized that if I wanted to keep the hair shape (and I really, really liked the hair shape), I would have a piece that measures out at 13.5" square.  It's a little bigger than it was supposed to be, so I think I may end up doing a second selfie at some point anyway.

Selfie #1 (4).JPG

Building the facial features and hair is so much fun that I was really feeling kind of nervous about the machine quilting.  Machine quilting is really a necessary evil in the best of times.  In the case of a face I started to feel that if it went wrong I'd mess it up and make weird lines in the face.  However, once I started I was so into it I didn't even realize where I was going.  I didn't intend to make the cheeks in two different patterns.  I had finished the second one before I realized what happened, but you know what- it doesn't matter!  I really love how this piece came out.  In subsequent faces I have refined the face shape and size and figure out how to make a face that fits within my design parameters.  I'll be sharing all that in the next few posts.  

If you've been curious about making fabric faces I hope you'll check out Melissa's book and give it a try.  I found her book to be an excellent way to take the fear out of making faces.  There's a whole chapter on drawing a face for those who've never done that. There are also many, many wonderful examples to refer to for ideas.  I enjoyed the book so much that I ended up buying it at one of my local quilt shops.  Now, I have the perfect reference to keep around for future faces and I guarantee there will be more!  Stay tuned for more posts about this first bunch of faces.

Selfie #1 (6).JPG

See My Voice

 Only One Earth

Only One Earth

Finally, these three quilts will be exhibited out in the world!  I entered the Quilt Surface Design Symposium "See My Voice" museum exhibit on a whim.  My notification email was lost in the shuffle, but today I found it buried in my spam folder and was delighted to see that all three pieces were accepted.  

Ross Art Museum, 60 Sandusky St., Delaware, OH 43015
Exhibition Dates:  May 18th – June 29th 2018      
Museum hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday 1-5pm and Thursday 1-7pm

If you are in the area, or attending the symposium I hope you'll get a chance to check out the exhibit. I wish I could see it in person!  You can read more about these pieces in this blog post.

 She Persisted

She Persisted



SAQA Benefit Auction

 Earl Grey in the Morning

Earl Grey in the Morning

I have participated in the SAQA Benefit Auction since 2015.  I enjoy making small art pieces and the 12" square size is very do-able.  Each piece I've done for the auction is a reflection of the work I'm doing at the time.  The Benefit Auction starts in September and you'll find more about it in the link above if you are interested in this quilt or any of the other fabulous pieces.

This year I've done another Teatime piece.  I think this has officially become a series, since this is the third piece in the collection. I made the other two for the Novel Idea program this year.  I may yet do more of these small teatime pieces just because I have other color themes I'd like to try and more silks and other great fabrics to use!

I've included some detail shots below including the one with my initials. I wanted to do my signature, but didn't find a place it would fit.  Following are my auction pieces from the last three years.

2018 Earl Grey in the Morning  (4).jpg
2018 Earl Grey in the Morning  (7).jpg
2018 Earl Grey in the Morning  (6).jpg
 All Things Being Equal

All Things Being Equal

 Ancient Doorway

Ancient Doorway

 Funky Chicken

Funky Chicken