Each of the challenges I've participated in with this group have challenged me in one way or another. This one - portrait - was no exception. I started out with an idea of doing a portrait of myself, and then quickly abandoned it. Instead, I chose to do a fantasy portrait and have some fun.
Meet Fizzle. While thinking about this portrait, I watched a YouTube class from Alex Anderson on making portraits. She suggested putting little bits of ourselves into the portrait. Fizzle is a little bit about my mother and a little bit about me, and a lot of fantasy. My mother's name was Phyllis, but one of my cousins frequently got away with calling her "Fizzle". My mother would always laugh when she called her that - but only she could use that name. My mother had red hair, but nothing like Fizzle's hair in this portrait. My mother also had green eyes, so I featured them for fun.
Those eyes were such fun to make! The eyelashes and liner were cut from a piece of Marcia Derse fabric. I was amazed at how well it worked. See that blue nose? That's a nod to my favorite coffee shop - Blue Nose Coffee - I thought that was a fun addition. Of course, you can see Fizzle is wearing her favorite earrings, cats! I had to have cats in there somewhere!
Her dress with the feather print is a nod to our family's love of birds, and the wording "Inner Artist" just seemed perfect, too.
To construct the portrait, I started by building an improv background in scraps of low volume prints. I cut the portrait components randomly, using orange strips for the hair, a fussy cut piece from a Kaffe Fassett fabric for her headband, a Carrie Bloomston print for the dress. Fizzle's face is two-toned just to give some depth and so it doesn't just fade into the background. Her lips are another little fussy cut from that Kaffe fabric. Once I had the portrait laid out on the background, I deconstructed it and started attaching it to the background, starting with the neck, then the face, then the hair, etc. It is all done in raw edge applique, which I stitched down to the top before adding the batting and backing. Once the portrait was in place, and all pieces were stitched down, I added the batting and backing and used my beginner's level quilting to meander around the portrait. I used a smaller stipped around the arrows in the dress, and called it done. The binding is a black/white batik dot, which I thought worked pretty well.
The finished quilt is 16-1/2" square-ish.
I'm looking forward to the next challenge!