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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bisa Butler workshop at The Fabric Peddler

Thanks to everybody who encourged me on my solids challenge quilt... can you believe that little booger is still waiting for the binding?  I'd better do it this week because I want to take it to my guild meeting for show n tell on Saturday!

Nadine at the Fabric Peddler hosted Bisa Butler for a workshop yesterday and what a great day it was!  Bisa is so talented, very easy to work with, and she's the very model of patience.  She provided two images of Jill Scott, we chose the one we wanted to work with.  I chose this image with a head wrap because she was looking directly ahead and there was no hair to deal with...

We had to assign a value to the fabrics we were going to use; of course, being an over-achiever (translation: I couldn't stop dithering around and make up my mind!), I brought tons of fabrics with me!  Our first step was to release the face from the background...

(am I crazy, or is that a really large face??)  That soft blue is the "light" that I used for my base. 

Next I placed my medium and dark values on one side of her face...
the eye was a bit of a challenge.  Here you see it without the iris and that little spark; I'll add that later. 

See, I'm working away diligently...

so is Renea...

I like the tattoo'd effect Renea uses on hers...

Of course, quilters gotta eat, so we took a little break... 
Nadine provided a scrumptious lunch for us, we all enjoyed it! 

Back to the class... here's my piece with one half of the face done and I'm working on the second eye:

The eyes can be a challenge, I'll tell you!  I never could get that dark ring around her eye to look right. A couple people kept saying mine had a tropical look... I think the eye looks like a tiger's eye.

And here's the result of my day at the workshop. 

One thing Bisa mentioned is that our finished piece can reflect the mood we're in at the time; I chose to create my piece with a "carnival" look rather than going for real-life coloring. 

There are highlights ("extra-light" areas) on her face; looking at the light fabric I chose for the base, if I were to start over on this particular one, I would have chosen a different fabric because I think the light areas in it sort of interfere with the few extra-light areas.  Perhaps I might even have chosen to use a solid here.  Hmmm... solids...

So, anyway, I have to do the scarf - none of the fabrics I had with me was "just right", so I chose to do it at home.  And I may or may not do the neck, we'll see.  Earrings, an iris, a little sparkle on her lip and eyes, and the face will be done!

Then I need to make that all-important decision about the background.  Bisa likes to leave that til the very end so she can see what the quilt asks for.  I'm convinced that someplace in my stash the perfect background fabric is just waiting to jump out at me begging to be used - when it does, I'll be standing there with open arms!

Sew forth and sew on til later...


  1. WOW! That is striking. I'm looking forward to seeing the finish.

  2. Very interesting process - and to see how someone else if interpretting the same picture. Yes, I too look forward to seeing the finish.

  3. linda, also posted about bisa and the class. i am almost finish mine, haven't decided a background yet. see you saturday.

  4. What fabulous fabric selections and color choices. This is a wonderful piece.

  5. Sorry I missed this class. I tend to fuss over fabric choices also but the fabric really does talk to you. In my case sometimes too much. Retirement is great. More time to finish your pieces.


  6. I like how your face quilt turned out. Interestingly enough when I look at the last face picture and scroll down to the Kandinsky painting I see similar colors and movement.

  7. This is a great portrait. I really like the fabrics you chose. I enjoy seeing work where people think outside the box. it is very inspiring to me.

  8. this is sew cool Linda...please connect with me when you have a moment please madamesamm@cogeco.ca


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