It is every quilting mother’s dream. To be able to make a portrait of her child. I did that this past week.
Remember Sandra Bruce’s self portrait? I had interviewed her some time back on my blog. You can go here to read that interview. It was about 3 years back! Ever since I have wanted to make a portrait using her technique.
I visited her during my USA trip. And she wrote a wonderful post about it on her blog! (We do have a mutual admiration club!)
So back to the portrait…
I had this photo of Aadi, that has always been my favorite one. It was clicked by one of the members of the Amateur Photographer’s Club in Sangli sometime back in 2008! Aadi was barely 11 months old then. We had gone for a stroll in a garden early in the morning. The club members were there and asked me permission to click photos of Aadi. I told them they could as long as they give me a copy of every photo they take and the permission to use them the way i want to. The did. and a few days later I had a CD with some of the most awesome snaps of Aadi delivered to my home. I still do not know the name of the person who actually clicked this photo. But I am very much indebted to him.
I knew this picture would make a great portrait. Until now I have only made portraits in gray scale. This one screamed at me to be made in color. What was holding me back, you ask? I was scared I would not be able to do it. But I decided to just go and do it!
So I gathered all my supplies. In the end, I decided to crop out the background and use white instead. That made it easier on me. I did it one square at a time. I looked for prints that matched the position onthe photo. If I did not have prints like that, I improv-pieced the squares. Some I decided to applique because they were too complicated to be pieced.
I was on the edge of my seat, more sure than not, that I am not going to be able to do this! Till this moment.
I got the eye right!!! That was the moment I knew I was going to be able to make it.
And then I got the other eye right too!!! That one was difficult since it had to match the first one. Between those two eyes I think I have 6 pairs of attempts before I got them right!
And at the end of 4 days all the squares were ready!!! Time to do the unthinkable. Piece them together! I managed to do that in another couple of days. The quilting took 2 days…
And at the end of the week : my quilt was ready!!!
Here it is, “My heart’s delight : portrait of Aadi”
I decided to keep the quilting simple. And most often matched the thread with the background. I wanted the piecing to be the “hero” of this quilt rather than the quilting.
Here’s a more detailed shot of the quilting.
I quilted his three favorite nursery rhymes (when he was 11 months old) in the background. I have no score of how many times I must have sung them to him! So you see “Wheels on the bus”, “Incy wincy spider” and “You’re my sunshine” on the white background. I also wanted to include some Marathi songs, but there was no more space left.
I used a ‘curly’ design to quilt the hair. It turned out awesome!!!
I let Aadi pick the backing for this quilt, and he chose this one! Nummers from Ikea. Its perfect for this quilt!
Name : “My heart’s delight : portrait of Aadi”
Size : 40″ x 40″ – 200 squares 2.5″ (10 appliqued, 76 pieced others whole)
Material used :
Fabric : Hand dyed fabric (for the skin), assorted Black and white prints (for the hair), Some local scraps (for the dress), Bella Solid White and Snow (background)
Thread : Aurifil 50 wt in Tan for piecing and applique. Assorted shades – black, pink, white, grey, blue and red for quilting. Aurifil 40 wt White in bobbin.(only because I was running out of 50 wt in white)
Pieced and quilted on my Bernina 710 using the Dual Feed System and BSR.
Aurifil & Bernina managed to go through several layers (at one intersection it must be close to 7) without ANY incident of thread breakage! Go “Berifil”!!!
Other material : My laptop, freezer paper and my brain (lot of it)
Experience : Amazing!!!
Thank you Sandra, for inspiring me to make this quilt and for sharing your process with me. Though I ended up doing it my own way – it was fun to see how I started out at the same point as you, with the same concept and reached the same destination, travelling down my own road!!! Your support has been phenomenal. This quilt is going to change my life! I know it! And thank you for being such a lovely friend!!!
Do you like “My heart’s delight?”