This is actually my second attempt at a stitched portrait, (but as I used that for the title of the last post I couldn't use it.). The first was in Stitch Club and I was pleased with what I did there. (It was a lot smaller than the one I have just finished.)
This is the first in a series of seventeen that I intend to stitch. Twenty plus years ago I asked the members of my patchwork group for a portrait of how they saw themselves for my friendship block. (We took it in turns to do a block for each other so we could make a friendship quilt each.) I had thought that this would make a good wall hanging and I expected blocks that looked a bit like this.
What I got was some like the one above but many were so different. Judy, who's portrait I have just stitched gave me this!
There were some blocks that didn't match the size I asked for as well. I still thought I would do a wall hanging, so, I took photos of each of the ladies. I imagined I would have this printed onto fabric in a random design and mount the blocks that way. Problem was that the technology to do that wasn't available back then, it is now, but not then. Then, 20 years later it was my turn for another block and I hadn't made any firm decisions about the first lot, so I declined and decided I wouldn't ask for another block until I had finish that first lot.
Over the years I have tired various ways to stitch portraits of my friends, both embroidered and quilted, but, non of them sat right with me. That is until Sue Stone's Class. I'm glad I kept all those photos I took of the ladies, they are perfect for this project. I am very comfortable working with Sue's method of stitching.
Of course over the twenty years we have lost members. Some have moved away and some have died. The first three portraits will be of the members who have moved on to become angels. I think these ladies will fit in well with the 'heavenly hosts'. They did a pretty good job of being angels here on earth. The first of the three is Judy.
I intend to make all this into a fabric book and also write a book about the stitching of this and focus on how important friendships are in our lives, with an emphasis on what this has meant to me. I won't have it finished anytime soon but I like long term projects.
(Some notes about the stitching. I used a dressmaking linen and backed it with a cotton voile before stitching. I used only two different threads. The black is Cotona Madera, 30 weight machine embroidery cotton from Germany. The grey is a Rasant machine poly/cotton machine thread.)