Portrait Applique

I have been working on this applique piece for over a month. At our art meeting in February, we all worked on portraits. Some of us created portraits with paper collage but I decided to use fabric. That way, the portrait would work for my stitch homework. Having never done a stitched portrait, I learned a lot and found it fun, up until doing the facial features. Then I got a little stressed. I didn’t take very many in process photos.

These were the samples that I did in advance for facial features. I ended up doing an eye that was more like the one on the right. The teeth ended up being put directly on the lips fabric instead of having two layers of fabric with the dark for the inner mouth. That just didn’t work. And noses are hard.

Here she is partially stitched. I used a photo I found online when I searched for celebrities with wild, curly hair. The reason I did this portrait was so I could stitch wild, curly hair. That was my favorite part. None of the fabric was fused down, mistake number one. But it ended up working OK. The mouth ended up tilted too much and I really didn’t like it. So I did some surgery and cut it out and stitched it back down. This would have worked except for fabric fraying. I ended up adding some glue at the edges to keep it in place.

And here’s the finished portrait. I fussed with the nose and the mouth for an inordinate amount of time. They still aren’t the way I had in mind exactly but they’re OK. And it was fun trying something new. If I do this again, I will fuse all the fabric. Maybe I should try one with fused fabric and free motion machine stitching? That might be fun too.

I hope that all of you are staying safe and well in this crazy world. I’m staying at home and I’m finally out of the retail business, so more stitching, felting and fiber art to come! Yay!

12 thoughts on “Portrait Applique

  1. I’ve been doing some graphite face drawing and it is hard to do all the features. Then of course, there is all the shading that goes with them. Fun stuff.

    • Tesi, I would love to see your drawings. I have drawn faces before. I tried to think of the stitching on the face as hatching and cross hatching. Adding color is another difficult level 🙂

  2. An excellent attempt producing a funky face. You have achieved some amazing shadows & depth with your stitching. I am not brave enough to attempt figurative work, so I’m in awe of your first work.

  3. This is a wonderful creation, Ruth. It really looks like the woman is making a silly face in reaction to something! What a sassy expression. Love the eyes.

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