Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Welcoming Margaret Bucklew, her wonderful new book, and a giveaway!

It is my absolute pleasure today to introduce you to an amazing quilt artist, tutor, and author of “Step by step portrait art quilts: Learn to Create Realistic Portrait and Pictorial Quilts”, Margaret Bucklew.


On this, the second day of Margaret’s book blog tour, she will be introducing you to some ideas on selecting the best photographs for your art quilts.  So I’ll hand on over to this amazing artist and meet up with you again at the end to tell you about her wonderful giveaway!

Which photo will work for a portrait quilt?

Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge and make a portrait quilt, how do you know which photograph will work best for the technique?

Below are a few tips for you to consider when deciding upon the most appropriate photo.

* Don’t use a 6”x4” photograph if a person’s head is smaller than completely filling up that area.

* Use the largest image possible, it’s best if the head is at least 4 inches big in the photo

* Colour and/or black and white are ok

* Look for high contrast images

* Pets work great for this technique, face needs to be large to see features (you can’t improve on black areas of the eyes, if that’s an issue select a different photo)

* It’s ok if you don’t use the entire head

* If image is too dark, look for different photo

* Don’t use photo of two people as your first portrait quilt

You will want to work with the photograph a bit before you separate it into values, so you do have a window of opportunity to make some changes prior to the separations.

If the photo you want to use is flat, meaning not much contrast, you can work with the software to increase contrast overall, or even heighten contrast within certain areas of the image.

You can change the size a bit, but not too much because the software is pixel based and when you enlarge the computer then has to decide where to put the extra pixels. The computer might work faster than you, but it is not smarter than you! It doesn’t always pick the best colours to add.


The image above is the photo that one of my creative students, Meleah Westnidge, used for a portrait quilt of her grandmother. Her beautiful completed quilt is the image on the right. Meleah’s photograph selection was large enough to allow for her grandmother’s features to be fully executed.

We cover this and more in the first chapter of our “Step by Step Portrait Art Quilts: Learn to Create Realistic Portrait and Pictorial Quilts”. The book is both in print or eBook. The book can be purchased and more information found on Amazon, here. An eBook version is also available on Kobo, here.

For a few more tips, please visit the next blogs in the book tour:

Day One     11 March    All about Applique

Day Two     12 March    SEW Useful Designs

Day Three  13 March   A Passion for Applique

Day Four    14 March    Jackie’s Art Quilts

Day Five    15 March    Quilting and Sewing Videos 

Thank you so much Margaret for sharing your tips with us today!  Thank you also for offering one copy of your new eBook to one of my lucky readers!  It has been a real pleasure getting to know you.


So – to all you lovely people out there reading my blog – would you like the opportunity to win a copy of Margaret’s eBook?  All you need to do is leave ONE comment on this post to enter.  I will select a winner by random generator one week from today on Tuesday 19 March, 7pm Melbourne time.  Good luck!

I don’t know about you – but I’m going to be viewing my photographs with a different eye from now on – in anticipation of selecting the perfect portrait of my children to make in to an art quilt.  One for each of them.  I can’t wait to get stuck in to searching for the right fabrics in my scrap basket!

Till next time – have a wonderful day!  And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!!!!!

Vikki xo


Bev C said...

Hello Vikki,

What amazing quilts, yes doing two people in your first quilt would be double the trouble. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Happy days.

Karen said...

Hi Vikki,
I have had plans for two memory quilts going round in my head for ages. When you arent sure of how to get the images right it really slows you down.
Thanks for the chance to win this brilliant book.

Dolores said...

What a great book. The realistic quilts are wonderful. Margaret is a superb teacher and I'd love a copy of her book.

Larissa said...

Wow! This book sounds incredible - and if this little portion was any indication, very easy to understand and read!! ... Thankyou for the opportunity to win a copy of this book! It sounds like a must-have on the ole' bookshelf!! :)

Val Laird said...

What an amazing book - one I'd love to have! Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

Debra Lee said...

I would love to do my kittie!

marygabriella said...

Ciao cara Vikki, il tuo blog è davvero carino e le trapunte fatte con le foto sono splendide. Io vivo in Italia, posso partecipare lo stesso?
Un saluto,

quiltingmieke said...


what a new wonderfull quilts .....so really...so nice ..

what a gift this will be ....our dauchter and friend are going to be married in september.....a foto of the wedding....

hig Mieke

Janet said...

I have yet to make a portrait quilt although several times I have eyed up photos with that idea in mind. I would love to have this book to prompt me on my way.

Hooked on Quilting said...

Wow, I'd love to challenge myself for a portrait quilt of my grandchildren...after I try a single portrait!!! Thanks for the great giveaway.

Kathy L said...

Would love to learn this technique. Thanks for the chance to win.

NancyB85374 said...

Her work is amazing. Could it really be that I could do something like this? Thank you for the chance to win this inspiring book about a new-to-me technique.

Sue Niven said...

I would love a chance to win a book, absolutely fascinating.

grandmarockton said...

LOVE the tips

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Looks like a great book, thanks for the info and giveaway!

Margaret said...

Hi Vikki, thanks so much for hosting our book blog tour! It's so nice to be a part of your site and to meet new friends. I love your designs!!

Vivian said...

I love these tips too, great blog hop.

Sharon said...

I love portrait quilts. Thanks for the chance to win the book.

Judy Cooper Textile Artist said...

I haven't tried doing a portrait but I do use photos for my landscape art. This books sounds like one to add to my library.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to have a go at turning a photo in fabric art, sounds challenging - just what I need to keep my brain active! Chris from UK City Crafter


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