About the same time she was getting starting making a freezer paper pattern, an email arrived from Quilting Arts advertising some $5 videos, one of which was called "Making Faces" by Maria Elkins. How could she go wrong for $5?? So after purchase and instant download, she was ready to watch the video to see how her method worked. It seemed pretty foolproof, starting with a photo, changing it to black & white with 4 values from light to dark, and then using a product called Steam a Seam II Lite to build the layers, using the printed photo as a pattern. This was the most basic method in the video; there are 3 others that are progressively more challenging, up to drawing a portrait freehand. But the basic method was perfect for this first attempt. Maria also offers tips on fabric selection and how to quilt the finished portrait. Very much worth the $5!
Black & white photo
Posterized photo; you might notice this version is a mirror image of the previous one. This is necessary for the final product to have the same orientation as the original photo.
[Normally, Sue hates photos of herself - don't we all? Well, maybe not the selfie experts! But Sue says spending so much time looking at herself does make it a little easier to accept what she sees!]
The posterized version is printed out and then the different value shapes are drawn with a red pen. This will be the pattern for the portrait. Three additional color copies are needed - one for each of the 4 layers. Actually, 2 additional copies is enough but Sue wanted to keep one copy intact (the others get cut). Each 8.5x11 sheet of paper is then adhered to a sheet of Steam a Seam II Lite. This product comes with paper on both side and feels tacky when you peel the paper off. The tackiness allows you to stick things together and still be able to reposition them until you are ready to fuse with an iron. The lightest value goes down first, uncut. The 2nd lightest value has the paper pattern attached and you cut out all the "1" areas, which is the lightest value. Then it is place on top of the first layer, so that the light value shows through. This is repeated with the other 2 values, layering each one on top of the previous. Some parts, such as eyes, are completely cut out and so must be placed, but the cut-away pattern serves as a guide for placement.