Playful Portraiture: making faces from photo to fabric

Learn the secrets of making quilted portraits, from whimsical and cartoon-like silly selfie postcards to accurately proportioned quilted portraits. You will discover that it isn’t nearly as hard as you imagined. Learn to choose your photo, draft a pattern, and create a fusible appliqué quilted portrait.

In this online course you will have immediate and permanent access to all lessons as soon as you sign up.

You will learn:
  • Placement and Proportions for making realistic shapes
  • What makes a photo good to work with
  • How to trace a photo to make a pattern for appliqué
  • How to use apps to speed the pattern making process
  • Tips for quilting human faces
  • A process of playful exploration

Let's PLAY together!

Hi Lyric!

I want to tell you how much I REALLY enjoyed the Playful Portraiture class! You made it SIMPLE and FUN! You started at the beginning and broke down our blinders and self doubts, and EACH of us made a FANTASTIC portrait! It’s great how you provided a few portrait pictures for your students to practice on so we aren’t ruining a treasured love one. You covered every detail of making these portraits and I look so forward to doing one of my grandsons! I also love how you went over some Apps used to help out in the process! WOW! These Apps make things much simpler and are user friendly, especially after your explanations! I’m just so thrilled I took the day off to do something I’ve been wanting to learn! I highly recommend taking this class!!! What a GREAT FUN DAY!!!

- Nina Clotfelter


For making silly postcards

  • 5" x 7" postcard base: peltex, stabilizer, muslin, paper
  • Small pile of fabric or colored paper scraps
  • Glue stick
  • Very sharp, pointy, scissors
  • Optional tweezers for handling small pieces of fabric

For creating your own pattern by tracing

  • Pencil
  • Black Sharpie (fresh is best)
  • Tracing paper
  • Photo (practice photo provided in lesson)letter sized print preferably black and white, the face filling the page. You will read much more on this in the lesson so wait until then.
  • Light table or LED Light Box Tracer

For creating a fat-quarter sized fusible appliqué portrait

  • Pattern (11 x 17 practice pattern provided in lesson)
  • Baking Parchment 
  • More parchment or Silicone press sheet
  • Black sharpie
  • Opaque silver sharpie, or light table and white pencil
  • 1/2 yard Fusible Web (Wonder-Under, Misty-Fuse, Steam-a-Seam)
  • Scraps of solid white and black fabric
  • Iron and pressing surface
  • Scissors (still loving Karen Kay Buckley's 6-Inch Perfect Scissors)
  • Fat-Quarter of fabric for "skin" (be wild and creative!)
  • Scraps that are a little darker than your skin fabric
  • Various other scraps that might work for hair and shadows and eyes
  • Fabric for background (can be chosen after face is formed)

For using a smart phone and tablet to take photos and create patterns

You don't NEED devices to create your patterns but I find they can speed the process if you are comfortable with using technology. This class will not cover how to turn your device on and charge it and take a picture, so it is best if you are comfortable using a tablet or camera first. That said, it really isn't hard and the lessons here include step by step instructions and videos.

  • Smart phone with cameraDownload Snapseed app (free)
    • Download the Paper Camera app ($ - you can wait until you see what it does first)
    • Open the apps and give them the "permissions" it needs to access your photos.
  • Tablet
    • A stylus or smart pencil is very helpful
    • Download the Adobe Illustrator Draw app (free) or any app that allows you to create layers, import photos, and draw. You will need to create an account and register with Adobe to use the Draw app. It's worth it
    • Open the app and give it the "permissions" it needs to access your photos.
    • Turn it on and mess around with it - you can't hurt anything!
    • The ability to send your finished photo to your computer or a printer

    Let's PLAY together!

    Table of Contents

    Course supply list
    How This Classroom Works
    Let's look at faces
    Silly Selfies: cartoons and caricatures
    Faces are all about proportions and placement
    Supplies for making silly self portraits
    Make a silly selfie
    Tracing a Photo: it's all about shapes
    Choosing a photo: the good, the bad, and the goofy
    Supplies for creating a pattern
    Trace your photo to create a pattern
    Enlarging and marking your pattern
    Fusible applique and choosing fabric
    Supplies & practice patterns
    Choosing Fabric: value is more important than color
    Grouping your pattern pieces
    Fusing your fabric

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the lessons like?

    Lessons include several short videos as well as written instructions and supply lists.

    How much interaction is there from the teacher?

    Lyric will comment on each posted assignment. The more you post, the more you get out of the class. Make sure to read comments on other students work as well. There is as much to learn from each other as from the course work.

    How long do I have access to the course?

    Once you've enrolled and paid, you'll have access to the course material for one year. So devour it all in one weekend or take things slow. It's your choice!

    What do I need to know about using a computer?

    If you wish, you can photograph or scan your assignments and save them as a jpeg. You can upload your pictures from your computer or devise to the online lesson.

    Is this class refundable?

    Since all of the content is immediately available on payment, this class is not refundable. I do want you to be happy though so send me an email and let's talk.

    Let's PLAY together!