The two books that I co-authored with Phyllis Cullen are now available on Amazon.com.

It’s All About the Face

How do you quilt a face?

How do you bring your favorite people to life with fabric?

In It’s All About the Face, Phyllis Cullen and I show you how to create amazing, true-to-life portraits! Our book was born when we realized there was little available instruction about how to quilt faces. Having taught the subject for years, we decided to collaborate.

Capturing the essence of a subject is the goal. We have applied the rules of fine art to quilting faces. The book offers in-depth direction — even if you cannot draw, have never taken an art class, or even a sewing class.

Using large, full color, detailed images as examples, we lead the reader step by step through our process:

  • Composing a portrait so it tells a story and WOWS the viewer
  • Using digital technology to reveal the values in every face
  • Selecting fabrics
  • Creating a totally recognizable fabric collage
  • Quilting your masterpiece by following anatomical contours

We offer tips about lighting, taking reference photos, and photographing your finished quilts. We make recommendations about needles, thread, surface design, and even how to please the judges! Finally, Phyllis, who is also a doctor, touches on ways to keep your hands healthy.

We provide a forum on Facebook called “It’s All About the Face,” where artists share and discuss the intricacies of creating fabric portraits. Visit our group and check out both our books. You are sure to enjoy the fascinating journey of fabric portraiture.

More Than Just a Pretty Face

How do you compose an interactive story of figures in situ?

More Than Just a Pretty Face expands on the portrait process of face and figure, with an emphasis on:

  • How to find (or take) good reference photos
  • How to choose fabrics according to light and dark values and how to use cellphones to check that values are correct.
  • How to make patterns based on photos
  • How to dress the subjects and create the illusion of realistic clothing

Since capturing the essence of the subject is the goal, we consider the figure in depth, including facial expressions, body language and principles of art. Along the way we explore challenges in lighting, difficult reference photos, and issues like eyeglasses, clothing and unusual features.

Using large, full-color, detailed images, we devote a chapter to contour quilting to show you how to add dimensionality to your subjects. The book explores realistic, abstract, and other genres, including AI-generated works with multiple examples from the world of contemporary fabric art.

We teach classes and offer workshops and lectures, based on the concepts in both It’s All About the Face and More Than Just a Pretty Face. Both books are now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle® editions.

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