When designing a quilt from a photo, you have to figure out where to start. I opened my photo in Photoshop and cropped in to focus attention on the part of the photo that I liked best.
I usually work in Adobe Illustrator where I can make layers and trace over a photo to make a pattern. But there’s a cool filter in Photoshop called Find Edges. I used it to generate this almost-drawing:
I am not going to fuse or glue this quilt. The pieces will be pinned, then basted on a light fabric base. I projected the image onto a 60″ x 60″ piece of thin, prewashed, white muslin on my design wall. I used a soft pencil to draw a stylized version of the image onto the fabric.
I decided to work loosely, cutting fabric to fill in the different areas without making templates or pattern pieces. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the drawing needed to be on an overlay so that I could still see it as I added fabric to the wall. I cut a great big piece of upholstery vinyl, pinned it over the muslin, and traced the lines with a regular Sharpie marker—the kind that comes to a blunt point.
I’m not aiming for photo realism here. Instead, I’m working in a looser, slightly more impressionistic fashion. It is both scary and fun!