Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stained Glass Flower Portraits: A Tutorial

These "headshots" of individual flowers from my garden--below--are just supposed to be quick portraits of each one, little personality captures.  So they are not really portraits, but more like mug shots. ;-)

I've made four of them so far.  The first one doesn't count because it was a warm up, but by the fourth one I'd streamlined my step by step process, from photograph to finished laid out collage (none of them have been sewn down yet.)  I took some photos along the way so you can see the stages I go through.

A snapdragon.  I planted a lot of them this year.

I made a pencil sketch from my photo.

From this drawing I went to my favorite enlargement website, Rapid Resizer, and made a pdf file of the drawing at the size I wanted, printed it up, taped it together, and used it as my finished design.  I took my individual pattern pieces from that.

Here you can see the taped pattern on my light box.  I have already placed my blue background fabric over it and traced it, to help me place my collage fabrics accurately.  I use a Flexion pen for this tracing step, because I get a fine sharp line that is instantly erasable with the tip of a hot iron.

Once that tracing is done, I start tracing individual shapes for my collage onto freezer paper.

 These shapes are ironed onto the front of the fabric I intend to use.

Since the fabric for this piece is raveley silk, I interface the back of it first, before cutting out my freezer paper shapes.  This is fusible knit interfacing, which I buy by the bolt.

This picture shows some shapes that are ready to be laid into place.  You can see the traced pattern on the background that will help me with alignment. The great thing about using the Flexion pens is that you don't have to slavishly follow the traced pattern, as the line isn't permanent.  What a help that is!

I use a little smear of a glue stick on the back of each of the fabric pieces, just to hold them into place. I really don't like to use fusible web in this situation, because A) I can't reposition fused fabric, especially delicate fabrics like silk and B) I like my collaged fabrics to be not quite so flat against the surface of the background fabric.
Here is my snapdragon, ready to have its stained glass leading put on.

The last step is the outlining, or adding the leading.  I've covered that process in my book, Allie Aller's Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined. Click the link to find it on Amazon, or ask for it at your local quilt shop.  It is from C & T Publishing.

There are two more...a lily and a rose.
Each is about 8" X 8".

I look forward to making more of these this summer, and hope this gives you some ideas for you to try too.