Pictorial Art Quilts look impressive and complex and here, Leni Levenson Wiener covers the requirements for making successful quilts of this type.
Rather than solely concentrating on technique, the thinking behind creating pictorial quilts is explored in some depth. A strong focus is placed on the use of values in fabric choices, which quite often make or break an image. Under the Setting the Stage section, colour choice is considered alongside values and the choice of patterned and printed fabric.
Moving into the actual construction of a quilt, you are taken through the stages, from making and printing a pattern from your photo, which can be done on Photoshop (by using Cutout in the Filter Gallery) or a free download called Gimp, which the author finds easier to use and teach with. You are taught to print out a full sized picture of your desired quilt size and then start to plan the pattern and colours. As raised previously, value is of great importance in this technique and Leni Levenson Wiener has included an Art Quilter’s Value Scale in the book to help you choose fabrics that match those in the original image. It is a card that can
be cut out of the book and has 12 different values that you lay alongside your pattern to discern what scale each value in the image is, which you can then use against your fabric to ensure the same value is achieved. This is a very useful piece of kit, especially if value has always seemed an indecipherable concept.
The mechanics of putting together all your pieces is covered in illustrated steps and there are little asides and notes to give you useful tips and hints to help troubleshoot or simplify the process, if it’s getting too complicated. Once the main body of the book is dealt with, there is a third section which covers common elements in pictorial quilts such as trees, the sky, water or rocks, animals, feathers, eyes and skin tone, to name a few. This ensures that the approach to most of the subjects of such quilts will be covered, whatever is chosen. There are plenty of photos throughout to show how cleverly selected fabric assists in the
creation of texture and pattern for elements such as hair, leaves and water. A good book for anyone wanting to explore this type of quilting.