I found this photo of my dad (Harry Haverkate) that I just love. Isn’t he handsome?
I’m not sure of the year, but It was probably taken around the time he was dating my mom (early 1930’s), when he was in his early 20’s. Back in the time when men often wore suits and always wore a hat. I thought dad looked so “dapper” with his hat tilted just right. So I named this quilted wall hanging “Dapper Dad” to hang in our hall in his honor.
I found two websites that will make your jpeg photograph into a pixelated document for free:
One website is pic2pat: http://www.pic2pat.com/index.en.html
I scanned the photo, cropped it, and then used the website to convert it into a document with numbered pixels (squares) that I could print out to use as a guide. Next I drew a 1/4” grid (with my ruler and permanent marker) on a piece of light weight fusible interfacing, and placed it fusible side up on my portable ironing surface. I cut strips of my hand dyed brown fabrics just a bit wider than 1/4”, and I sorted/numbered them light to dark.
Using the numbered grid as my guide, I started choosing and cutting individual 1/4” squares and “tacking” them onto the fusible interfacing with my small iron. In areas where more than one square was the same color, I used strips instead. And in large areas with the same number I simply cut squares or rectangles slightly larger than the section.
It’s very much like putting a puzzle together, but you’ve got a guide to help you. It’s very “mindless” and relaxing. I love doing it.
Here (above) are the strips in a bin helping me keep the numbers straight.
You can’t see much of anything as you’re putting the puzzle together (see close-up shot above); you just have to trust that it’s going to work.
But when you back up a few feet, you begin to see the photograph come to life!
Then back up even further, and it really begins to look like something!
After adding the batting (pellon fleece) and a backing fabric, I took the fusible interfacing with the squares completely cover it, to my Bernina and free-hand quilted using similar colors of variegated cotton thread.
After adding a striped 3-D border, brown inner border, and paisley outer border and dark brown binding, it was ready to hang in my hallway. (Sorry for the yellow tint.)
From a distance, you can really see “Dapper Dad”.
Have you tried pixelating in your quilting? If not, give it a try—it’s so rewarding.
Hope you enjoyed reading about the process.
Have you tried pixelated quilts? I’d love to hear how your experience was. Please post your comments below, and include a link to your photo if you can.
UPDATE: I was so pleased to find out the photo quilt got an “honorable mention” ribbon at the Sun Prairie Quilt Show earlier this week!