Picture of fabric portrait of a horse quilt block
This shows the steps I went through to assemble an applique quilt block of a horse head for a friend.
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Step 1: Print the pattern

Picture of Print the pattern
I printed out the original photo after using photoshop to separate colors and shapes and cut it out to help choose background fabric.

This instructable shows the process I used in photoshop on a similar project: http://www.instructables.com/id/Designing-fabric-portaitsquilts-using-photoshop/

Step 2: Trace the shapes on tracing paper and choose fabrics

Picture of Trace the shapes on tracing paper and choose fabrics
This shows the lines drawn to separate the shapes so they can be traced. Each pieced is numbered and given a letter that corresponds to the fabric for that piece. I glued snips of each fabric on the size to keep track.

Step 3: Line fabrics up on pattern

Picture of Line fabrics up on pattern
I use deli paper or tracing paper to trace the pattern to help with placing the pieces on the background. I lay the tracing paper on top and line of the fabric piece under it make sure I get it in the right place. I also keep pieces pinned to it until I'm ready to attach them.

Step 4: Test fabric layout

Picture of Test fabric layout
Here are the pieces laid out to see how they work together before I start basting.

Step 5: Baste the first pieces to background

Picture of baste the first pieces to background
Here are the first pieces basted and ready to appliqué. I use a large needle and heavy thread to baste on the stitching line. This makes it easier to turn the edges under using the tip of the needle.

Step 6: First pieces appliqued and next group basted

Picture of First pieces appliqued and next group basted
The first pieces are stitched down and the next are pinned and ready to baste.

Step 7: Making adjustments

Picture of making adjustments
The second group is stitched, but at this point I realized I had either cut something too small or didn't place it exactly right and there was a gap above the dark shadow piece near the mane.

Step 8: More adjustments

Picture of More adjustments
I chose a new fabric after looking at the photo and seeing there was a dark ring around the eyes and added that to both eyes and it covered the gap easily. Now to stitch them down.

Step 9: Almost finished!

Picture of Almost finished!
Getting ready to add the final pieces and will be finished!
ginger200373 years ago
This, this could be it, the project I need/want to remember a filly we had. Thank you so much for this instructable!
dulciquilt (author)  ginger200373 years ago
I'm so glad I could help. I could have gotten a better resemblance, but couldn't afford to buy more fabric. The closer you can match the fabric to your pattern the better. I like to use 5-9 fabrics. I don't know if you the other ible that explains how to use photoshop to get your pattern. You can use tracing paper and make your own pattern, but photoshops makes it so much easier. Good luck!
mommajune5 years ago
This is beautiful! I love horses. You have inspired me to try this...I'm just learning how to quilt.
dulciquilt (author)  mommajune5 years ago
So glad you liked it. it doesn't look exactly like the photo, but I was trying to work from my stash and couldn't match the colors exactly. Feel free to ask questions if you run into trouble. My other ible shows how I used photoshop to separate the shapes and colors. the hardest part is deciding how many layers and matching the fabrics. I have found 5-10 fabric is the best range. If you try to do too much detail it ends up looking messy and confusing. When looking for fabrics, think out of the box. Look at the backside as well as the front. hand dyed and batiks are great for this.squint at smaller prints to see if they would work as a solid. I used a mauve with subtle rose vines on a portrait once for the ears. The vines looked like the shadows on the ear. It also helps to have a friend help you look for fabrics. My husband has a great eye for what I need and has found some of my favorite pieces. Beware. this can be quite addicting.
Neat! So far you have posted two great Instructables. Keep up the great work, I really like them!
dulciquilt (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Thanks for the kind words :)
i have had these on my photo site, but mainly showed them to folks in quiltchat. I have become addicted to this site and decided to go ahead and post here as well.