Chandler Quilt

Chandler portrait quilt by Angela Bowman

“Chandler” quilt, 60″ x 60″, made in July 2019.

This is a quilt I designed from a photo of my son Chandler, based on a picture I took of him in his teens. We were sitting together, waiting for his Gracie Jiu Jitsu class to start. He was reading a book (no doubt something sci-fi) and he was wearing his gi, a martial arts uniform. I looked over at him and was taken by the composition. So many striking shapes. The yellow wall diagonal contrasted with his black jacket. His dark hair with hints of curl at his face and neck. The shadows on his eyelids, nose, lips, jaw, and ear. I knew I’d want to art this image someday, so I hurried and snuck a pic with my phone camera. Luckily he didn’t object since he was engrossed in his book.

portrait quilt source photo

Several years after I took that photo I created a digital rendering. I cut the design in half to make a pop art-feel and added green since that’s Chandler’s favorite color. I shared the illustration with him and asked him if it was okay if I made a quilt out of it. He said yes.

digital portrait illustration

I designed foundation paper piecing templates and had them printed on a large format printer. I used six fabrics, all Kona Cotton Solids: Baby Pink, Corn Yellow, Storm, Ballet Slipper, Seafoam, and Regal.

starting foundation paper piecing

The first complex block I made was his ear. I was smitten with that cute top part of his ear. After all, he’s my boy!

foundation paper piecing block of an ear

Here’s the design wall progression:

portrait quilt foundation paper piecing process
portrait quilt foundation paper piecing process
portrait quilt foundation paper piecing process
portrait quilt foundation paper piecing process
portrait quilt foundation paper piecing process

His eye is my favorite part. I love how it has a fashion illustration vibe.

back seams of portrait quilt
machine quilting

I quilted it with a diagonal cross hatch. And I will love it forever.

Chandler portrait quilt by Angela Bowman

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