Chloe Quilt

Chloe Portrait Quilt by Angela Bowman

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

This is a quilt I designed from a photo of my daughter Chloe. This photo of her when she was 8 years old was my inspiration. I just love how fair her face is, the contrast of her pretty eyelashes and mouth, and the way the light is bouncing off her face and hair.

source photo for a portrait quilt

I simplified the image and created a digital illustration. To see my sewing translation process, see my Instagram video post. What’s really special about this project is that Chloe sat right next to me at my computer and helped make design choices. We opted to add a bit more blue to the piece.

simplified photograph for a portrait quilt

I made foundation paper piecing templates and had them printed on 36″ x 48″ sheets of paper at my local print shop.

large foundation paper piecing pattern pieces

I used my fabric swatch magnets to help choose colors, and nabbed the Kona Cotton solids from Sewfinity.

fabric swatch magnets and a sewing machine
portrait quilt foundation paper piecing process

I always sew the largest shapes first. Here’s the design wall progression:

portrait quilt process
portrait quilt process
portrait quilt process
portrait quilt process
portrait quilt process
portrait quilt process

Here’s the quilt back, before I removed all the paper.

back of a foundation paper pieced quilt

Here’s the backside of one of her eyes. For the thread, I used Bottom Line 60 weight in Silver by Superior Threads. This thin, strong polyester thread reduces bulk for an intricate design like this, plus its poly-strength keeps the seams intact while ripping off the paper.

back seams of a quilt top

For quilting, I chose a simple diagonal cross hatch using Aurifil 40 weight thread in Dove.

quilting a portrait quilt

I loved every step of making this quilt. When I’m gone, it will be Chloe’s, and I hope she’ll remember designing it with me.

portrait quilt

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