Photo Essay of the Technique
The first step is to find a photograph that illustrates your vision. I had my chosen photo enlarged to 16 inches by 16 inches to allow for the 12 x 12 quilt panel plus the necessary material needed for the gallery wrap frame.
Trace the photo onto clear plastic with a fine tip Sharpie marker.
Place the tracing on the back of the photo. The back of the photo is white making the tracing stand out nicely. Again, trace the entire photo but do it this time on freezer paper. This will become your master pattern for reference.
Next, trace the pieces that will be fused to the background, also on freezer paper. For my Travel piece, only the tree trunks and limbs were fused. Roughly cut out the traced shapes and iron to the right side of the chosen fabric. Then put fusible on the wrong side of those fabric pieces. I used a paper backed fusible called Shades SoftFuse. I had not used this product before, but it is very nice, soft, not stiff and works very well. Remove the paper from the fusible web and then cut out the shapes using the pattern you drew on freezer paper and which is still attached to the fabric.
For the background, I used two fabrics that were seamed together, one for the sky and one for the road. Make your quilt sandwich at this time. This must be done before you start adding tiny bits of fabric.
Next, I sliced and diced the fabric for the leaves, ground cover and pebbes. I have found that tiny parallelograms work well for leaves. To do this, I cut my fabric into narrow strips and then cross cut the strips at a 45 degree angle. For contrast, I cut squares for pebbles and ground cover. It is a guessing game to know how much fabric to cut. Start with a small quantity as you can always cut more. I put each fabric in a small bowl which became my 'paint pots'.
As the piece is started, study the photograph and determine which parts would be the greatest distance away. Those are done first. The rest of the details are then added from back to front and layered one on top of another. You may find you will need to refer to the master drawing and that you can use the plastic tracing to place the fabrics that must be fused.
Now for the fun part, which was placing all those tiny bits of fabric. My most valuable tools were long tweezers and a stylus. I would pick up the fabric pieces with tweezers and then push them into place with the stylus.
When the image is to your liking, it will be completely covered with a piece of black tulle. It is helpful to have a second set of hands for this step, as it needs to be carefully placed on top of the image. To secure the image for quilting, use safety pins but do not fasten them. Use as many as you feel you will need to hold everything in place. You will be amazed that after doing the pinning, you can pick up the top of the quilt and nothing moves! Remove the safety pins as you quilt. I used invisible thread.