First portrait for DD#2

posted in: DD#2, Family, Teaching | 8

First portraitDD#2 came over Sunday evening to work on one of the portraits she’s making for a friend. This is the first portrait she’s made, and she has two more planned. It’s fun that my family wants to try these, too. I’ve told people that anyone can make them, not just quilters.

I was interested in seeing how DD#2 would do since she has dyslexia. I imagined there might be some issues with flipping things due to working in mirror image. I wanted to learn from her so I would be able to help other people better as well.

Scissor gripWhen DD#2 was a little girl, she had trouble learning to use a pair of scissors. People with dyslexia often have an irregular pencil grip and struggle with scissors. She learned, of course, and used them quite proficiently, but this was the first time I noticed that due to her dysgraphic tendencies, she uses her thumb and her ring finger to hold them. So, even though she could easily cut the fine details, the scissors ended up hurting her hand. I think I’m going to search for a pair of scissors with larger finger openings, but still with the small, sharp tips. I like to bring a few extra pairs of scissors to workshops for when someone doesn’t have a good pair to use.

Cutting out her portraitShe didn’t have much trouble cutting out the first layer or the last layer, but the main issue she had was with the middle layer. If you haven’t done the process before, that probably won’t make much sense to you, but if you’ve already made a portrait using this technique you’ll understand that it was the Number 3 layer that was the problem. For her, the lines began blurring and jumping when she had to focus on the lines between the light gray and medium gray areas. We solved that issue by using a colored pencil to color in the areas she needed to cut away. (She colored all the number 1 and 2 areas the same color so they became one unit.)

She needed a little one-on-one help when she began flipping the pieces mirror image to assemble the portrait, but she caught on very quickly and had no trouble completing the portrait on her own.

Now that we’ve pinpointed a couple of problem areas, it will be interesting to see how the next two progress. I’ll be sure to post her finished portraits.

8 Responses

  1. Simply Susan

    Love the dottie fabric. Great job Bethany. What a great gift.

  2. Annick

    You are a great teacher Maria!

    Do you ever planned to teach in Houston? I would love to take one of your classes. You seem so patient and sharing. I have your “Making Faces” DVD, have watched it twice, have prepared a photo of my Dad, but cannot get the courage to jump in and do the final protrait. What stops me, I believe, is the tracing of the lines. I am afraid to do it wrong and that the protrait will not be recognizable.

    Thanks for sharing on your blog. Love your articles in Quilting Arts too! and congratulation again on your win in Houston. Was great to see you and “Windblown” in person.

    • Maria

      Thanks! I haven’t thought of teaching in Houston yet. I guess I’ll need to check it out and see what is required. In the meantime, I’d love to travel to your local quilt guild!

      Don’t be afraid to try. Remember: it’s just a piece of fabric! If you don’t like it you, you can bury it in a drawer or turn it into a dust rag or even throw it away! But, I think you might be surprised. It’s amazing how nice these portraits turn out.

  3. Kathy Evens

    Ginger makes a large opening finger hole scissor in the craft size. I love mine.

  4. Diana Bracy

    Your DD made a wonderful photo art piece and I also love the colored polka dots. Thanks for sharing the photos of her working with the pieces. It helps to understand the process of what she has to do to make her art. Larger finger holes would make a difference.

    As you know, I have made a couple of postcards and hope to make more Faces, soon. Your art is the complete opposite of mine and it takes me a while to flip it properly. DH does help me with it, too.

    It must be a wonderful feeling for your family to get involved with your art. Congratulations on winning in Houston. I enjoyed watching the video of your interview.

    Diana Bracy

    • Maria

      Thanks, Diana! It has been lots of fun working with my family! I should be sharing two more that my daughter did in the next few days. Sweet hubby is working on another as I type this 🙂