Friday, April 12, 2013

Sexy Pixels: The Mark Harmon Quilt (Season 2, Episode 1)

After a lengthy camera-free hiatus, our series returns with the completion of the bottom two rows and the upper-right sections as well. Tune in for the continuing story, in which we make our way to those gorgeous piercing eyes...
oh yes

Micro Hex update

I haven't posted an update in a while on my teensy hexagon river project. I started by cutting one strip of 11 paper templates, then cutting one fabric snippet, basting it, and sewing it on. One. At. A. Time. This did not go quickly. My new strategy is much different -- I have decided to do only one task at a time, so I have been alternating between cutting big piles of paper templates, rough cutting stacks of fabric hexagons, and basting the fabric onto the papers until I can't stand holding the needle anymore. My thinking behind this (other than working more efficiently) is that I will be able to arrange the different colors like a jigsaw puzzle to make a scene emerge. I am concentrating mostly on natural-colored batiks, but that runs a pretty broad gamut from rocky landscape to magenta sunset. I love moving back and forth from bright corals to forest greens. I have to confess, though, that combing through the quilt shop trash cans for even the scantest scraps (even smaller than an inch square!!) is making me feel like a quilting hobo. I got my camera back yesterday so I'm finally able to share a photo of what I've got so far:
The micro-hex river landscape is starting to shape up!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pixelated Lips: The Mark Harmon Quilt (Season 1, Episode 2)

In which the luscious lips are pixelated and stitched:

The complete bottom row of the Mark Harmon/Jethro Gibbs (NCIS) quilt.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Heartthrob Pixelation: The Mark Harmon Quilt (Season 1, Episode 1)

Craftsy has a new "Pictures to Pixels Quilts" class that teaches you to take a detail of a photo -- any photo -- and convert it to a simple pixel grid, which you can then turn into a quilt. I signed up (it's free--my magic word!) and was really impressed at Caro Sheridan's clever use of Excel. Last week at open sew, my friend Debbie was joking around (I think) and suggested that I make a Mark Harmon quilt because of her NCIS addiction.

Challenge extended.

I did a little Google image searching and found some black and white headshots of MH. (Actually, it's kind of creepy how many photos there are of him.) Here's the one I decided to start with; I liked the stark white background for contrast, and the profile (oh that jawline, eh ladies?).
Mark Harmon: 
I pulled the JPEG into Photoshop and messed around with cropping, the image size settings, and limited the color palette to only eight shades of grey. Here's what it spit out for me:

Jethro Gibbs: Photoshopped image
I dumped this into Excel and followed Caro's instructions -- which were exceptionally clear -- and ended up with the following grid:
Jethro Gibbs: Excel-generated pattern
That was the hard part. Debbie and I picked out a nice run of eight shades of grey (only forty-two to go!) on Saturday, at which point I couldn't wait to get started.

The first two segments went right together; the process now feels like a giant counted cross-stitch project. I did discover, however, that this is not a project for sleepy evenings, because some of the shadings are created by using the backs of fabrics, and a tired mind doesn't always remember to flip the fabric upside-down. (ribbit, ribbit)
Jethro Gibbs, Episode One