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


  1. Nothing sexier than Leroy Jethro Gibbs! I love me some Mark Harmon. Can anyone, besides me, remember when he was the face of Coors beer...back in the day?

    1. haha - I will Google the Coors ads. My memory of MH goes back to Centennial, although I saw it long after its original run. (LOVE that miniseries.) I wasn't allowed to watch St. Elsewhere.