Artistic Collaboration and Call For Artists

Artistic Collaboration and Call For Artists

My friend Nanci Williams sketches caricatures of people frequently and she is an amazing artist. I have been telling her for a long time that I wanted to use her portraits and make the people in stitch. I finally stitched a few. We are thinking about making a coffee table type book combining photos of the stitched pieces and the sketches.


Here is Nanci’s sketch. I picked this one because it was fairly simple. She has 30-40 of these sketches done at this point.


Here is the finished stitched portrait. I decided I would take a few liberties with the clothing as I will be using what I already have in my stash.


Here’s a little bit closer view. I will stretch these over matte board and lace across the back. Then I can frame them.


Here’s the next sketch I chose to interpret in stitch.


Here is the piece before I started stitching. I fused the fabrics down and then used free motion machine stitching to add the details.


Here’s the finished portrait. I am really enjoying doing these. We might even have some other artists with different media do portraits as well to add to our book.


I do add a bit of color and shading with colored pencils to give it a bit more depth. Have you ever done any stitched portraits? Have you collaborated with other artists? What was your experience like? We’d love to see them over on the forum. Do stop by the forum and show us if you get the chance.

Forum Link

I would also like to announce a call for artists. Our local group is having its annual fiber art exhibition in October.  The theme this year is “Totem”. You can download the prospectus and application here.  The exhibition is open to anyone as long as the piece is “fiber art”. We will accept international entries but you would be responsible for shipping the piece to and from Montana. We had a great show last year and I hope you’ll consider entering a piece.

Totem, that from which I draw my purpose, meaning and being. Do you have a symbol that serves as an emblem for you or your clan? Is there a being or object that reminds you of your ancestry or mystic past? What does Totem mean to you?


18 thoughts on “Artistic Collaboration and Call For Artists

  1. Wow, they’re really cool, Ruth! No, I’ve never done anything like that, though I did make a stencil of my mum a few years ago and turned her into graffiti art 🙂
    The Fibre art exhibition sounds really interesting, thanks for letting us know.

  2. They are fantastic, the machine stitching really brings them to life.
    I started a stitched portrait of my grandson last year, but was not happy with the way it was turning out so didn’t finish it.
    The coffee table book sounds great..

    1. Thanks Chris. The good thing about these is that I didn’t have to draw the design and they aren’t anybody I know. So it doesn’t really matter if they look like the person.

  3. What a great idea – I like the background you’ve used for the first one. The dress material is just right and I like the fabric you chose for the sunglasses because it really appears that there is light bouncing off them.

    I wonder if the subjects will recognise themselves?

    1. Thanks Lyn – I just had a tiny scrap of the fabric for the sunglasses but it did work well.

      Most of these sketches were done 2-3 years ago so I have my doubts anyone will recognize themselves. Most are from out of town.

  4. Have never collaborated with another artist, but I can appreciate the sketching and stitching embellishment. It must be fun to join with another artist and “pool” your talents. Maybe Marilyn and I will get together to felt a big yurt! Marilyn?

  5. Ruth, that’s a really cool idea. It sounds like a great way to use fabric scraps, too.

    Cathy, I think we’d have to borrow Ruth’s tractor and her husband to drive it. We could start with a little smaller project, maybe a tent? For dolls? 🙂

    1. Thanks Marilyn – it is a good use of fabric scraps – I have enough to last me for years I’m sure.

      You and Cathy can come out here and help felt one more panel that needs doing 🙂

  6. How fun! I have not done any stitched portraits but have thought about it – better put it on the to do list. Nancy’s sketches are great and I like what you did. If you ever need any more scraps, I have plenty and am happy to share.

    1. Thanks Sally – It was great fun and I am enjoying making them. Currently, I have plenty of scraps and wouldn’t want to be buried in them 🙂 But thanks for asking.

  7. These are great Ruth will you frame them and sell them in the store? The art exhibition sounds interesting. I look forward to seeing the pictures.

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