Books · Giveaway

Paint by Numbers, a creative approach to pictorial quilts

Paint-by-Number Foster.png

I was recently asked to review Kerry Foster’s new book, Paint-by-Number Quilts, recently published by C & T, and I eagerly said yes.  I’ve been a quilty-pal of Kerry’s for some time, and enjoy her style of quilt-making.


Her style reminds me somewhat of Edrica Huws.  I love the energy this type of quiltmaking generates, as I trend toward the pristine and ordered, and am not as comfortable with the assemblage/collage.  I always want to be better, but it’s like trying to straighten that errant curl in your hair–when you are not looking, it springs back to where it wants to be.
Red Door_1_small


So I thought I would give Kerry’s techniques a try in recreating this picture, taken when we were in Burano, Italy some years ago.  I like the weather-beaten look and knew that it would be better served by Kerry’s Paint-by-Numbers approach.Red Door_2_small

I threw it into an image processing program and used a filter on it to highlight the edges, but you could just trace the strong lines using a lightbox.Red Door_3_small

I extracted all the color, so I could see the shapes, then printed that directly onto the dull side of freezer paper, cut to size and put through my color printer.

I trimmed the freezer paper to size, taped it to a piece of cardstock at the top edge and fed it through the printer.  Mine has a rear cassette access, so the paper path is flow-through (it’s the reason I purchased this one).  Since I’m making one of my tiny picture-stand quilts, there are two images per page.

4_drawing hashmarks

I did draw on lines and prepared it for construction, according to her instructions in her well-written book.  All the information is clear and concise, with great photo illustrations to accompany each step.

I’m mid-process in the upper left photo, layering up the pieces as per Kerry’s instructions.  Yes, it did dawn on me at this point, that I’ve hardly broken out into wild new territory, but I liked this door when I took a photo of it some years ago.

Tiny Quilt Red Door_4

In retrospect, I realized that some of the proportions are off a bit — like the doorway is kind of floating, but I am always learning.  Next doorway will be better…and wilder!

Instructions for a tiny quilt on a frame are here.

Tiny Quilt Red Door_4a back

The back.  I’ve finally wised up and am using some of my favorite fabrics in quilts, instead of leaving them on the shelf.  I can enjoy them that way, instead of never seeing them.

Okay, back to the real reason for this post: letting you see a couple of the fun things that Kerry has in her book for you to make:

Foster Book Review_2.png

Foster Book Review_1
Grizzly Bear quilt

Kerry, and C&T Publishing would like to for you to have a copy of her book. There are many others who have reviewed Kerry’s Paint-by-Numbers Quilting book; I’m one of the last.  Each one is running their own giveaway, if you want to visit them:

Monday Sept 17 – Kerry @ PennyDog

Tuesday Sept 18 – Deirdre @ C&T Publishing

Wednesday Sept 19 – Anita @ Daydreams of Quilts

Thursday Sept 20 – Sarah @ Coopcrafts *

Friday Sept 21 – Krista @ Poppyprint *

Monday Sept 24 – ME!  Elizabeth @ OPQuilt

Tuesday Sept 25 – Wendy @ The Crafter’s Apprentice

Wednesday Sept 26 – Angela @ Heart of Charnwood *

Thursday Sept 27 – Leanne @ She Can Quilt *

Friday Sept 28 – Katy @ The Littlest Thistle

Tiny Quilt Red Door_2

To enter to win a digital copy, please leave me a comment below.  Thanks to you, and many thanks to Kerry and C&T!

25 thoughts on “Paint by Numbers, a creative approach to pictorial quilts

  1. These quilts remind me of a high school art project! I was working with construction paper at that time, but it would be fun to try with fabric.

  2. Thanks for the demo and inspiration to step outside one’s comfort zone! My forays into extemporaneous piecing tend to look quite tidy and orderly. Maybe this book is just the ticket! And it is always good to have a reminder that I don’t have to keep my fabric on the shelf, protected and safe from my rotary cutter! Loved the soda caps on the back. And loved your door!

  3. What a fabulous idea! I had seen this book before & wondered if I should try it. It looks fun & always better to have someones opinion first I think. I would love to get out of my comfort zone & try this new approach too!

  4. That door picture is awesome. Your receation looks great. If you decide to recreate a second time try some fabric shading to give the door a dimensional look. I too have decided to use my fabrics instead of just storing them. This book looks like a great opportunity to learn some new techniques.

  5. This looks like a great way to break down pictorial quilts into the tonal variations that are necessary to give the piece dimension. I’d love to try Kerry’s method and will be hoping to win this copy of her book!

  6. Love your version if her technique. I bought her bunny journal cover but can see taking one if my own photos and adapting it. Thanks so much for a chance to win!

  7. What a sweet mini quilt. One of these days I’ll make some of those tabletop minis.It’s such a great way to display them. I know exactly what you mean about that errant curl popping back though. I have long loved arty quilts but have decided for me it’s better to improve upon my own “style” rather than try to replicate what someone else does well. Being in the Four-in-Art helped me realize art quilts is just not me. At least not the free form style. But who knows what new directions my own work will take. I admire you for trying lots of new things.

  8. Your door turned out great! I’ve done several collage quilts, but Kerry’s approach is much more focused (and less busy) and I can think of several subjects which would benefit from this focus! Would love to win the book!

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