More Than Just a Pretty Face

Table of Contents


Part 1: Realistic Art

   1 Anatomy

   2 Reference Photography Quick Guide

   3 Challenges of Lighting

   4 Post-Processing

   5 Portrait Composition

   6 Facial Expressions & Body Language

   7 Digital, Value-Based Pattern Creation

   8 Baby Photo Pattern

   9 Value & Contrast in Fabrics

 10 Create the Collage

 11 Create Clothing

 12 The Setting

 13 Enhanced Volume with Contour Quilting

 14 History of Realistic Portraiture

Part 2: Modern Interpretations

 15 Beyond Realism

 16 Final Thoughts

List of Works

More Than Just a Pretty Face: Quilted Portraits, Figures and More is Book 2 in our fabric portrait series.

In Book 1, It’s All About the Face, we set out the basics of the actual quilt construction process, creating the pattern using Photoshop Elements and choosing fabrics, assembling the quilt top and quilting it.

How do you compose an interactive story of figures in situ?

More Than Just a Pretty Face expands on the portrait process of face and figure, with an emphasis on:

  • How to find (or take) good reference photos
  • How to choose fabrics according to light and dark values and how to use cellphones to check that values are correct.
  • How to make patterns based on photos
  • How to dress the subjects and create the illusion of realistic clothing

Since capturing the essence of the subject is the goal, we consider the figure in depth, including facial expressions, body language and principles of art. Along the way we explore challenges in lighting, difficult reference photos, and issues like eyeglasses, clothing and unusual features.

Using large, full-color, detailed images, we devote a chapter to contour quilting to show you how to add dimensionality to your subjects. The book explores realistic, abstract, and other genres, including AI-generated works with multiple examples from the world of contemporary fabric art.

More Than Just a Pretty Face is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle® editions.

We teach classes and offer workshops and lectures, based on the concepts in both It’s All About the Face and More Than Just a Pretty Face.


I just got my copy of Phyllis and Cindy’s second book and it’s amazing! It covers all the things you need to know to take fabric portraiture to the next level. I love that it’s easy to understand and the accompanying photos by other students enhance and help reinforce. I took Phyllis’s class on line several years ago and I highly recommend it, she continues to support her students through monthly zoom meetings (optional).

Amazon customer

My copy arrived yesterday of Phyllis and Cindy’s 2nd book on quilting and portraiture. Pages are filled with how-to information, art history styles, many inspirational photographs, and MORE. Phyllis and Cindy feature not only their in-process and finished quilted portraits, but also photos of their students and others in the art quilt world. You will not be disappointed with all you will learn exploring this book.


Skip to content