The Academy of Quilting Schedule of Classes

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Realistic Fabric Portraits  -September 9, 2016

Realistic Fabric Portraits

How many times have you heard an admirer of an art quilt (perhaps yourself) say, “That is so beautiful, I wish I could do that”, or exclaim, “Oh, I can never do that, I can’t even draw a straight line.” Geared mainly for those quilters who cannot draw, Marilyn will guide you step-by-step through the techniques that enable you to produce realistic fabric portraits of loved ones. In this class, you will learn how to use the computer to adjust photos, appliqué by fusion, deal with the features on a face and use thread painting for the finishing touches. Good basic sewing skills are necessary.

Student Work from Fabric Portraits with Marilyn Belford

linda_diaz     cherie_brown_portrait

Linda Diaz from Fabric Portraits and  Cherie Brown

UrsulaLancasterWIPcollar     Ruth-keys_2008-11-02-1
Ursula Lancaster and Ruth Keys

carolynHitter_G27_WIP 9     lindaK_Bill_Finished_Portrait
Carolyn Hitter and Linda K in Canada from Fabric Portraits


Michele in Perth

dee_johnson1     laRetta_Trower

 Dee Johnson and LaRetta Trower


the Academy of Quilting

Art for Quilters – July 22, 2016

Open up your horizons . . . I will show you how to bring the basic tools of an artist to the world of fabric. From a still life to a landscape, learn how to get exciting results by applying the artist’s methods and composition tools to your quilting. Learn how you can create quilts of emotion and depth. This course will give you a new perspective that will change how you approach your quilting projects. Simple exercises will let you practice what you learn without a major project commitment. All levels. Four Lessons. Class starts July 22, 2016

Student Work From Previous Classes

Brigitte Otto

Brigitte Otto



Terry Aske

Terry Aske

The Wrath of Poseidon


The Wrath of Poseidon art quilt by Marilyn Belford

The Wrath of Poseidon 2011

Poseidon, God of the waters was an angry and jealous God, demanding extreme obeisance. He was also called the “Earth-shaker”. When offended or ignored, he supposedly struck the ground with his trident and caused chaotic springs, earthquakes, drownings, and shipwrecks.

How It Was Made

I visited several body-building sites to get Poseidon’s physique just right! The chest is from a wrestler, the legs are Michaelangelo’s, and the flap at the end of the banner is sown down–no peeking!


2012 – Best of Show: Mancuso’s Tri-State Competition – Somerset, NJ
2012 – Second Place: World Quilt Competition – Manchester, NH (traveling in Winner’s Circle Tour)
2012 – Honorable Mention:National Quilting Association – Columbus, OH

Persephone Rising


Persephone quilt by Marilyn Belford

Persephone Rising 68″ x 82″(2011)

The story most often told about Persephone, is that when she was a young girl, she was out one afternoon picking flowers with some friends. Hades, the God of the Underworld, came and kidnapped her and made her his queen. Demeter, the Goddess of grain and harvest, and Persephone’s mother , was distraught at the loss of her daughter, and travelled the world searching everywhere for her, weeping bitter tears. Because of her sadness, winter came, and continued so long that all the people began to starve.

The people prayed to Zeus and begged him for mercy. Zeus heard their cries and forced Hades to return Persephone to Demeter. And Hades did, but not before Persephone ate some seeds from a pomegranate. Some say that Hades tricked Persephone into eating the fruit. Some say she reached out and plucked it as her mother was leading her out of hell. Because Persephone had eaten six seeds, she was bound to return to the Underworld, spending six months below with Hades and six months above Hence the seasons.

How It Was Made

Persephone quilt by Marilyn BelfordOriginal design, fabric application, and thread painting by Marilyn Belford; quilting by Jamie Wallen.


2011 – World Quilt Show – West Palm Beach, FL (Winner’s Circle Tour)
2011 – Pacific International Quilt Festival – Santa Clara, CA (Winner’s Circle Tour)
2011 – Pennsylvania National Quilt Festival – Philadelphia, PA (Winner’s Circle Tour)
2012 – Road to California – Ontario, CA


2011 – Honorable Mention: World Quilt Competition IX – Manchester, NH
2011 – 3rd Place: Denver National Quilt Festival – Denver, CO



Circe quilt by Marilyn Belford

Circe (40" x 60") 2006

In Greek mythology, Circe was a sorceress living on the island of Aeaea. In Homer’s Odyssey she invited Odysseus’ crew to a feast, the wine laced with one of her magical potions, and she turned them all into swine with a wand after they gorged themselves on it.

How It Was Made

Commercial cotton fabric was applied with fusible web, and further embellished with thread. No paints were used.


2006 – Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY
2007 – AQS Expo and Contest, Nashville, TN


2006 – 1st Prize: NYSQC in Syracuse, NY
2007 – 1st Prize: Common Threads Quilt Guild, Binghamton, NY
2007 – 3rd Prize: Quilters Heritage Celebration, Lancaster, PA