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Turn photographs into quilted portrait masterpieces with instructor Teri Henderson Tope. Using nearly all straight lines, create a work of art to give as a gift or to keep as a special memory quilt. Learn how to add highlights and curves with ease. Create borders and details to enhance your project. Beginning, as well as experienced quilters, will achieve success with Teri’s easy to understand, step-by-step approach. Watch as she shares how to bring your quilted portrait to life. Turn those fading photographs into touching and beautiful portrait quilts that will last a lifetime with this amazing class.

Course Curriculum

Thread Portraits by Teri Henderson Tope - 2hr 5m
Lesson 1. Choosing & Prepping Your Photo 0 Hours 15 Minutes00:15
Lesson 2. Hooping & Stitching Practice 0 Hours 11 Minutes00:11
Lesson 3. Getting Started with Your Photo 0 Hours 19 Minutes00:19
Lesson 4 . Highlights: Eye, Mouth, & Nose 0 Hours 9 Minutes00:09
Lesson 5. Hard Lines—Clothing 0 Hours 11 Minutes00:11
Lesson 6 . Curved Lines—Hands 0 Hours 10 Minutes00:10
Lesson 7. Adding Definition 0 Hours 17 Minutes00:17
Lesson 8. Assembling & Quilting 0 Hours 14 Minutes00:14
Lesson 9. Adding Borders 0 Hours 13 Minutes00:13
Lesson 10. Show & Tell 0 Hours 6 Minutes00:06

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Checkboxes indicate items available for purchase from shop.americanquilter.com

Book: Optional

  • The Quilted Portrait Book by Teri Henderson Tope


  • 1 yd. light-colored, tightly woven cotton fabric
  • 1 yd. white fusible cloth backing (such as Face-It Soft Sew Lazy interfacing or Pellon® SF101 Shape-Flex® interfacing)
  • Fabric for backing, borders, piping, and binding
  • Wool batting
  • Piece of fabric for testing stitches and tension


  • 1 cone 40 wt. black thread (such as Superior® King Tut) with at least two prewound bobbins
  • Quilting thread: (white, black, or cream)

Machine Foot:

  • Free-motion or hopping foot
  • Walking foot
  • Piping foot

Other Supplies:

  • Photograph or digital image (high contrast)
  • 10" wooden or 7" spring tension embroidery hoop
  • Twill tape to wrap hoop on inside hoop
  • 16½" square ruler
  • Blue water-soluble fabric marker
  • Extra sewing machine needles (80/20 Sharp - such as Schmetz Microtex)
  • Iron
  • Cutting mat
  • Lightbox
  • Piping Hot Binding with Groovin’ Piping Trimming Tool by Susan K. Cleveland
  • Rotary cutter
  • Seam ripper
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine with feed dogs that can be dropped
  • T-Pins
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Ironing Surface


  • Cone holder for thread
  • Electric Quilt® 8 quilt design software (EQ8)
  1. Does the class provide a photograph or do I use one of my own?
    Teri’s method teaches you to make a thread portrait from an image that is meaningful to you. Whether it is a relative, friend, or pet, choose your own image and use Teri’s techniques to complete your project. Then, let everyone enjoy what you’ve made by posting it on this site.
  2. Do I have to have excellent sewing skills to make thread portraits?
    If you can thread your machine and sew a generally straight line, you can make a thread portrait!
  3. What if I have questions?
    We recommend that you watch the class in its entirety and become familiar with any downloadable materials. At that point, if something is unclear, go to the tab that allows you to ask a question and Teri will get back with you.
  4. When can I start the class?
    We know you are excited to get started. After you have purchased the class, you can enjoy it anywhere and anytime you have Internet. The class belongs to you, so watch it as many times as you like!

Instructor Gallery

Student Gallery

  1. Pat Duemler


    I'm a person who has struggled to have an eye for shading. Teri's method of outlining from the photo seems doable!! I can't wait to try.
  2. Virginia A Odonnell


    This is a great class. Teri made everything doable. I was so pleasantly surprised when my very first try was so successful, I even added it to the gallery and will show it off this next week when my quilt/book club puts on the program for a neighboring guild.
  3. Marlene Meloney


    I loved this class!! I just finished stitching a portrait of my daughter's dog for our guild challenge and will then give it to my daughter. Teri's instructions were so easy to follow and she quickly answered every one of my questions - and I asked several!! Even if you're not an artist, you can do this. I used a picture that was texted to me but was able to edit it on my phone and print it -

    I don't have any photo editing software and I'm not very computer literate but had no trouble with this. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to try something different. Great job Teri!!
  4. Kim Boone


    The videos are so easy to follow. And I love all of the "tips"!! I can't wait to try this myself.
  5. Joanne Purcell


    Hello! This says I would be the FIRST to review Lesson 1 but I am really reviewing the entire class. I was very intrigued by the "portrait" idea of machine quilting. Very informative! Easy to follow. I watched it all once and then again as I tried for myself. With practice, I feel this will be a method I will enjoy using for my own quilt projects. Thanks.

Member Price: $23.96
Members Save: $5.99
Regular Price: $29.95
  • ( 5 Reviews )
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