Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mini Holiday and More Dyeing

My blog has been quiet this week as I spent the last couple of days visiting my good friend Lori and we had a great time!  We dyed fabric, went on a road trip to a quilt shop, and got to play on her new longarm.  I also gave her a photography lesson and you can check out her photos on her quilt blog here.  

Here are a few pictures of what we dyed.  First our brown experiments using orange and blue dyes as well as brown and blue dyes. 

Then our purple experiments as we had new dye colors to play with since we last got together to dye.

And then some more random combinations that we wanted to try.

We had a very successful shopping trip to a quilt shop in Plumas, MB.  Kickass Country Store was having a Birthday sale and all their fabrics were $10/m....and batiks are usually $16 to $18 so I stocked up.
Also picked up Angela Walters new quilting book as I was finally able to flip through it and she has a few designs that I would like to try. I don't get a lot of Modern quilts but it is good to be prepared :)

When I was giving Lori her photography lesson I realized she had an element in her yard I didn't so took advantage of this opportunity to take pictures of my purchases...I don't have a cement driveway!  :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bridget Millar Quilt

This is John's Bridget Millar quilt and it is a fabulous quilt for using up your scraps.  The pattern is designed my Carolyn Konig and can be found in Australian Patchwork and Quilting (Vol 15, No.11).
John requested that the quilting be similar to the picture in the magazine and once I saw that it was free hand feathers I was very happy to fulfill his request.

I added piano keys in the outer border to compliment the feathers.

Below is the picture of the quilt in the magazine ...

...and a close up of the quilting in the magazine.

I recreated the same feather motif in the background and just changed the feather motif in the square to a larger plume to balance with the other feathers.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Split Decision Quilt

This is Michele's batik quilt and the pattern is called Split Decision by Deirdre Brown.
She asked for the Butterfly Charm panto and I used a soft green Lava thread that blended really nice with all the colorful batiks.

We had another misty morning so I borrowed my husband camera and practiced taking pictures of the dew using the manual focus. I love my point and shoot camera but sometimes it just doesn't focus well on the close up shots. 
Here are a couple of pictures that turned out well.

This spider web is only about 3 inches across.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Shadow Box Quilt

This is Robin's Shadow Box quilt which is a pattern from Mountainpeek Creations.
The fabrics are all autumn colored batiks so I decided to quilt a leaf themed motif in the rectangles. I didn't want to completely fill the rectangles and came up with a tapered design to the motif. I matched the thread colors to the fabrics so had 7 thread changes and used Lava threads which blend beautifully with batiks.

Once I finished quilting all the rectangles I went back and did the curls in the sashing in So Fine thread.

Here it is on my bed and you can see the quilting doesn't overpower the piecing when indoors.

It was very windy this morning so I couldn't get a picture of it hanging on my deck so took pictures at Robins off her second floor railing when I dropped it off this morning. 

Oh and this is how Robin paid me....homemade perogies....lots and lots and lots of yummy perogies!!
Robin is a fantastic cook and since I am not this is a great trade!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quilt Photography 101

I have been asked by a few of my reader if I could do a post on how I photograph my quilts.  I need to stress that I am not a photographer,  I just enjoy taking pictures and have discovered a few tricks in the last few years on how to capture the quilting on quilts.  So in this post I am going to share these tricks and tips for taking good quilt pictures.

To get a good picture of a quilt you need to place it in light that will create shadows on the quilting lines. 
I prefer to take pictures outdoors using natural light but you can take good pictures indoors too. The picture above was taken indoors using indirect light from the window.  I turn all overhead lights off if the quilt is laying on a bed or floor.  I avoid direct light like a sunbeam as the light is too harsh.

When taking pictures outdoors take note of the position of the sun, it is low on the horizon or high over head.        You want to lay or hang your quilt so the sun shines across it not straight onto it.  For example when I lay my quilts on the dock I do that in the early morning when the sun is low but by the afternoon when the sun is high in the sky I hanging them on the clothes line to show the quilting better.

Here are examples of pictures taken in the morning, you can see the quilting very well when it is flat on the ground...

...but when on the clothes line, which faces south, the quilting is not as noticeable as the sun is shining straight onto the quilt.  The below picture is still a good pictures as it is taken square on and shows the whole quilt well. So the sun isn't the only consideration, it depending on what you want to highlight in your photo. 

When taking pictures outdoors a slightly overcast day is the best time to take quilt pictures.
Here is an example of my Giant Dahlia quilt in the snow.

The best way to take a picture of a whole quilt is to take it straight on like in the picture above and below.  There pictures are more about the piecing rather than capturing the quilting.   Having a place to hang your quilts for pictures like on a clothes-line or the railing of a deck is ideal.

When you are take pictures of quilts on the ground there are a few ways you can approach this. One is to take the pictures when standing at the bottom of it like in the picture below but your not getting a square image of the quilt from this perspective.  They look nice but this is were you can play with angles as you don't always look at something on the table or ground straight on.

 A trick I like to do is twist the photo like this. 

This give the illusion that the quilt image is square and looks more natural as you don't always look at objects square on.  You may have noticed I do this a lot with my pictures when they are on the ground.   I do not do this when I have the quilts hanging as that perspective would like I am looking at the quilt with my head tilted to one side and that is not normally how I look at quilts.  :)

Lighting Issues
The two above photos were taking in the afternoon so you can't see the quilting as well as the sun is shining directly down onto it but you can see in this next picture that I found a spot for a quilt that really highlights the quilting but almost to the point of highlighting it too much as you can't see the piecing well.

And here the opposite problem....too much direct light that washes out the color and you can't see the quilting that well.

So it is good to just try a few spots facing different directions and see if hanging or laying the quilt down will give you the best results.

Now to make a quilt picture a bit more interesting it is good to have an great backdrop.  That can be a tree, grass, rocks, water, snow, ice, etc, but it should create a good contrast as well as pick up colors from the quilt.

If you can't use your yard then find a spot in the house that has good natural lighting. I have two spots that I use that usually give me good results when it is bright out.  
One is my bedroom as the window faces east and it gets the morning light.  Once the sunbeam no longer shining though the window I am ready to take pictures.

The second spot is on a bench in the living room below the window that faces east. I also like to make sure I get a bit of the edge of the bench to give the picture depth with the dark shadow.

I use a very basic digital camera, nothing fancy. It's a Fugifilm FinePix and I have always been happy with the quality of picture it takes and I never use the flash when taking pictures of quilts.  I take A LOT of pictures of my clients quilts and then just save the ones that show the quilting, true color and have an interesting composition.  I always delete blurry pictures.  Take your time to make sure you understand how your camera works and experiment with different setting to see what works best with your camera.

So that's about it, I hope this is what my readers were asking for and that the next time you are taking pictures of your quilts you are able to use a few of this tips to create wonderful quilting pictures!

If you have any photo tips you would like to share please feel free to add them in the comments as I would also love to learn new tricks too!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beary Patch

This is Valery's Beary Patch baby quilt which is a pattern from Quiltmaker's Patch Pals Collection.
I though I would use a stencil to fill in the corner border squares and then free hand the swirls in the border and bear.

The cross hatching in the scrappy beige background makes a nice contrast with the swirls. 

Dream Blend batting and So Fine threads.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Island Sunrise

Our guild hosted a Judy Neimeyer paper piecing class this weekend and the project was the Island Sunrise quilt.  This is the first time I have made one of Judy's quilts and Michele our teacher was excellent, I learnt a lot of new paper piecing tips and techniques!!
I just updated the guild blog with pictures from our workshop, you can see those here.

I still have to add the borders but I was able to get the center blocks finished and sewn together in class.

The quilt shop that hosted the workshop also brought 700 bolts of batiks with them!!  That was a lot of bolts to haul but we made it worth their while!
I had a Bali Pop in my stash that I wanted to find a project for and found one.  I bought the Cappuccino pattern and the navy and green floral batiks to go with it.
The green mushroom print batik will be the inner border for my Island Sunrise and the white and blue batiks were impulse buys!