Tuesday, January 28, 2014

my quilt photography assistant

Sometimes it is frustrating but most of the time my 2 year old quilt photography assistant provides lots of laughs.  

Here are some of the outtakes from when I was trying to take photos of the most recent quilt I made for Birch Fabrics.

She is totally fake sleeping in these photos - I'm not sure why?!?

Not sure if she is resting her arms or hiding in this photo!?!

And if you are curious about what I do with the leftover fabric - we make little bags perfect for so many things!

The tutorial is on the Birch Organic Fabric blog.  You can find it by clicking here.  The fabric is adorable - seriously sea animals in love - too cute!  I hope you'll click over to their blog to see more.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Quilt(er's) Photography Workshop 2014

{the beginnings of my next "someday soon" quilt}

I've always liked to take photos - mostly of my daughters - but since I started blogging, my interest in photography has grown tremendously.  I am constantly trying to find ways to improve my photography - both in composition and in all of the technical ways - some of which I understand and some of which I don't.  To do so, I do read photography books and photography blogs and blog posts but what works best for me is simply learning by doing.  Every time I take a photo, I am learning more about what I like, what works, and what doesn't.  I leave my camera in manual mode 100% of the time - even if that means that I sometimes have a camera card filled with photos destined for the trash.  But the more I experiment, the less that happens - yes, I always have several throwaways while I'm trying to find the right settings - but at least I feel like it is less trial and error now than it was a year ago.  

{my first but definitely not my last time using double gauze - love it!}

So, this brings me to my new idea/plan for The Quilt Photography Workshop which I'm thinking I should rename The Quilter's Photography Workshop because I think it should be about more than just taking photos of quilts.  Instead of specific assignments each month focusing on just one aspect of photography, I want to encourage you to just take photos - mindfully.  Maybe not every photo you take but at least once a month, take some photos of whatever quilt/sewing blog related projects you want and just really focus on the photos.  Experiment with different apertures and different white balance settings, try taking the photos in a variety of light conditions, concentrate on your composition, use props (or not), take photos that are related to each other (or not) - I am just basically trying to encourage you to learn by doing.  

I will still plan to have a link up once a month but you choose what type of post you want to link - a finish, a WIP, a day in the life of a quilter, or something else related to needle crafts. Just be sure that it is a post where you truly concentrated on the photos.  As part of the post, you can also write about the photography - what you learned, what you are trying to learn, what you can't figure out - totally up to you whether you want to do this or not but I wanted to leave this option open as part of the learning/workshop process. 

So, what do you think???  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

the sherbert quilt

Back in December, I posted a sneak of this quilt saying that I wasn't sure what I thought of it and that I was going to wash it and see if that changed things.

Well, I've washed it and that did make a huge difference! 

I ordered these fabrics when they were on sale at Fat Quarter Shop back in November just to stash but when I was putting them in my fabric box, my 8 year old commented on how they would make a great quilt and I just went with it.  Fortunately she LOVES the finish!

For the back, I used large pieces of novelty prints from my stash.  

My daughter helped with the selection and layout and I think we both agree that we like the back better than the front.

I still wouldn't say it is my favorite or even one of my favorites and I wish I made some different choices regarding which colors I included but all question marks aside, it is big, warm, and cozy - and in this weather especially, getting lots of use!

Friday, January 17, 2014


{progress - woodland sampler}

{borrowing some books from my daughter's bookshelf (and adding one book of my own}

{my quilt photography assistant at work}

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

my daughter's AMH quilt

I just wrote and then purposefully deleted a very long blog post about this quilt because I figured I could say the same thing with way less words but this post still seems very long!

So, here is the somewhat shortened version:  at the end of 2013, I spotted a sale on the new AMH fabric so I ordered a few 1/2 yards for my stash.  When they arrived both of my older daughters loved the fabrics and wanted them to be used, not stored.  Next thing I know, all of my AMH fabrics are out and my oldest is making a "huge" quilt for herself (Note:  I have no out of print or hard to find AMH fabrics so I'm not being as generous as it might sound.)

My 10 year old mostly made the quilt by herself - I helped cut a few of the squares (but even with my help there was no rotary cutting involved in the process of making this quilt top  - no way am I letting a rotary blade anywhere near those tiny hands!!!) 

So the squares all vary slightly in size and most of the seams don't match but she loves it and I think she did a great job! 

The quilt top was about 60" x 60" so I had the idea that if I quilted a few randomly placed  horizontal lines that it would make the quilting more manageable for her.  However, I must have quilted too many lines because when she went to quilt it, she decided that she liked it as is - she might have added another line or two but that was about it - oops!  Next time I say that I'll just quilt a few lines to stabilize it for her, I'll just quilt a "few" lines.