Photographing Quilts and Quilting

While I never profess to being anything more than an amateur photographer, I do enjoy photography, and photographing my quilts has become a necessary part of my personal quilting process.  People with MS usually have issues with short- and long-term memory…and I’m one of the lucky ones who definitely have issues with my memory!  You can tell me something and five minutes later, I will ask the same question because I have lost the memory of asking it the first time.  Hence with photos of my quilt projects, I can attach a name to the file image so I can remember what quilt I made and gifted to someone or sold to someone!

You should also know, if you’ve forgotten or are new to by blog, that my kids call me the “Quilt Designing Computer Geek”.  Quilting is my passion and I have enjoyed it since I was 19-years-old.  The Internet has been my bread and butter work for nearly 15 years.  Because of that geek part, I have a number of image programs on my computers that I can use to manipulate photographs that I take and that need a few adjustments.

I was recently asked to create a long-arm quilting website for a dear friend.  She sent me some photos of her quilts.  Just by looking at the photos, you cannot see the quilted stitches very well.  But, if you are using even a very basic program (Windows Live Photo Gallery), you can zoom in on a photo of a quilt to get a new photo that shows off the quilting!

Here’s an example:

PeytynPyleQuilt2 (450x450)
This is the original quilt photograph.  Although you can see the quilt stitches, they are not completely visible.

PeytynPyleQuilt2 (440x450)

This is the same quilt that has been cropped – see the quilt stitches better?

Without all of my geeky programs, I am able to take an image, zoom in on it (if necessary) and am able to truly show off the quilt stitches – which is my goal!

Share and Enjoy!

    Choosing Fabric from an Online Quilt Shop

    For some of us, the only way to get fabric is to purchase it online from a reputable online quilt shop.  There are times when we will choose fabrics for a quilt project from a single quilt fabric designer’s colorway….but, there are also times when I feel the need to mix and match the fabrics I want to use from more than one designer’s collection.

    (queue the theme music from the Twilight Zone)

    What I am sure many folks don’t think about is that there are probably no two computer monitors that have the exact same settings – unless they never changed them from the factory defaults and someone else has the same exact computer that you do.  And the quilt shops are (usually) relying on the fabric manufacturer’s images – which adds another layer of issues.

    Let’s use a recent example to sort this problem out – I want four fabrics for a quilt.  I begin shopping online for what I’d like to use in the quilt.  Remember, four fabrics.  I find a couple of fabrics I like out of a collection but the others just aren’t doing anything for me, so I click around on the quilt shop’s website, looking for fabrics that match and also catch my eye.  If I am able to save the fabrics to my computer, I can compare them to each other in an image program to make sure they truly match (though I know most consumers aren’t as geeky as I am and don’t have the luxury of image programs for comparison).  It ‘appears’ that they do, so I order them.  When I get the fabrics, I notice that one of them is not going to work – too bright for the quilt design I have in mind.  Then I have to go to my stash and see if I have a fabric that will work better.

    Here’s the four fabrics I chose, direct from the website’s images of them:


    If your eye is as good as mine, these four fabrics should go very well together – the companion fabric colors are all found in the focus fabric design.  Unfortunately, when I laid them out on my cutting table (to look at, to pet and to make sure they’ll work with my pattern design), I realized one of the four was just too bright for the muted colors of the other three.  Can you guess which one just by looking at these images?

    If you guessed the green tonal polka dot one, you would be correct.  Luckily, I had a yard of a muted yellow that worked perfectly with the other three fabrics so I put the tonal green in my stash for use on a future quilt or quilted project.

    But, this leads us back to my original problem – how can we safeguard ourselves against purchasing fabric online when the image colors don’t exactly meet our expectations when the fabric shows up?

    • One solution could be to go to a local quilt shop and find the fabrics you want, write them down and then go purchase from your favorite online shop.
    • If you do not have a local quilt shop within an easy driving range, try ordering a fifth fabric instead of JUST the four you need.  This way, you will have the option of using one or the other if one does not meet your expectations.
    • Try going to a different computer, if you can.  See if the images are the same or different in appearance on different computers.
    • If all else fails, call the quilt shop and ask them if the four fabrics you chose go together, most online quilt shops would be happy to help you with your fabric choices.

    I’ll reveal the final quilt top once I have completed it – but at this point, I love three of the fabrics and with the fourth one from my stash, the quilt is coming out EXACTLY as I’d envisioned in my head!

    Share and Enjoy!

      Lydia’s Quilt: Free Pattern at!

      When my foster mother was wintering here earlier this year, she asked me to make graduation quilt tops for her twin grand-kids who will graduate in 2014.  If I made the tops, she would hand-quilt them – which meant I needed to get busy on them so she had time to work her quilting magic as it takes a lot longer to hand-quilt than it does machine quilt.  We chose the main fabrics out of collections from  While she was still here, I also put together the designs for both of the quilts.  She liked what she saw and I got to work on them.  I didn’t finish her granddaughter’s until about a month ago, but she has it and is now contemplating how to quilt it.

      Because Linda at is such a lovely person to deal with, we agreed I would write the quilt pattern for the quilt I designed for the fabrics she sent to me.

      The *really* great part is that the pattern is FREE at, and you can purchase your quilt fabric kit for Lydia’s Quilt at, too!  Love when these types of relationships work out so well between the parties involved!  Here is a photo of the finished quilt:

      IMG_0235 (352x450)

      Loved the geometric blocks and how quick and easy this quilt is to make – using both the strip quilting method and the chain piecing method!  Get your FREE quilt pattern at and purchase the beautiful quilt kit fabrics from today!

      Share and Enjoy!

        Christmas in July Pattern #4: Modern Christmas Star


        The fourth Christmas in July 2013 free quilt pattern has been locked and loaded at!

        This week, we have a little modern fun with a traditional quilt block that creates an absolutely stunning quilt that can be displayed not only at Christmas, but all year long!


        Find this free Christmas in July quilt pattern at!

        Share and Enjoy!