Sunday, September 29, 2013

Quilt Photography Workshop - September Link Up

To learn about the September challenge, click here.  I plan on hopefully taking photos for all the words but here are the ones I have for today.


a typical day

                 things that make me smile

color palette inspiration

Link Your Post:

Now it is your turn. If you are sewing blogger who wants to participate in the Quilt Photography Workshop, please add your link here to your post about the this month's challenge.  Please do not link to posts on other topics.  Please visit as many of the other links as you can since that is how we'll all be learning, right?!?! At the very least, visit the three bloggers who linked up before you.  When the link tool asks for your name, instead describe something you love about autumn.

I'll leave the link up open until next Sunday so make sure to come back so you can see everyone who joins in.

And please link to this post either with a text link or using the button in my sidebar to let people know about it. Thanks!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

another scrappy quilt backing

This is another quilt I made earlier this summer that I never shared here.  It is actually the back of this quilt - the one where I didn't like the spiral quilting I used so I unpicked some of it but not all. Well, after seeing these photos again, I will say I don't like the quilting from the back either - oh, well.  I still like the quilt.

This quilt back is made up entirely of small squares and rectangles from my scrap drawer.  I thought that I had enough 5" squares but while piecing them together (no design wall here), I realized that some were smaller so I just threw those in the mix too and decided not to worry about matching seams or anything but rather just go for a super scrappy improv style.  

And just a reminder that the September Quilt Photography Link Up starts next Sunday.  Hope you'll join in.  You can find the September challenge information here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

a little quilt tutorial

 When I first started blogging in early 2012, I would write about everything I made as soon as I made it -  sometimes even putting two or more projects in one post.  But then came the summer and I wasn't sewing as often and realized that although I wanted to keep posting, I didn't have any content because everything I made was already on here.   

It was then that I realized, what many of you already had figured out, that I should blog about only one project (or topic) at a time and save some things to write about during the slower sewing months or sewing slumps.  Well, now I have quite a few projects that I made several months ago that I haven't shared here including this little doll quilt. 

It was a simple little project and it is probably pretty obvious how I pieced it but I thought I would write up a quick little explanation/tutorial anyway - if anyone is interested.

Basically you start by just fussy cutting a few cute fabrics (these are from Sarah Jane Children at Play and measure about 4" x 4".)   If your fussy cuts are different sizes (like mine were), just add some of the solid background fabric to the smaller ones so that they all measure the same.  Piece together the fussy cuts with strips of the background fabric until it measures your desired width and press the seams. 

My row finished at about 24" so I used that measurement as the width for the rest of my fabrics.  Cut some strips 24" wide x varying heights of both your background fabric and of some cute prints.  You'll need 2 extra strips of the background fabric.  You can figure out what you want the finish size to be before cutting so that you'll know what size strips to cut but what I did was sew the strips of background fabric to the top and bottom of the fussy cut row and then alternated cutting a strip of print fabric and a strip of background and sewing them to the fussy cut section until I was happy with the size.  This works especially well if you are taking the print fabrics from your scraps - as you can just use whatever size you have.

Quilt it, add some binding, and you'll have a little quilt perfect for gifting!

And here is a sneak of another project from earlier this summer that I'll write about soon.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fort Firefly Quilt

This is the small throw/large baby - size quilt that I made with the Fort Firefly fabric from Birch Fabrics.  We still haven't decided where this quilt is going to live in our house - though I think the current state of negotiations is that my middle daughter will be getting it for her room.  My oldest has the pillows and my youngest, well, she is two plus she probably has more handmade things in her room than the rest of us combined!

I made this one in basically the same way as the pillows - except I framed several fussy cut prints with mod basics in Sun from Birch and then used Rose Garden in Taupe from Fort Firefly to frame around those prints.  I think if I made this again, I would widen the floral frame like I did in the pillows (but I was using a FQ bundle here.)

I quilted this using the same floral motif that I use quite often but this time I kept each motif separate and placed them randomly throughout the entire quilt in different shapes and sizes.

But I tried to avoid quilting too much on the actual novelty prints.

For the binding, I just used the same fabric that I used for the background.  I've been wanting to try this and this seemed like a great quilt to do so on.  While I really enjoy selecting prints for binding to either contrast or coordinate with the quilt, I really like how this matching binding worked with all the negative space on this quilt - what do you think?

Oh, and I unfortunately did not include a fussy cut of the teepee that appears in two of the prints in the quilt but I wanted to share this photo because if you look closely at the blurred background, you can see the teepee (without its cover) that my daughters made this summer to use for their outdoor picnics and other adventures - just like the girl in the fabric - well, except without the forest animals.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Photo Class Giveaway and September Challenge

I really enjoyed reading all the August challenge posts - I think every post was helpful and informative in its own way and I would totally recommend reading them if you get a chance.  

For September, we are going to focus on subject and composition.  This challenge can be as simple or involved as you want it to be.  Just choose some words/phrases from the list below and then compose a somewhat sewing/quilting-related photo illustrating your answer or interpretation of each. You can choose to use all, some, or even just one of the words - but focus on what you are including (and not including) in each photo - in other words, make each photo count.

Each photo should tell its story without needing any written explanation. So, for your post, don't write about your photos, don't explain them - let the photos do the talking.  However, I would suggest writing the word or phrase you are using under each photo and somewhere in the post you might want to say that it is part of the photography workshop.  The link up will be later this month - I'll leave it open for a week again - but starting on September 26th (because on the 3rd weekend of the month, I'll be at Sewing Summit - anyone else???)

About me
A typical day
Happy and/or Things that Make Me Smile
Love and/or Favorites
Peaceful and/or Relaxing
Color Palette Inspiration
Things that Inspire My Quilt Designs
Things that Make Me Laugh
Future and/or Goals
My Sewing Process
My style

And how about a photography-related giveaway?!?!  After seeing one of my posts for the Quilt Photography Workshop on bloglovin', Craftsy contacted me to ask if I would be interested in a complimentary enrollment in their new online class entitled Shoot It! A Product Photography Primer and that they would also offer a giveaway for an enrollment in the course for one of my readers.  I was definitely interested and actually just finished watching it.

While the class focuses mostly on photographing knitting and small items, I still found it helpful.  The first part of the class talks about color theory and storytelling as they relate to photography - I found both topics interesting and I think the information I learned can be applied to my quilt photography.  As can some of the information on prepping for the photo shoots and lighting.  I found the instructor, Caro Sheridan, to be very likable and easy to understand throughout the course - including when she was focusing on the basic technical aspects of photography.  There is also a section on how to use people to model the items and a short bonus section at the end on self-portraits which you might find useful - I know I did.

To enter the giveaway for the craftsy class:  Shoot It! A Product Photography Primer, simply leave a comment on this post. Any comment will do but if you'd like a topic, how about writing about what you would either like to improve in your own photography or what kind of photography you like to see on the blogs you read (one entry).

Bonus Entry

Plum and June followers - old and new - get a second entry. Leave a comment indicating how you are following. (one entry)

So you can enter up to 2 times - just leave a separate comment for each one! This giveaway will remain open until Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 8pm EDT and a winner will be picked at random and will be notified by email. And unless you are sure that you are NOT a no-reply comment, please leave your email address in your comment.

The giveaway is now closed.  The winner is Allison CSeptember 6, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fort Firefly Pillows

Just wanted to let you know that I have a post on the Birch Fabrics blog today with the tutorial for the pillows I made using their new Fort Firefly fabric collection.  It is probably not a surprise to anyone who reads my blog that I absolutely LOVE these fabrics and I was so excited that Birch sent me a FQ bundle for the tutorial.  The colors, the designs, the details, the gorgeous floral blender prints - seriously, I love everything about it!  And yes, that is my actual opinion.

I made the three pillows for my oldest daughter's bedroom and I am not sure yet who is going to get the quilt (I'll post more about the quilt later this week.)  I'm not sure if I'll call it a large baby quilt or a small lap quilt - there have been some major negotiations going on here as to whose room it will live in.  

If my middle daughter has her way though, she would have me order more of the fabric and make her a large quilt.  While I'm not sure when and if that will happen, I did play with some possible mockups using the same block that I used for the pillow.  

First up is if I had used the blocks in the finished sizes used in the tutorial on the Birch blog.

But then I would have to choose just 3 of the adorable novelty prints?!?!  So, then I thought maybe still keep the blocks all different shapes and sizes but make more of them.

And maybe with a dark yellow background:

I made these mockups and the diagrams for the tutorial using TouchDraw.  However, after reading in the quilt photography workshop comments and links about how many of you use photoshop, I decided to download the trial.  I haven't used it much for photography editing yet but I did use it to make this last mockup - this would be if I made all the blocks the same size.  The scale is off for the background prints - I'll have to figure out how to fix that next time - but I like being able to see the quilt using the actual fabrics.

Oh, the possibilities . . .