Saturday, November 03, 2007


I absolutely hate taking pictures of my finished quilts. I don't have the right set up really. There's no place in my house, no clear wall space with good enough light where I can get far enough away for the bigger ones, no portable design wall to pin it to. I'm too cheap to invest in the kind of lighting to properly take the indoor shots. And setting up outside is often a crap shoot. Even if I manage a time when the sun isn't beating down or my best area in the shade, then there's wind to contend with. I've ditched the use of my old Canon TX now that slides are rarely called for, but rue the fact that I didn't get a digital camera with "real" lenses. I'm constantly contending with dark areas at the corner of my shots and distortions curving my otherwise straight quilt edges. I also find that some colors do not translate accurately in the digital medium. However, the great advantage to digital is that you know the shortcomings of your shots immediately, and can keep trying.

So I've been dragging my feet about taking the final really good pictures of the angel quilt, knowing I'd have to set up outside to do it, and also knowing how time consuming it would be. I have a quilt display stand and a grey cloth to use as a backdrop, but it is such a pain to set up. And it is getting pretty chilly, even when the sun peaks out. I put it off yesterday, hoping today might be a better day. Actually, it was - overcast and mostly calm, but very cold. I almost avoided it again, trying to convince myself that I could get shots after hanging it in the church tomorrow. But no, the lighting is even worse there, I fear, so I sucked it up.

It helped that I allowed myself to cheat. As you can see, I hung it on the outside of the shed in my backyard. I know I can Photoshop the background out of my pics, so all I needed was something with a bit of contrast and that I could push my push pins into to rest the dowel on. Then it was set up the camera on a tripod and experiment with the various settings while my fingers froze. I shouldn't have bothered; the auto setting gave as good if not better shots as any of my manual settings. The pictures came out pretty good, the colors true, and they are high enough resolution to meet any need, although I don't plan on sending this around anywhere.

Thanks for the positive comments. Wanda reminded me that I meant to tell you how big this quilt is. I have named it, "Angel of the Rock" and it is 30 inches wide by 36 inches long. The label has lots of information on it, including inspiration for the design and quotations from the dedication service of the new location of my church (my reason for making it). I printed it on muslin using my dot matrix printer. That ink is permanent once heat set. I used to struggle with keeping my label edges square since I'd iron under the raw edges by eye. Then I had one of those "duh" moments, and started using a ruler to pencil in the turn line so that I had the perfect guide. I also realized I could use basting glue instead of pins to hold it in place, which makes the hand sewing much easier.

Now, on to other things!

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